Dazzling first-half display sets St Mary’s on course for semi-finals

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A superb first-half display that saw them go to the break with an eight point lead saw St Mary’s, Edenderry comfortably through to the semi-final of the Leinster PP Schools Senior A Championship in Carbury last week at the expense of Knockbeg College..

A superb first-half display that saw them go to the break with an eight point lead saw St Mary’s, Edenderry comfortably through to the semi-final of the Leinster PP Schools Senior A Championship in Carbury last week at the expense of Knockbeg College..

Leinster PP Schools Senior A Quarter-final

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St Mary’s, Edenderry 0-15

Knockbeg 0-8

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Played on a heavy and very grassy pitch in Carbury on Friday, St Mary’s used the wind behind them to the fullest advantage in the opening 30 minutes to build a 0-10 to 0-2 lead. Knockbeg were under constant pressure in the opening period with their only scores coming in the first and the 30th minutes.

Knockbeg were much improved in the second-half, tightening up through the middle while also making much better use of possession. Midway through the second 30 minutes, they had reduced the gap to a managable five but St Mary’s were able to close out the game primarily due to the contribution of the outstanding Adam Mahon in midfield.

Playing with the wind in the first-half, St Mary’s dropped an extra player into midfield and used their numerical advantage around the centre of the field to great effect. When they won possession, they broke in numbers through the middle and were clinical with their passing to open up scoring opportunities.

Knockbeg opened the scoring with only a minute on the clock through James Redmond but for the remainder of the half it was virtually one way traffic with St Mary’s taking control of the game. They were in front after four minutes thanks to scores from Jack Robinson and Eoin Farrell as they ran at the heart of the Knockbeg defence.

From the ninth to the 25th minute, they scored seven unanswered points, all from play, as Knockbeg battled hard just to keep themselves on contention.

Just before the break, Knockbeg had a great chance to get back into the game when they were awarded a penalty after James Redmond was fouled as he went through on goal. Unfortunately for Knockbeg, Glen Pullen’s effort was saved brilliantly by Wayne Cummins with the goalkeeper getting back to his feet quickly to save again from Pullen on rebound.

Darren Lunney did add a point for Knockbeg but that was cancelled out by Jack Robinson as St Mary’s went to the break with an eight point lead.

Knockbeg came out with a renewed sense of purpose in the second-half kicking four of the first five points to substantially close the gap.

With Knockbeg threatening a comeback, man of the match Adam Mahon stepped up to the mark for St Mary’s kicking two super points that took the sting out of the fightback.

In the closing minutes, the sides exchanged two points apiece, Darren Lunney and Glen Pullen for Knockbeg and Jamie Reilly and Stephen McGlynn for St Mary’s, as the Offaly school secured their place in the last four.

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St Mary’s, Edenderry

Scorers: Adam Mahon 0-4; Stephen McGlynn 0-3; Jack Robinson 0-3; Eoin Farrell 0-1; Cain Brereton 0-1; David Maloney 0-1; Ger Cunningham 0-1; Sam Doran 0-1f

Team: Wayne Cummins; Ian Quinn, Joe Mulraney, Mark Abbott; Jamie Reilly, Dylan Kavanagh, Sam Doran; David Maloney, Adam Mahon; Eoin Farrell, Aaron Kennedy, Stephen McGlynn; Jack Robinson, Ger Cunningham, Cain Brereton. Sub: Alan Kearney for Cain Brereton (52mins)

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Knockbeg

Scorers: Mark Glynn 0-3 (0-2f); Darren Lunney 0-2 (0-1f); Danny Bolger 0-1f; James Redmond 0-1; Glen Pullen 0-1

Team: Danny Bolger (Graiguecullen); Jack Higgins (St Joseph’s), Liam Knowles (Stradbally), Tommy Bric (Fenna); Caomhan Brennan (Arles Kilcruise), Ciaran Lalor (Arles Kilcruise), Ger Brennan (Graiguecullen); Daniel O’Reilly (Graiguecullen), James Smith (St Joseph’s); James Redmond (Ballylinan), Glynn Pullen (Ballon), Dillon Doyle (St Joseph’s); Darren Lunney (Ballinabrana), Alan Gorman, Mark Glynn (St Laurence’s). Subs: Kevin Higgins (St Josepsh’s) for Alan Gorman (37mins), Seamus Curran (Tinryland) for Mark Glynn (37mins)

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Referee: Brian Doran (Dublin)