Molloy on fire as Loughrea land title

LOUGHREA’S St Brigid’s completed a stunning year at All-Ireland vocational hurling level when their senior side pipped Roscrea CC by two points in a thrilling SAHC final in Semple Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The triumph added to the All-Ireland crown their junior team claimed last month and ensured St Brigid’s became the first school to come out on top in both hurling grades in one season.

This victory arrived after a sparkling and free-scoring contest. In contrast to the tension that stifled flowing hurling in the college’s game that preceded it, this vocational encounter opened at breakneck speed and the two teams maintained that tempo until the final whistle.

In their absence of the influential Shane Flynn and Mark Horan, other players stepped up to the plate for the Loughrea outfit. Midfielder Darragh Burke and corner-back Eanna Burke, brothers of Galway senior player David, both excelled while Sean Sweeney, Cathal Kennedy and Gary Moylan produced important displays as well.

The star of the show though was 15 year-old corner-forward Brian Molloy with the Kilnadeema-Leitrim player firing 2-5 in a stellar attacking display. Manager Martin Raftery paid tribute to his players.

“Words can’t express the way they hurled out there,” he said.

“We were underdogs all through and felt we were lucky to have reached the final. There was nine of those lads junior and we were without our full-back and centre-back. But I suppose the men in our team really stood up. We’d a very slow start but these are absolutely unbelievable kids.”

It was a difficult defeat for Roscrea to take and marked the second time in three years they had succumbed to Loughrea in the senior decider.

They produced a whirlwind start to surge into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead by the seventh minute with full-forward Eoin Ryan particularly impressive. However Loughrea were thrown a lifeline when Stephen Cahalan found the net in the ninth minute and the point-taking abilities of Molloy put them in front by 1-5 to 0-6 in the 17th minute.

Then the goal rush started. Jamie Bergin raised a green flag for Roscrea after a pass by Ryan. Molloy scored a brilliant goal for Loughrea. But Damien Murphy’s goal restored Roscrea’s advantage.

The North Tipperary school enjoyed a 2-9 to 2-6 lead at the break but that was wiped out immediately after the interval when Michael Hannon displayed the opportunism to strike to the net after Jamie Ryan’s initial shot had been saved.

Darragh Burke started to exert a huge influence around midfield and registered some fantastic points for the Loughrea outfit. Their hopes received a further fillip in the 41st minute when Molloy’s shot squirmed past Roscrea netminder Daryl Ryan.

With 10 minutes left Roscrea trailed by 4-11 to 2-12 but they refused to wilt. Eoin Ryan fired a penalty to the net and that kept their hopes alive. Darragh Dolan and Molloy notched points to put Loughrea back into a four point lead but a 57th minute goal by Wall set up a grandstand finish.

Roscrea searched desperately for the levelling score but found the Loughrea defence in resolute form and Molloy clipped over the insurance point in injury-time to seal the success.

Scorers for St Brigid’s (Loughrea): B Molloy 2-5 (2f, 1 65), S Cahalan 1-2, D Burke 0-5 (1 s/l), M Hannon 1-0, S Sweeney, D Dolan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Roscrea CC: E Ryan 1-6 (1-0p, 4f), J Wall 1-2, J Bergin 1-1, D Murphy 1-0, J Cleary, J Sampson, B Toohey 0-1 each.

ST BRIGID’S (LOUGHREA): G Kelly (St Thomas); E Burke (do.), C Kennedy (Mullagh), D O’Donoghue (Kilnadeema-Leitrim); P Kennedy (Mullagh), M Hannon (Kilconieron), G Moylan (St Thomas); T Spellman (Sarsfields), D Burke (St Thomas); D Dolan (Cappataggle), S Sweeney (Loughrea), T Mitchell (St Thomas); J Ryan (Loughrea), B Molloy (Kilnadeema-Leitrim), S Cahalan (Mullagh).

Subs: B Dolan (Craughwell) for Hannon (48), N Haverty (Kilnadeema-Leitrim) for Mitchell (53).

ROSCREA CC: D Ryan (Roscrea); J Feeney (do.), C Bergin (do.), E Greene (Moneygall); J Ryan (Roscrea), M Collier (Camross), M Campion (Roscrea); J Cleary (Shinrone), J Sampson (do.); D Murphy (Shinrone), B Toohey (Moneygall), J Wall (Borris-in-Ossory); D Cleary (Shinrone), E Ryan (Coolderry), J Bergin (Roscrea).

Subs: E Flynn (Roscrea) for Toohey (48), B Teehan (Moneygall) for Murphy (54).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).

More in this section

CourtsGaaHurlingPlace: LoughreaPlace: Semple StadiumPlace: GalwayPlace: WestmeathPerson: MolloyPerson: Shane FlynnPerson: Mark HoranPerson: Darragh BurkePerson: Éanna BurkePerson: DavidPerson: Sean SweeneyPerson: Cathal KennedyPerson: Gary MoylanPerson: Brian MolloyPerson: Martin RafteryPerson: RoscreaPerson: Eoin RyanPerson: Stephen CahalanPerson: Jamie BerginPerson: RyanPerson: LoughreaPerson: Damien MurphyPerson: Michael HannonPerson: Jamie RyanPerson: Daryl RyanPerson: Darragh DolanPerson: WallPerson: S CahalanPerson: D BurkePerson: M HannonPerson: S SweeneyPerson: EPerson: J WallPerson: J BerginPerson: D MurphyPerson: J ClearyPerson: J SampsonPerson: BPerson: TooheyPerson: BrigidPerson: G KellyPerson: E BurkePerson: C KennedyPerson: D O’DonoghuePerson: KilnadeemaPerson: LeitrimPerson: P KennedyPerson: KilconieronPerson: G MoylanPerson: T SpellmanPerson: D DolanPerson: T MitchellPerson: J RyanPerson: B MolloyPerson: MullaghPerson: B DolanPerson: CraughwellPerson: HannonPerson: N HavertyPerson: MitchellPerson: D RyanPerson: J FeeneyPerson: C BerginPerson: E GreenePerson: MoneygallPerson: M CollierPerson: CamrossPerson: M CampionPerson: ShinronePerson: B TooheyPerson: Borris-in-OssoryPerson: D ClearyPerson: E RyanPerson: CoolderryPerson: E FlynnPerson: B TeehanPerson: MurphyPerson: James McGrathEvent: All-IrelandOrganisation: LoughreaOrganisation: St BrigidOrganisation: Roscrea CCOrganisation: St Brigid’sOrganisation: Kilnadeema-LeitrimOrganisation: RoscreaOrganisation: St Thomas
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