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Tuesday 12 December 2017

WATERPOLO: Aidan's sail to Leinster win as O'Boyle makes big splash

The Leinster Junior Schools Waterpolo Cup was held recently, with St Aidan's of Whitehall claiming their third title after a thrilling final victory over St Joseph's School for the Deaf, Cabra.

The two sides had entered the finale without having lost a match in the group stages so it was all set up for a classic. And so it transpired.

St Aidan's surged ahead in the first half with their captain, Aidan O'Boyle, and playmaker, Conor Bridgeman, playing a very strong forward game.

Goals from O'Boyle (4) and Fiachra O Nualan (1) with a reply from Sean Young (1) left the score at 5-1 at half time.

The Whitehall boys were seemingly cruising to another title having beaten Blackrock College and Marian College easily in the groups before a hard-fought semi-final win over Belvedere.

And it looked like they were home and dry when, in the second half, they went further ahead with goals from O'Boyle (2) and Bridgeman (1).

But St Joseph's, who emerged from a group featuring Belvedere and Gormanston College before beating Blackrock in the penultimate stage, clawed their way back into the game.

Scores from Roy Maguire (1) and Sean Young (2) gave them half a chance, while some great play by goalkeeper Brendan Wilkinson and fullback Liam Power kept the score down.

But, alas, it was too little, too late for the Cabra outfit and Aidan's deservedly sealed their crown as the best junior team in Leinster.

Both sides can now look forward to representing the province at the All-Ireland finals in Belfast on March 24.

ST AIDAN'S: Eoin Tracey, Steven Zulu, Aidan O'Boyle (Captain), Sam Hollahan, Tobi Irein, Conor Bridgeman, Eric Fitzgerald, Fiachra O'Nualáin, Senan O'Sullivan.

ST JOSEPH'S: Brendan Wilkinson, Liam Power, Kris Byrne, Michael O'Donohue, Sean Young (captain), Roy Maguire, Gavin Casey, Damien Pyrt, Eugen Smocinchi, John Braga.

Referees: Darren Dunne (Marian College), Kevin Healy (Blackrock College), Gerry Dunne (St Josephs Deaf Cabra) and Niall Murphy (St Aidan's).

Leinster Co-ordinator: Brian Fitzpatrick (St Josephs Deaf Cabra).

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