Lucan school Colaiste Phadraig’s first year soccer stars achieved a rare success last week when they became the first school in 15 years to claim back-to-back Leinster cup titles, matching the achievement of last year’s first year students. They now have the chance to emulate their predecessors once again when they take on the champions of Munster in the semi-final of the All Ireland competition on May 9.
Marist College from Athlone were their opponents in the final, which was held at Mullingar Athletic FC, and it proved to be a tight and hard-fought encounter.
The opening goal from Ben Coffey, who scored with an impressive first-time half-volley was cancelled out five minutes before half time, leading to a battling second period. The deciding goal came when an Emmet Allen cross was fumbled into the net by the Marist keeper.
With the Munster championship still at the semi-final stage, the Phadraig team will not know their opponents until shortly before the tie, but in the meantime have the challenge of Malahide CS to face for a place in the Dublin league semi-finals, another championship that their predecessors captured last year.
First year team coach, Ray Cullen, was delighted with the new generation’s achievements when he spoke to Gazette Sport last week.
“It was a brilliant feeling retaining the Leinster Cup.
“It was achieved with a whole new set of players, obviously, and what struck me most was just how determined the players were to emulate the tremendous successes of last year’s first year team who won the three main trophies available at schoolboy level.
“Last year’s team set the bar high for our new first years, but that hasn’t seemed to faze them at all. On the contrary, it seems to have motivated them and inspired them to greater efforts,” said Cullen.
The team have trained every week for the past seven months so their hard work and commitment on the training ground has yielded its first major reward in the shape of the coveted Leinster Cup.
“The team committed to training every week without fail since the first week in school in September, and we are delighted that they have been rewarded for their dedication and commitment.
“They are a terrific bunch of lads, very well behaved and extremely committed. They play every game with a burning desire to win and leave everything on the pitch. We are very proud of their achievement in winning the Leinster Cup and hopefully they can get add another trophy to the trophy cabinet before the year ends.”