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14-man St Mary’s rally late to beat Cnoc Mhuire to seal Leinster title

St Mary's players celebrate after they defeated Cnoc Mhuire Granard in the Leinster Schools Junior Football 'B' Final at Kinnegad. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

St Mary's players celebrate after they defeated Cnoc Mhuire Granard in the Leinster Schools Junior Football 'B' Final at Kinnegad. Picture: Jeff Harvey/HR Photo

AFTER an incident packed game, St Mary’s eventually added another title to the already glittering collection ensconced in the trophy cabinet in Edenderry but not before they were given a serious run for their money by a Granard side that before half-time looked to be well beaten.

St Mary’s, Edenderry 2-17

Cnoc Mhuire, Granard 2-9

With half-time approaching with the strong wind gusting across the field, the Offaly school lead by 1-10 to 0-2 and it looked a formality that they would go on and win the game.

Granard gave themselves a life-line with a quickfire 1-1 before half-time and 13 minutes into the second-half they were gifted a second goal courtesy of one of many odd refereeing decisions on the day. The umpire emphatically waved the ball wide and St Mary’s stopped playing but after the ball was dispatched to the net, referee Pat Neilis of Meath over-ruled the decision and awarded the goal much to the annoyance of the St Mary’s contingent.

Things got worse for the Offaly school when Ruairi McNamee picked up two yellow cards in a minute,

St Mary’s were only three points ahead when McNamee was sent off and the game was firmly in the balance but they reacted as champions often do, upping their game to run out comfortable winners with Oran Lawton scoring the all important goal after a trademark attacking move.

St Mary’s added 1-3 in the final eight minutes and they were at their most clinical in that period when the game and the Leinster title was on the line.

See this week’s Offaly Express (May 8) for full report and extensive photographic coverage

 

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