Under-20 Boys All-Ireland Final: Josh Kane saves the day for Eanna
12 March 2015 03:00 AM
SUBSTITUTE goalkeeper Josh Kane was the hero for Coláiste Eanna as he turned almost-certain All-Ireland final defeat into an extraordinary victory.
Introduced in the final minute of extra-time in an attempt to give the Leinster champions a vital penalty-shootout edge over Connacht rivals St Joseph's College, Kane made his mark in style.
After watching his opposite number give the Connacht champions from Galway an ominous 3-1 shootout lead thanks to saves from Eoin Stokes and Djamel Djedda, the towering Kane turned the final on it's head.
Twice denying Joseph's victory-clinching attemps, he than gave éanna a sudden-death edge with his third save in-a-row and Craig Canty took advantage by stroking home the winning penalty.
It was an extraordinary conclusion to an absorbing national showpiece that saw the Leinster champions come from behind twice in the first-half, only to be pegged back themselves in the second period of normal time.
The school from Rathfarnham actually came from behind no less than three times in an incredible 7-3 Leinster final success over De La Salle, Dundalk.
So when St Joseph's took the the lead just 11 minutes in at Athlone IT it only took three minutes for Aaron Kavanagh to head home an equaliser.
Goalkeeper Conor Kieran's best efforts couldn't stop éanna falling behind again midway through the half, but Warren Egan levelled with a super volley.
Kavanagh made sure the Dubliners went in ahead at the break by finding the net with a sensational flick just before half-time.
Joseph's - or The Bish, as they are commonly known - had enough pedigree to respond and deserved the equaliser just after the break that forced extra-time.
Eanna survived going down to 10 men in normal time and the introduction of training-ground penalty specialist Kane just before the final whistle proved to be a masterstroke.
Colaiste Eanna 3 St Joseph's Col, Galway 3 (After extra-time, Eanna won 4-2 on penalties)
Coláiste Eanna: Conor Kieran (Josh Kane 109); Darragh Langan (Craig Canthy 99), Adam White, Luka Lovic, Hugh Keller, David Miley, Rudi Kinsella (Conor Growley 75), Eoin Stokes, Warren Egan (Djamell Djedda 80), Aaron Kavanagh, Eric Healy.
St Joseph's College: James Grealis; Tommy McClean, Diarmuid McGee, Bobby Keane, Brian Lally, David Carter, Ben Brennan, Jack Coyne, Josh Marvesley, Conor Melody, Ross Murphy.