After a great run to the Leinster Final, Colaiste Iosagain came up against a very strong Scoil Aodhain side on Saturday in decider on Saturday and lost out by 12 points despite a very spirited and committed performance.
A young Colaiste Iosagain side, ten of the team will be involved in a Leinster Junior B Final on Thursday, gave their all over the hour but on the day they were simply up against a better side.
A week after they lost out in the hurling decider against St Fergal’s, Scoil Aodhain were in no mood to suffer a second final defeat and built a seven point lead by the break.
There was no let up after the restart as they kept the scoreboard ticking over to ease their way across the finishing line. The star of the show was corner forward Patrick Small with the Ballymun Kickhams man finishing with ten points.
For Colaiste Iosagain, Jamie Connolly was a livewire throughout running himself into the ground for his side. Captain Ryan Havill put in a strong showing at full-back while Graham Weldon, Colm Murphy, Matthew Finlay and Liam Whelehan were all to the fore.
Despite playing with the wind in the first-half, Colaiste Iosagain struggled to get into the game with the Dublin side winning the majority of the ball around the middle of the field. By the 11th minute, Scoil Aodhain were 0-5 to 0-1 ahead with their hugely impressive corner-forward Patrick Small accounting for four of the points. Iosagain’s only reply came from Colm Murphy after six minutes.
Matters did not improve for Iosagain as after Matthew Finlay pulled a point back after 14 minutes, their Dublin opponents turned the screw and after another brace of points from Small, they fired home the first goal of the game when Glen Doyle fisted home from close range.
Iosagain looked to have gotten right back into contention when a point from Finlay was followed by a goal from Jack Walshe at the end of a slick passing move.
That left just four points between the sides but just before half-time, Aodhain struck for their second goal. Aaron Elliot surged through the middle of the defence before laying the ball off to Glen Doyle and he buried the ball into the roof of the net from close range for his second goal. Iosagain ended the first-half with eight wides as they were forced to shoot from distance with the Dublin side leaving little or no room at the back.
Colaiste Iosagain enjoyed a good period of possession at the start of the second-half but they couldn’t convert it into scores as the Dublin side’s defence kept them out. With Iosagain pushing forward, they left more space at the back and Scoil Aodhain exploited it on the break kicking five points in the first ten minutes.
That put 12 between the sides but Colaiste Iosagain continued to battle bravely and they got through for their second goal midway through the half. Centre-forward Jack Walshe created the space before playing a perfectly timed pass to substitute Evan Clancy who rattled the back of the net.
A point from Walshe soon after gave the large travelling support from Portarlington something to cheer about and they briefly looked as if they were set to mount an unlikely comeback.
However with the twin towers of Aaron Elliot and Sean Ryan controlling midfield, the Dublin side quickly extinguished those hopes with another four unanswered points.
Graham Weldon almost added a third Iosagain goal four minutes from time but after a barn-storming run through the middle, he blasted over from close range. The final point of the game went to Scoil Aodhain as Patrick Small brought his personal haul to ten points.
While Colaiste Iosagain were obviously disappointed on the final whistle, they showed great battling spirit against a physically stronger and bigger side. With so many of the team having two more years in the senior grade, the future looks very bright for the school and they will undoubtedly be back at this stage again in the near future.
Scorers: Colaiste Iosagain: Jack Walshe 1-1; Evan Clancy 1-0; Matthew Finaly 0-2 (0-1f); Colm Murphy 0-1; Graham Weldon 0-1. Scoil Aodhain: Patrick Small 0-10 (0-5f); Glen Doyle 2-0; Eoghan O’Donnell 0-2; Cathal Doran 0-2; Conor Kavanagh 0-1; John Connell 0-1; Gavin King 0-1
Colaiste Iosagain: Ross McGrath (Portarlington); Sean Byrne (Portarlington), Ryan Havill (Gracefield), Liam Whelehan (O’Dempsey’s); Robbie Piggott (Portarlington), Graham Weldon (Portarlington); Cormac O’Hara (O’Dempsey’s); Paddy O’Sullivan (Portarlington); Stephen Shiels (O’Dempsey’s); Colm Murphy (Portarlington); Jack Walshe (Gracefield), Matthew Finaly (O’Dempsey’s); Jamie Connolly (Portarlington), Keith Kavanagh (O’Dempsey’s), Jake Foster (Portarlington). Subs: Subs: Evan Clancy (Portarlington) for Keith Kavanagh (34mins); Diarmuid Bennett (Portarlington) for Robbie Piggott (48mins); Joe Hurley (Gracefield) for Cormac O’Hara (59mins)
Scoil Aodhain: Sean Motherway; Kevin Nangle, Sean Brennan, Ian Jesson; John Connell, Alan O’Brien, Josh McLoone; Aaron Elliot, Sean Ryan; Cathal Doran, Conor Kavanagh, Gavin King; Peter Hunt, Glen Doyle, Patrick Small. Subs: Kevin Savage for Kevin Nangle (52mins); Peter Hunt for Cathal Doran (54mins); Conor Sheedy for Gavin King (52mins)
Referee: Michael McAdden (Westmeath)