Gaelscoil Liatroma completed a remarkable double in some style last Thursday in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada when they proved too good for St. Patrick’s Ballinamore in the Division One Final.
Primary School Final Division 1 Final
Gaelcoil Liatroma 2-12
St Patrick’s Ballinamore 1-6
On the face of it, a win for the Carrick based school was not all that remarkable but their Division One victory had been preceded by a win for the school’s B team, drawn from third, fourth and fifth class students, over Drumkeerin in the Division 2 Shield Final.
It was a remarkable achievement to field two teams but to win on the double is a feat that is unlikely to be repeated in the years ahead.
The final score might give the impression of a relatively easy day for the Gaelscoil but they had to fight hard to hold off a stubborn and determined Ballinamore.
The difference between the two was seen in the fact that Ballinamore relied almost entirely on the impessive Ryan Donohue for scores and leadership with the likes of Francis McGovern, Dylan Beirne, Sean Christy, Senan Harte and Mark McCaffrey working hard.
In contrast, the Gaelscoil lads looked a more potent combination and while a lot of their scores cames from frees, their overall team-work, accurate passing and hard work proved too much for Ballinamore to counter.
Paul Keaney took the scoring plaudits but Gaelscoil were driven by Sam Barnes and David O’Connell in the middle of the park, Barnes the smallest midfielder on show but perhaps the most influential as his tackling, hard running and passing was impressive.
Full-back Sean Reynolds, Eoghan Farrell at centre-back and Fiachra King were others to really catch the eye.
Nervous early exchanges saw Sean Christy and Kevin Brady swap points but Gaelscoil took control with three Keaney points from placed balls and a goal from the full-forward despite two Ryan Donohue scores.
David O’Connell with a point and a cracking Fiachra McHenry catch and goal put Gaelscoil in command at halftime as two Donohue points left the score at 2-5 to 0-4.
The early second half action saw Keaney and Donohue swap two frees each before Donohue charged through for a cracking goal to reignite the contest midway through the half and leave just four points between the teams.
But that was to be it for Ballinamore as Gaelscoil steadied themselves with a McHenry point before two points apiece Sam Barnes and Keaney sealed the win.
Gaelscoil Liatroma: Nino Chilton, Ruairi King, Sean Reynolds, Alan Crowe, Ashley Maziya, Eoghan Farrell, Kevin Brady (0-1), David O’Connell (0-1), Sam Barnes (0-2), Callum McGirl, Sean Lenehan, Brian King, Adam Reynolds, Paul Keaneym (1-5), Fiachra McHenry (1-1).
St. Patrick’s Ballinamore: Eoin Curran, Seamus Wisely, Senan Harte, Jack Creamer, Aaron McBrien, Francis McGovern, Danny Smith, Dylan Beirne, Ryan Donohue (1-5), Michael McKiernan, Sean Christy (0-1), Euan McManus, Paul Moran, Mark McCaffrey, Eoin Toolan.
• Photos from last week’s Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Finals on pages 60-61.