St. Raphael’s College of Loughrea became the first Galway school to win the Paddy Buggy Cup this afternoon after wonderful attacking performances from Adrian Prendergast and Seán Connaughton powered them to a 1-18 to 1-14 win over Castlecomer Community School in the All-Ireland Post- Primary schools senior “B” hurling final.
The early exchanges suggested that the Kilkenny side were going to enjoy a successful afternoon as they got out to a flier through Jack Morrissey and Ciarán Cooney, but St. Raphael’s quickly settled back into the tie and draw level by the fifth minute.
What followed was a hugely even and enjoyable contest up to half time. Shane Morgan, Evan Cox and Adam Nolan were all superb in defence for the Galway side, while at the other end Prendergast and Connaughton picked off some sublime scores.
James Brennan and Dan Coogan worked hard at half back for Castlecomer with Eoin Cahill picked up a lot of scrappy ball in the middle third as well, but they lacked the same attacking edge and were heavily dependent on dead ball scores from Jack Buggy.
A goal from Mark O’Regan after 23 minutes – flicked to the net after great work from Conor Slattery set up the chance – opened up a five-point lead that was maintained up until half time.
The early stages of the second half lacked the tempo and style of the first 30 minutes, and just four points were scored in that time, equally shared between the schools, to leave it 1-12 to 0-10 in favour of the Loughrea students.
St. Raphael’s found their rhythm again with a burst of four points in succession to open up a decisive nine-point lead and while Castlecomer rallied again, with Bill Dowling rattling in a goal in the 58 th minute, they were unable to find the second goal chance they needed to keep their All-Ireland dreams alive.
Scorers for St. Raphael’s College, Loughrea: A Prendergast 0-7 (0-3f), S Connaughton 0-5 (0-1f, 0-1 ’65, 0-2 sidelines), M O’Regan 1-2, A Connaire 0-2, E Cox & D Shaughnessy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Castlecomer Community School: J Buggy 0-9 (0-7f, 0-2 ‘65s), B Dowling 1-0, J Morrissey 0-2, J Brennan (f), E Cahill & C Cooney 0-1 each.
St. Raphael’s: C Warde; S Morgan, A Nolan, D Moran; R Keleghan, E Cox, K Dervan; A Connaire, T Killeen; S Connaughton, A Prendergast, A Fahy; M O’Regan, C Slattery, D Shaughnessy.
Subs used: J Cooney for Fahy (41), C Connaughton for Keleghan (56).
Castlecomer CS: K Downey; C McMahon, C Kealy, D Delaney; D Coogan, J Brennan, C Korff; D Buggy, D Bray; E Cahill, T Brennan, J Buggy; M Doyle, J Morrissey, C Cooney.
Subs used: B Dowling for Doyle (HT), Billy O’Neill for Brennan (53).
Referee: Seán Stack (Dublin)