DESPITE conceding four goals over the hour, Colaiste Iosagain comfortably advanced to the South Leinster Post Primary Schools Junior Football Final with seven points to spare over St Kieran’s, Kilkenny in a wind swept Stradablly last Wednesday.
SOUTH LEINSTER COLLEGES JFC ‘B’ SEMI-FINAL
Colaiste Iosagain 1-19
St Kieran’s, Kilkenny 4-3
Playing with the wind in the first-half, the Portarlington school found themselves 2-0 to 0-2 after 13 minutes but they eventually adapted to the conditions and rattled off nine unanswered points to lead by five at the break.
The Kilkenny side struck for two mores goals early in the second-half but Colaiste Iosagain responded with 1-3 of their own to leave the score at a very unusual 1-14 to 4-0.
Colaiste Iosagain by this stage were in control of the game and they tightened up defensively to see out the win although goalkeeper Jason Kiernan was called on to make a couple of good saves.
Jack Walsh top scored for Colaiste Iosagain with eight points and the decision to move him further out the field in the second half certainly paid dividends.
Gavin Smith, Graham Weldon and Eoin McCann also played pivotal roles in the second-half carrying the ball forward for Colaiste Iosagain against the wind while Tommy Keogh had an impressive game at centre-back.
Playing against the strong wind, St Kieran’s made a storming start and had two goals on the board inside the opening 13 minutes through Richie Leahy and Sean Morrissey. All Colaiste Iosagain had to show for their efforts in the opening 13 minutes was two points, one each from Graham Weldon and Jamie Connolly.
However as the half progressed they got to grip with the conditions and piled the pressure on St Kieran’s who rarely managed to move the ball past halfway.
The pressure told and Colaiste Iosagain were deadly accurate in this period adding nine points through Jack Walsh (4), Jake Foster, Sean Fowler, Jamie Connolly, Gavin Smith and Tommy Keogh to leave them 0-11 to 2-0 ahead at the break.
On the resumption, St Kieran’s threatened to make a game of it with a third goal, this time a tap in on the rebound from Sean Morrissey after Colaiste Iosagain goalkeeper Jason Kiernan had initially made a brilliant save to deny Billy Ryan.
Now playing against the win, Colaiste Iosagain responded instantly with points from Jack Walsh, (2) and Matthew Finlay while flying wing-forward Jamie Connolly added a crucial goal that kept the Portarlington school in control. St Kieran’s hit back with a quickfire 1-1, the goal coming from Daniel O’Connor at the end of a well worked move.
However Colaiste Iosagain were not to be denied and they continued to play excellent passing football against the wind which produced four more points, two more for Walsh and one apiece for Graham Weldon and Colm Murphy. St Kieran’s added two more points in the dying minutes but they were merely consolation scores as Colaiste Iosagain advanced to meet Portlaoise CBS in the South Leinster Final.
SCORERS - Colaiste Iosagain: Jack Walsh 0-8 (0-4f), Jamie Connolly 1-3, Graham Weldon 0-2; Jake Foster (f), Sean Fowler, Gavin Smith, Tommy Keogh, Matthew Finlay, Colm Murphy 0-1 each. St Kieran’s, Kilkenny: Sean Morrissey 2-1; Daniel O’Connor 1-1; Richie Leahy 1-0; Niall Walsh 0-1
Colaiste Iosagain: Jason Kiernan; Stephen Chambers, Ryan Hamill, Joe Hurley; Sean Fowler, Tommy Keogh, Cormac O’Hora; Graham Weldon, Gavin Smith; Jamie Connolly, Jake Foster, Paddy O’Sullivan; Matthew Finlay, Jack Walsh, Eoin McCann. Subs: Keith Kavanagh for Matthew Finlay (44mins), Shane Nerney for Joe Hurley (44mins), Colm Murphy for Cormac O’Hora (48mins), John Cahill for Jake Foster (48mins), Ian Corcoran for Sean Fowler (59mins)
St Kieran’s, Kilkenny: Gary Tynan; Luke Dowling, Joe Connolly, Alan Hayes; Jack keoghan, Niall Walsh, Jason Byrne; Jason Clear, Eoin Walsh; Billy Hanlon, Daniel O’Connor, Billy Ryan; Richie Leahy, Sean Morrissey, Hugh Corkery. Subs: Michael Cotter for Billy Hanlon (44mins), Alan Cuddihy for Richie Leahy (48mins)