All-Ireland Semi-Final Limerick March 8th 2012
Report courtesy of Galway City Tribune
Heartbreak for St Mary’s
March 9, 2012 – 10:13am
ST Mary’s College suffered heartbreak in the FAI Senior Schools’ Cup semi-final in Tullamore yesterday when they lost on penalties to this season’s surprise packets, St Aidan’s Community College of Cork.
The Galway side, bidding for their third final in seven years, went into the game as favourites against a school that only won the Munster title for the first time last month, but the Cork side shaded the game throughout and were deserved winners of what was an energy-sapping game played on a poor surface.
St Mary’s twice came from behind in normal time as the game finished 2-2, and with neither side able to find the breakthrough in extra-time, the tie went down to the dreaded penalty shoot-out, and it was St Aidan’s who held their nerve in sports cruellest lottery to advance to a final against Malahide of Dublin in the Tallaght Stadium in just under two weeks.
St Aidan’s got off to a dream start when opening the scoring in the first minute. St Marys lost possession from the kick-off, and the Cork full-back Sean O’Callaghan made good ground down the right before being fouled.
Darren Murphy, the game’s outstanding player, whipped in a great ball from the right, and O’Callaghan ran across the defensive line to power a header past Tadhg O’Malley in the St Mary’s goal.
It was a sharp shock to the system for St Mary’s, but they were almost back in the game in the 10th minute when Dave Mooney’s ball into the penalty area was only half-cleared by a St Aiden’s defender, but Aaron McGinty’s volley from the edge of the box flew over the crossbar.
St Mary’s were doing most of the pressing, and they finally got back on level terms inthe 27th minute. Osagie – a big strong player who caused the St Aidan’s defence plenty of problems – played a ball in from the right, but Colm Kirrane had it taken off his toe byLong.
The ball broke for Mooney, who swivelled and hit it first time, and the ball hit the far post and bobbled across the goal-line, with assistant referee Paul Tone indicating the ball crossed the line.
The goal celebrations were short-lived, however, as St Aidan’s were back in front within 60 seconds thanks to a stunning effort from Evan Kearney. A mix-up inside the St Mary’s half allowed Kearney to steal possession, and he advanced a couple of yards before hitting a blistering shot which flew into the net, giving O’Malley no chance.
Credit to St Mary’s, they didn’t let the heads drop, and they got back on level terms for a second time six minutes later with a cracking goal of their own.
St Aidan’s ‘keeper Chris Mullane could only punch a Mooney corner to the edge of the box, where it was met on the volley by Sean O’Fhlatharta who hit a looping effort into the top corner.
Chances were at a premium in the second half, although St Mary’s substitute Colm Devery had a couple of glorious chances to fire his side into the lead.
St Aidan’s had their fair share of misfortune in the second half as well, the Cork side hitting the woodwork on two occasions, as the game went into extra time. Both sides were tiring at this stage, and it was the Cork outfit who looked the most dangerous, particularly through the boot of Murphy, a member of Cork City’s Airtricity League Premier Division squad.
When the game went to penalties St Mary’s were up first, but Browne hit his effort wide, but Kearney’s effort hit the crossbar.
Mullane saved McGinty’s effort to put the Cork side back in the driving seat, and while Darcy, Mooney and Harry Goulding were all successful with their efforts, St Aidan’s converted all four of their kicks after Kearney’s efforts to break Galway hearts.
Congratulations to the Senior Soccer team and management who won the Connacht Senior title following a thrilling 2-1 victory over Presentation Headford under lights in Terryland park on Thursday 23rd. Mary’s scored first through an excellently taken free kick by team Ruari Lavelle, and followed this up with a passage of excellent play that saw them spurn a number of excellent chances before half-time. Headford came back strongly at the start of the second half, and following a number of close chances eventually clawed their way back into the game with twenty minutes left. This seemed to spark Mary’s back into life, and a fine run down the right wing by substitute Osaze Osagie saw his cross met perfectly by Lavelle to restore the lead for the black and red. Headford threw everything at Mary’s for the remaining five minutes but the excellent back four held firm to win yet another famous victory for the College.
St. Mary’s: Tadhg O’Malley, Gary O’Connell, Colm Kirrane, Harry Goulding, Evan Browne, Ruari Lavelle, Gabriel D’Arcy, Seán Ó Fatharta, David Mooney, Cormac Ó Laoi, Aaron McGinty. Subs Used: Cormac Devery, Osaze Osagie.
Match report courtesy of Connacht Sentinel
St. Mary’s College, Galway 2
Presentation College, Headford 1
ST. Mary’s College once again proved that tradition carries a deep importance in sport when claiming the Connacht Schools senior soccer title at Terryland Park last Thursday evening.
A smashing contest that ebbed and flowed throughout was eventually decided by two moments of genuine class from Mary’s skipper Ruairi Lavelle.
Even though it was Presentation College, Headford’s first final appearance at this level they entered the decider with a favourable reputation, but quickly found out that any team that comes out of Mary’s has some pedigree.
With the wind behind them Mary’s ruled the first half, but were pegged back by an adventurous Headford outfit after the restart and the tie seemed destined for extra-time. However, Headford who had probed constantly during the second period when backed by the elements, were outfoxed with four minutes remaining.
Substitute Ozaize Osagie dashed down the right flank before delivering an inviting cross for the influential Lavelle, who was skilful enough to nudge the ball home from close range. Headford poured forward in search of a last gasp leveller, but Mary’s survived a couple of anxious goalmouth scares to secure a hugely satisfying success.
Early on it didn’t seem as if Mary’s would need such late heroics because they were very much in the ascendancy. Completely aware of Headford’s attacking threat, Mary’s management duo of Paul Concannon and Jason Moran set up their team in a clever fashion opting for a five man midfield unit which helped them control large chunks of a lively opening period.
Sean O Fatharta, Aaron McGinty, and Lavelle combined effectively in the centre of the park for Mary’s which allowed last year’s beaten finalists settle impressively.
O Fatharta and McGinty’s diligent work enabled Lavelle to demonstrate clever touches when venturing forward to support David Mooney, who was excellent leading the line in attack. Holding the ball up and continuously bringing others into the action Mooney was the focal point to much of Mary’s dynamic first-half display.
Further information on the 2011-12 soccer season can be found in the 2012 Yearbook in the Archives tab.
Click on the year below to view previous soccer seasons