A STRONG second-half display paid dividends for St Fintan’s HS at Parnell’s GAA Club last Thursday afternoon, when the Sutton school were crowned Tom Quinlan Cup champions at the end of an absorbing encounter.
The sides were deadlocked (6-6 to 4-12) with just five minutes remaining, but thanks to points from Jack Moylan and Cian Mulligan, as well as a wonder goal by corner-forward Jack Dillon-Kelly, Fintan’s claimed the silverware for the first time since 2007.
Ardscoil enjoyed a powerful start to the proceedings. Points from Rory O’Neill, Matthew McMahon, James Heary, Daire Clarke and centre-forward Liam McGovern (two) meant that the Griffith Avenue outfit had opened up a five-point cushion by the 10th minute.
Fintan’s were struggling to impose themselves on the play, and despite registering a well-worked goal from full-forward Cathal Brennan on 13 minutes, it was subsequently cancelled out by a similar effort from Clarke.
However, Fintan’s secured their second goal of the game from a Jack Moylan penalty, and subsequently reduced the deficit to a minimum with a Mulligan point. A close-range O’Neill goal helped Ardscoil to weather the storm, but Fintan’s were well in contention at the break as a result of another Brennan three-pointer.
Indeed, Mulligan levelled matters (4-2 to 2-8) for the first time with a goal in the opening minute of the second period. Fintan’s then opened up a four-point advantage following Dillon-Kelly’s 37th-minute goal from a speculative attempt.
Rís hit back – with Heary and McGovern kicking points either side of a second O’Neill goal, they were back in the ascendancy. Both sides enjoyed strong purple patches throughout the half, and owing to magnificent goals by Dillon-Kelly and Ardscoil midfielder Connor O’Brien, a grandstand finale was in store. Fintan’s hit an extra gear and a late scoring blitz from James Campbell’s charges ensured they emerged victorious.
Scorers – St Fintan’s HS: J Dillon-Kelly 3-1, C Brennan 2-1, C Mulligan 1-3 (0-3f), J Moylan 1-2 (1-0 pen), K Byrne 0-1. ARDSCOIL RÍS: R O’Neill 2-1, D Clarke 1-3, C O’Brien 1-0, L McGovern 0-3, J Heary 0-2, S Hession (f), M McMahon, S Mulcahy 0-1.
St Fintan’s HS: N McCarthy; T O’Donnell, S Cummins, F O’Connell; L Cunningham, E Kelly, L Glynn; E Bridgeman, K Byrne; T O’Donoghue, C Mulligan, J Moylan; M Nolan, C Brennan, J Dillon-Kelly. Sub: D O’Connor for O’Connell (45).
Ardscoil Ris: K Bohan; A Garvey, D Parker, M Dodd; S Hession, M L’Estrange, M Higgins; C O’Brien, T O’Brien; J Heary, L McGovern, M McMahon; D Clarke, R O’Neill, S Mulcahy. Subs: S O’Connor for Mulcahy (41), Mulcahy for Heary (49).