St Oliver Plunkett’s Joe Kearney races away from Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg’s Richard Ó Fiail during the Boys Div 1 Shield final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. Photo: David Mullen/

Cumann na mBunscol Finals: St Oliver’s keep their heads to take the top honours

St Oliver's, Navan recovered from a slow start to take the Boys Div 1 Shield with a hugely impressive victory over Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg from Dunboyne in Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.

The enthralling opening half ebbed one way and flowed the other with both sides enjoying periods of dominance.

Gaelscoil Thulach na Og started well with Caelan O Dubha opening their account in the fourth minute and four minutes later Richard O Fiail doubled that advantage after racing half the length of the field following a superb wind assisted kickout from goalkeeper Jack Ó Scolaí.

Conor Mulchrone showed his intentions for St Oliver's with a shot from distance that hit the crossbar, but in the 10th minute the Dunboyne school extended their lead when O Fiail's lofted free caused panic in the the goalmouth and as the ball hit the net it was Cian O Neill who wheeled away in celebration to make it 1-2 to 0-0.

St Oliver's eventually settled and when they did, they did so in style with three goals in 10 minutes.

Harry Dunne got the goal rush going when he reacted first to Thomas Farrelly's effort that hit the crossbar.

Joe Kearney was denied by a wonder save from O Scolai, but he could do nothing two minutes later when Kearney's point attempt fell to the net to make it 2-0 to 1-2.

Dunne was denied by a heroic block by Joseph Mac Uait, but the third goal came two minutes later when Mulchrone netted from distance.

Kearney quickly added two points before Farrelly and O Fiail (free) exchanged late scores to leave St Oliver's with a 3-3 to 1-3 interval lead.

St Oliver's used the strong wind wisely after the break and Kearney quickly extended his side's lead with points from a '45' and from play.

Excellent play from Tadhg O Dubhda set up Caelan O Dubhda for a point and when Aidan O Meachair punched a loose ball to the net it gave the Dunboyne school hope as they closed the gap to 2-4 to 3-5 with 15 minutes remaining.

However, that hope lasted less than 30 seconds as Kearney embarked on a mesmerising run before firing his side's fourth goal.

Caelan O Dubhda and Dunne exchanged scores before St Oliver's hit a purple patch scoring five points in eight minutes, two each for Kearney and Dunne and one from Noah Friel, to extend their lead to 4-11 to 2-5.

Caelan O Dubhda hit a stunning consolation goal in the 50th minute and after Kearney brought his personal tally to 2-7 Gaelscoil Thulach na nOg managed a fourth goal from Tadhg O Dubhda with the last kick of a pulsating contest.

St Oliver Plunkett’s NS, Navan - Alex Hughes; Mark Nolan, Isaac McGarry, Jack Smith; Ryan McGoon, David Ionel, Oisin Farrelly; Evan McKeever, Noah Friel (0-1); Christopher Hayes, Joe Kearney (2-7 one free, one '45'), Conor Mulchrone (1-0); Thomas Farrelly (0-3), Harry Dunne (1-1), Jack Murray. Alex Pasek, Ciaran Leen, Jamie Cunningham, Carlos Hearty Oriri, Tajus Tamelvicius, Conor Carley, Daniel McGoona, Andrew Tolan, Senan Kavanagh, Danny Nolan, Ryan Rennicks, Robert Joyce, Matthew Longanathan. Mentors - Declan Kearns, Anna Clancy.

Gaelscoil Thulach na nÓg, Dhún Búinne - Jack Ó Scolaí; Danny Townsend, Joseph Mac Uait, Labhrás Ó Fearghaile; Liam Mac Giolla Rua, Aidan Ó Meachair (1-0), Rónán Bizzell; Tadhg Ó Dubhda (1-1), Caelan Ó Dubhda (1-2); Orlaith Ní Mhurchú, Micheál-Daniel Ó Seanáin, Isabella Hollingsworth; Charlie MacSeoin-Ó Neill, Richard Ó Fiail (0-2 one free), Cian Ó Néill (1-0). Fionn Ó Baille, Joe ó Cathasaigh, Cian MacGraith, Matt Ó hArrachtáin, Conán Ó Ceallaigh, Rian Ó Coileáin, Caimin Ó Diarmada, Cóilín Ó Doibhlinn, Cian Ó Meachair. Mentors - Niamh De Brún, Conor Ó Scolaí, Josh Ó Fiail.

Referee - John Byrne (St Columbanus’ NS, Ballivor).