CLONKEEN College keep on rising through the ranks of the juvenile divisions as they completed back-to-back titles with a comprehensive dismissal of Mac Dara's.
The Deansgrange boys won the 'C' title last year and several of their members returned to the scene of the crime -- O'Toole Park -- to win the 'B'. With class hurlers in every line of the team, Clonkeen looked like they could go up another level with some ease, and it was unfortunate that Mac Dara's were unable to match them.
It wasn't for lack of effort -- the Templeogue boys kept hard at their task and despite being scoreless at the break they responded well by notching a hard earned 1-5 after the break, no mean feat against the opponents. Ultimately, though, this final was all about a display of hurling from the mainly Cuala-based team who displayed a real cutting edge.
Captain Jack Behan led the way with a strong performance from centre back, and his ability to stick the ball over the bar from 65s capped a fine display. Full-forward Sean Treacy looks like following in his father and brother's footsteps with an assured score-taking performance. He finished with 2-5 from play and looked a threat throughout.
They tore into Mac Dara's from the off and led 1-8 to no score at the break. Treacy opened the scoring with 1-2 in the opening 10 minutes. An early point was followed by a superb low finish after Justin Byrne had created the opening.
An early sight of goal for Mac Dara's was blocked down brilliantly by Cian Hughes as the defence showed they were going to play their part. Sean Keating and Kyle Braine pointed before Behan stuck over three brilliant 65s and Keating added another before the break. Mac Dara's afternoon was summed up when they were awarded a penalty, but the otherwise impressive Hugh Devine mis-hit his effort.
The pace didn't let up after the interval and Treacy, Andrew Murphy and Braine all scored to stretch the lead to 14 points.
But Mac Dara's rallied and scored five unanswered points thanks to Paddy Dunne, Diarmuid McLoughlin, Devine and two Sean Gleeson efforts. But any slight hope of a revival was quashed as Liam Bermingham and Behan sent over points, before Treacy goaled again after more good work from Byrne. He and Behan pointed before combining to set Keating up for a brilliant finish. But at least Mac Dara's signed off in style as Devine made up for his penalty miss with a good goal late on. That was the final act on the pitch, as Behan lifted the trophy skyward to the delight of his schoolmates.
SCORERS -- Clonkeen College: Sean Treacy 2-5, Jack Behan (3 '65) 0-5, Sean Keating 1-2, Kyle Braine 0-2, Liam Bermingham, Andrew Murphy 0-1. St MacDara's CC: Hugh Devine 1-1, Sean Gleeson 0-2, Paddy Dunne, Diarmuid McLoughlin 0-1 each.
CLONKEEN COLLEGE: Conor Hayes; Karle Schutte, Conor O'Sullivan, Cian Hughes; Colman Keane, Jack Behan, David Ryan; Lee Harrington, Kyle Braine; Liam Bermingham, Andrew Murphy, Matthew Higgins; Justin Byrne, Sean Treacy, Sean Keating. Subs: Kenneth Fleming for Hughes (55), Cian Moriarty for Bermingham (55), Gary Moran for Ryan (57). Anthony Clarke, Ian Coone, Killian Lanigan.
ST MAC DARA'S CC: Dara Hancock; Shane Callaghan, Eoin Breen, David Kiernan; Aaron Shattock, Hugh Devine, Michael Brennan; Paddy Dunne, Kevin Treacy; Alex Walsh, Sean Gleeson, Oisin Egan; Aidan Ryan, Diarmuid McLoughlin, Rhys Glennon. Subs: Ben Donnelly for Ryan (57), Eoin Connolly for Glennon (57).
REFEREE: E Walker (O'Tooles).