Primary School Finals: Saints go marching on... and on!
Producing some magical football at times St Declan's chalked up a big score on their way to the Boys Div 1 Shield title by 5-8 to 3-7 on Saturday in a game that had it all.
You couldn't take your eyes of this contest for a second as the teams engaged in an arm wrestle, the ebb and flow of the play ensuring the spectators were just as engrossed as the players in the contest from start to finish. Ahead 2-6 to 1-2 at the interval St Declan's continued to push forward in an exhibition of total football that was indeed something to behold.
Gritty, hard-grafting Duleek played some brilliant stuff themselves and clocked up the kind of score that would win most games. It was their misfortune to come up against a slick Ashbourne side who were captained by the brilliant Daire McMahon who helped himself to 3-3. Every time McMahon got the ball possibilities opened up for his team.
He had plenty of others around him who were also fully aware of the possibilities and Noah Pender and Patrick Toth both ended up bagging goals, finishing off chances that were skilfully created by a cast of players in blue, led by joint captains McMahon and Gerard Tyrrell, both of whom made fine speeches afterwards too after they had accepted the trophy.
This was exceptional but also very much a team effort by the winners who were strong in defence, creative in midfield and clinical in attack with Mikolaj Mocek, Conor Beggy and Chloe Doherty others to contribute scores.
Duleek too had a fine goal-getter in Jack O'Connor who ended up with 2-1 while Daryl Da Silva also found the target. They too had a strong, committed side with enterprising midfielder and captain Darragh Tuohy helping himself to six points. Duleek certainly did their school proud but the honours belonged to Ashbourne.
St Declan's NS Ashbourne - Jamie Fox; Max Condon, Rían McDaid, Aaron Cullen; Darragh Donnelly, Jude Duggan, Mikolaj Mocek (0-2); Conor Beggy (0-1), Gerard Tyrrell Foran; Chloe Doherty (0-1), Alex Kelly, Noah Pender (1-0); Nathan Doyle, Dáire McMahon (3-3 one free), Patrick Toth (1-1). Subs - Nathan Watters, Andrew Broughton, Donnacha Ryan, Ronan Adams, Sebastian Sadowski, Zach Macken-Doran, Connor Valentine, Darragh Murphy, Finn McParland Monfort, Robert Cullen. Mentors - Michael Lydon, Shane Melia, Ronan Farrell.
Duleek BNS - Kamiye Fore; C-Jay Bissett, Allix Seerey, Fionn Nester; Alex Butler, Seán Armstrong, Cianán Murray; Darragh Tuohy (0-6 three frees, one '25'), Jack O’Connor (2-1); Daryl Da Silva (1-0), Jamie O’Halloran, Hughie O’Donoghue; Luke Divilly, Leon Kelly, Jas Ignar. Subs - Oisín Fives, Daniel Chubb, Rowan Heely, Ryan Kierans, Cathal McDonnell, Elliot Murphy, Ronan Finnegan, Nathan Lambe, Morgan Mallon, Zack O’Sullivan, Jacob Tuite-Rice, Killian Smith, Jack McAuley, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Aidan McGourty, Ciarán Ludlow, Charlie O’Neill. Mentors - James McDonald, Keith McDonald, Ruth Commins.
Referee - John Byrne (Ballivor NS).