Not quite business as usual for St Kieran’s College in Semple Stadium last night as they managed to lose a 10-point lead to send this Croke Park final into extra-time, but they still managed to claim their 22nd title in the end.
The crucial score in extra-time came when Jamie Young whipped a first-time ground shot into the roof of the net in the first period of extra-time and Kieran’s were able to coast home with a succession of points and a late Ciaran Brennan goal.
The tone was set in the second quarter of the game when St Kieran’s went from being level at 0-6 apiece to stretching into a 10-point lead by the break, three quick goals coming from Daithí Barron, the electric Ciarán Brennan and David O’Carroll.
Adam Brett scrambled home a goal for Athenry six minutes from time and that was followed by a low ground shot by Mark Kennedy a minute later to leave just three between the sides, an unlikely scenario minutes earlier.
Then came injury-time and, four minutes in, Dean Mason did well to save a Shane Quirke shot but Adam Brett was there to send home the rebound and the match into extra-time.
St Kieran’s: C Brennan 2-1, A Mullen 0-7 (2F), C Kelly 0-7 (1F, 1 ‘65’), D Barron 1-2, D O’Carroll 1-0, J Young 1-0, E O’Shea 0-1, I Walsh 0-1
M Kennedy 1-9 (6F, 2 ‘65’), A Brett 2-1, TJ Brennan 0-3, C Lawless 0-1, E Caulfield 0-1, C Walsh 0-1, McGlynn 0-1 (F)
D Mason, T Ronan, C Murphy, M Nolan, D Phelan, J Roberts, L Murphy, K Egan, A Mullen, E Moylan, E O’Shea, D Barron, C Kelly, C Brennan, D O’Carroll. Subs: G Murphy for C Kelly (35m), Ian Walsh for E Moylan (46m), J Young for E O’Shea (48m), E Cody for D Barron (52m).
P Rabbitte, A Clarke, C Lee, E Lawless, K Conneely, C Walsh, TJ Brennan, S Quirke, J Reilly, E O’Donnell, A Brett, B Connolly, M Kennedy, C Lawless, E Caulfield. Subs: I McGlynn for J Reilly (47m), B Concannon for B Connolly (59m), D Parr for E Caulfield (59m), D Coleman for C Walsh (76m).
Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)