A whirlwind third quarter performance from Roscommon CBS powered the school to their second ever Paddy Drummond Cup crown this afternoon in Croke Park, a goal from wing back Cian Murray the crucial score in their 1-12 to 1-11 win over Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra of Rathmore.
Murray again came to the fore at the death when he drove forward to win a free that was converted by Ciarán Lawless to put Roscommon CBS a point up going into injury time and while David Dineen responded to draw the sides level, James Fitzpatrick was the hero for the CBS in the 68th minute when he split the uprights from 40 metres with the last kick of the game.
The Kerry school played with the aid of the wind in the first half and were by far the better side in that period, though some resolute defending from the Roscommon CBS full-back line, with John Martin and James Browne particularly prominent, meant that the dangerous SP Sliabh Luachra attack never got the chance to build up a substantial lead.
Defensively, the Rathmore students were in complete control for the opening half. Alan Dineen put in a masterclass at full back, Owen Fitzgerald drove the team on from centre back and they completely suffocated the Roscommon CBS attack, holding them to just two Liam Ormsby points until injury time, when Cian Murray drove forward to kick a third point for Roscommon CBS.
Cathal Ryan and Eoghan O’Rahilly kicked superb points for Sliabh Luachra, while David Dineen was on target with three frees to help his side into a 0-6 to 0-3 interval lead.
The Connacht champions were transformed after half time and drew level within two minutes, with Ormsby, Keith Doyle and Ciarán Lawless all on target. Doyle and Albert Looby took control of the midfield sector and won a series of kickouts, and further points were tacked on through James Fitzpatrick and Cian Murray.
Darragh Rahilly briefly stemmed the flow of scores with an excellent strike off the outside of the right boot but the CBS rallied again and a great move saw Cian Murray take a layoff from Jack McGahon and place a low shot into the net.
Now six points up, the CBS were pegged back by a rally from Sliabh Luachra, backboned by a goal from substitute Aaron Cronin in the 54th minute.
However they never managed to hit the front at any stage and as the game moved into a lengthy period of injury time, the 2011 champions and 2015 Hogan Cup finalists were able to create two crucial points that edged them home.
Scorers for Roscommon CBS: Cian Murray 1-2, Liam Ormsby 0-4 (0-1f), James Fitzpatrick & Ciarán Lawless (0-1f) 0-2 each, Keith Doyle and Albert Loody 0-1 each.
Scorers for SP Sliabh Luachra: David Dineen 0-7f, Aaron Cronin 1-0, Cathal Ryan, Eoghan O’Rahilly, Denis O’Connor & Darragh Rahilly 0-1 each.
Roscommon CBS: G Rodrigues; J Browne, C Walsh, J Martin; C Glennon, J Lohan, C Murray; A Looby, K Doyle; T Lambe, C Lawless, R Walsh; L Ormsby, J Fitzpatrick, J McGahon.
Subs used: C Carthy for Walsh (30), O Walsh for Lohan (49)
SP Sliabh Luachra: I O’Connor; A Dineen, D Cronin, P Brosnan; P O’Leary, O Fitzgerald, E O’Rahilly; R Collins, S O’Keeffe; A Darmody, D Murphy, D Rahilly; D O’Connor, D Dineen, L Ormsby.
Subs used: J Darmody for O’Rahilly, A Cronin for O’Leary
Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)