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Doyle denies Summerhill at the death

denies Summerhill at the death


the Baker All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior B Football

Ian Cooney at Pairc Chiarán, Athlone

St. Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge………………2-10 St. Joseph’s,

Crazy doesn’t come close to describing one of the most dramatic
semi-finals ever witnessed in any code of sport. A team
scored four goals and still lost. That fate befell a brave
Summerhill side that were robbed of a tilt at All-Ireland
glory in the third minute of injury time. The Athlone school’s
goal lived a charmed life for most of the game until Andreanna
Doyle’s three pointer deep into stoppage time. And yet no
one could begrudge the Rochfortbridge school their victory.

They ran Summerhill ragged for large chunks of the contest.
However, an combination of poor finishing and sometimes
outrageous bad luck seemed certain to end their chances.
They shot 16 wides, hit the post and crossbar on at least
five occasions, had two players sent to the sin bin and
could only watch in horror as a variety of shots on target
were somehow repelled by a combination of goalkeeper Grace
O’Brien and defender Sarah Finnerty. Indeed Summerhill sacrificed
Finnerty’s selection at corner-forward and brought her back
into defence. She acted like a sponge in soaking up Rochfortbridge

However, Sumerhill’s problems stemmed from an inability
to keep possession. In Fiona Leavy, Maud Annie Foley,
Dawn Wallace, the diminutive Doyle and Siobhan Lohan,
Rochfortbridge paraded players who wanted victory so
much. They were finally rewarded, albeit the late denouement
can’t have been good for their nerves. In many ways,
Summerhill stayed in the game because Jenny Downey,
Ruth Finlass, Sarah Finnerty, Carmel Killeen and Grace
O’Brien kept them in contention.

Such individualism nearly procured an unlikely victory
but in truth, Louise Coyle’s team possessed too many
players who weren’t near their best. Downey and Finlass
had no such trouble in rising to the occasion. After
watching Rochfortbridge race into an eight-point lead
inside the opening 20 minutes, the madness duly commenced.
Despite being outplayed, Summerhill pounced for four
goals, three from the brilliant Downey, to find themselves
six points to the good at the break. The scoreline was
certainly distorted.

Aoife Hyland and
Arlene Egan in action

Rochfortbridge backlash duly materialised but all kinds
of miraculous events in the Summerhill goalmouth contrived
to keep Roscommon’s representatives in the game. When Sinead
Whelehan and goalkeeper Clare Judge were dismissed to the
sin bin within five minutes of each other, Summehill seemed
to have weathered the storm. However, Rochfortbridge weren’t
to be denied and some great work along the endline by Fiona
Leavy, the best player on the field, paved the way for Doyle
to strike the crucial blow. It was all one way traffic for
the opening 20 minutes as Rochfortbridge did as they pleased
with possession. Whelehan, who abandoned her corner-back
berth to mark Finnerty, opened the scoring in the third
minutes. Further scores soon followed from Dawn Wallace
(2) and Maud Annie Foley to give the Westmeath school the
early advantage. Summerhill were finding it difficult to
get out of their own half. The odd foray saw Downey miss
an early free and smack another off the upright. Siobhan
Lohan (2), Wallace and Leavy added points to leave Rochfortbridge
eight points ahead. Aoife Hyland also blasted her shot off
the crossbar with O’Brien beaten.

Josephs, Rochefortbridge

exploded from the blocks in the 21st minute. A quick free
involving Downey and Ciara Fallon saw Finlass find the net.
It got better for Summerhill as another move instigated
by Finlass paved the way for a Downey goal. Two minutes
from the break, Summerhill’s best move of the half spanned
the length of the field. It involved Claire Shanagher, Aisling
Curley, Fallon and Finlass before Downey was sent on her
way to the Rochfortbridge goalmouth for another three-pointer.
Amazingly Downey had time to raise another green flag after
she worked hard to make something of Finnerty’s booming
delivery. Rochfortbridge continued to pepper the Summerhill
goal with little reward. Finally, a penalty from Maud Annie
Foley found the net to give Rochfortbridge renewed hope.
Three Downey frees kept Summerhill in front. However, a
point from Louise Darby was eventually followed by Doyle’s
last gasp intervention just when it seemed that Rochfortbridge’s
chance was gone.

ST. JOSEPH’S, SUMMERHILL: G. O’Brien; L. O’Brien, C. Killeen,
L. Mannion; A. Curley, R. Finlass (1-0), A. Egan; C. Shanagher,
A. Brennan; C. Fallon, J. Downey (3-3, three frees), L.
Igoe; S. Finnerty, A. O’Neill, R. Dunning. Subs used: A.
Watson for Dunning (40 mins), R. Dunning for Fallon (59

ST. JOSEPH’S, ROCHFORTBRIDGE: C. Judge; S. Dolan, L. Kelly,
S. Whelehan (0-1); L. Hendley, E. Marshall, C. Deegan; F.
Leavy (0-2, both frees), C. Gill; A. Hyland, M. A. Foley
(1-1, one penalty), L. Darby (0-1); S. Lohan (0-2), D. Wallace
(0-3, one free), A. Doyle (1-0). Subs used: C. Hannon for
Hendley (half-time), A. Brady for Kelly (37 mins), C. Gahan
for Deegan (51 mins).

Wides: Summerhill – 3; Rochfortbridge – 16.

Sin Binned: Summerhill – none; Rochfortbridge – Whelehan
(43 mins), Judge (48 mins).

Referee: D. Byrne.

Article sublitted by Ian Cooney Sports Editor Roscommon
Herald Patrick St., Boyle Co. Roscommon

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