St. Francis kick through with 9 men
Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Tom Ticher Junior National Cup Semi Final
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Marist College, Athlone 1-1 St. Francis College, Rochestown (AET) St. Francis won 4-3 on pens
Dylan Stewart (16) Evan Donlan (72)
ST. FRANCIS COLLEGE, ROCHESTOWN continue winning ways as their Junior select secured victory in the Tom Ticher National Cup Semi Final following a tense penalty shoot-out against Leinster Champions Marist College in Pike Rovers yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, March 15).
Goalkeeper Allan Kelleher had a memorable afternoon as he saved three penalties and converted from the spot himself to ensure his sides advancement in the National stage.
The Senior squad have already booked their place in the Dr. Tony O’Neill National Cup Final last week with an appearance to look forward to next Wednesday, March 22 against Westport outfit Rice College. It was double celebrations for the Cork side as they now take on St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny in the Cup decider on Wednesday week, March 29.
Athlone were coming into this tie with Irish underage International Joe Carmody ruled out due to injury while Rochestown’s Jaze Kabia was carrying a one match suspension from their Munster Final which saw the youngster sit out the crunch encounter.
Marist started their campaign in lively fashion which saw them take the lead with quarter of an hour played as Dylan Stewart lobbed keeper Stephen McGongale following great work from Kevin Rowan.
Roco were enjoying a good spell of possession with 30 minutes played which saw Colin O’Mahony’s cross field effort scratch the outside of the post.
Two minutes later, it was the turn of Athlone to hit the woodwork as Matthew Nally’s glancing header came off the bar.
Adam Hennessy came agonisingly close to getting an equaliser just before the interval but a point blank save from the impressive Stephen McGonagle kept the tie at 1-0.
The Saints pressed high for an equaliser as Ross Slevin was denied by McGonagle yet again with 68 minutes registered.
The Cork School were issued a body blow as Adam Hennessy picked up a second yellow and subsequent red to see his side down to 10 men with ten minutes remaining.
The Munster men continued to play some superb football and their endeavours were rewarded in the 72nd minute as Evan Donlan finally slotted past McGonagle.
The deadlock remained at 1-1 and extra time beckoned.
The drama continued for Rochestown two minutes in as match official Martin Kirby sent Patrick Buckley off, picking up a second yellow and subsequent red for a deliberate hand ball.
The second period of extra time saw the final chance of the game fall to Evan Donlan but again McGonagle got down bravely to deny the Marist charge.
The penalty shoot-out saw Captain Kieran Colclough convert for the first for Athlone, 1-0.
Conor Russell’s effort was saved by McGonagle to keep the momentum with Athlone, 1-0.
Oisin O’Reilly stepped up for Athlone’s second but Kelleher saved, 1-0.
Evan Donlan made to 1-1 for Roco with two penalties taken.
Substitute Fred Kelleher saw his effort saved by Kelleher, 1-1.
Another substitute Ger O’Mahony had his shot saved by McGonagle, 1-1 with three each taken.
Tom O’Carroll made it 2-1 to Athlone.
It was goalkeeper vs goalkeeper as Kelleher opted to shoot and converted with confidence, 2-2 with 4 apiece taken.
Kevin Rowan slotted past McGonagle to give Athlone a slender advantage 3-2.
Shane Downey made it all square 3-3 with 5 penalties completed.
Up next was Paul McGrath who saw his effort saved by Kelleher, 3-3.
It was Rory Doyle who sustained the pressure to slot past the inform McGonagle to take his side to the Cup Final with a 4-3 result to Roco.
St. Francis College will now prepare for their finale with Ulster kingpins St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny in the Bank of Ireland FAI Schools Tom Ticher Junior National Cup Final on Wednesday, March 29 at 1pm with the venue to be confirmed shortly.
MARIST COLLEGE, ATHLONE: Stephen McGonagle, Keith Rushe, Paul McGrath, Kieran Colclough, Tomas Roper, Ian O’Rourke, Dylan Stewart, Oisin O’Reilly, Matthew Nally, Tom O’Carroll, Kevin Rowan
SUBS: Enda Tynan Daly, Fred Kelleher for Stewart (71), Niall Doolan for Nally (94), Darragh Keena for Roper (87), Brian Ruane
TEACHER: James Byrne
ST. FRANCIS COLLEGE, ROCHESTOWN: Allan Kelleher, Patrick Buckley, Colin O’Mahony, Conor Russell, Josh Honohan, Nathan O’Connell, David O’Donovan, Evan Donlan, Ross Slevin, Rory Doyle, Adam Hennessy
SUBS: Shane Downey for Slevin (93), Pierce O’Halloran, Conor Grenin, Dylan Fenton, Ger O’Mahony for O’Donovan (55)
TEACHERS: Derick Murray & Cathal Lordan
REFEREE: Martin Kirby (Limerick)