It was a case of third time lucky for St Michael’s of Enniskillen as they got the better of Naas CBS in the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools SF ‘A’ final at Croke Park today.
The Fermanagh school made up for the disappointment of losing their two previous Hogan Cup final appearances (2002 and 2012) when shading a keenly contested decider against their Kildare opponents on a scoreline of 1-12 to 1-11.
Left corner-forward Eoin Cunneff drew first blood for first-time finalists Naas but the first-half finished with the Ulster champions 1-6 to 1-4 to the good.
Cunneff followed up his point with a 12th minute goal which parachuted his team into a three-point lead but their joy was short-lived as Darragh McBrien cancelled that out at the opposite end of the field three minutes later.
With St Michael’s shooting into the Davin Stand end, Micheal Glynn’s accuracy from placed balls was a feature of the first-half and he finished the opening 30 minutes with four points to his credit.
St Michaels, Enniskillen captain Brandon Horan celebrates with the trophy.
Paul McKervey’s 22nd minute score with the outside of his left boot was another highlight of St Michael’s bright start.
Glynn started the second-half where he left off in the first with his first point from play.
Later in proceedings, his eight point of the contest parachuted Dom Corrigan’s men into a three-point lead with nine minutes of normal time remaining.
Full-forward Conor Love subsequently made it a four-point advantage (1-11 to 1-7) and the finishing line was very much in sight for the Enniskillen students.
Naas weren’t prepared to throw in the towel, however, and three unanswered points from Eoin Archbold, Simon Murphy and Paddy McDermott got them back to within a point.
A glorious goal chance fell to Tony O’Connor in the 58th minute but St Michael’s keeper Sean McNally was equal to the task.
Love and Mikey McGovern traded points during a tense six minutes of stoppage time and St Michael’s held on for a historic success.
St Michael's, Enniskillen - S McNally; L Flanagan, G Cavanagh, J Horan; A O'Cathain, J Largo Ellis (0-1), R McHugh; B Horan, J McDade; C Duffy, M Glynn (0-7, 5f), D McBrien (1-1); P McKervey (0-1), C Love (0-2), T Keenan. Subs: G Treacy for P McKervey, G Quigley for T Keenan, C McAloon for C Duffy.
Naas CBS - D Morrissey; J Lawler, C O'Gallachobhair, J Hamill; K Quinn, E Archbold (0-1), P McDermott (0-2); J Cleary, L Broderick; T O'Connor (0-2), A Beirne, D Costello; M McGovern (0-4, 3f), D Hanafin, E Conneff (1-2). Subs: S Murphy for D Hanafin, C Boran for C O'Gallachobhair, R Monaghan for L Broderick, A Cassidy for D Costello, H Carroll for E Archbold, C Murphy for E Conneff.
Referee - R Hickey.Tweet