St Tiernan’s Leinster cup success

by Stephen Findlater
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ST TIERNAN’S Community School produced a superb performance to land the Leinster U-19 boys section of the FAI Schools John Murphy Cup last week against Patrician College in Leixlip.

As a result of their 2-0 win, the Balally school advanced to the All-Ireland semi-final where they will meet Ulster winners St Mogue’s College from Belturbet, with a final date against either Castlebar’s Balla secondary school or Cork’s Nagle Community College the prize for progress.

Both sides started strongly but neither side was able to force any clear chances in the first 20 minutes with each snuffing out any potential goals.

The main battle was taking place in midfield where both sides were trying to impose their dominance and it was the Dublin 16 school that eventually forced the issue

Around the 35th minute, Kyle Cunningham put through Ernest Mwale with a one-on-one chance but while he put the ball past the keeper, it unfortunately hit the upright and bounced straight out.

Soon after, Patrician had their best chance, their front line creating space to take a shot from just inside the 18-yard box which was put just to the right and wide.

It left the half-time scoreboard blank but Tiernan’s started the second period well and they began to dominate possession in the middle of the park, and the breakthrough eventually came 70 minutes in.

Cunnigham played an excellently weighted ball through for Mwale to run on to on the right side of Patrician’s box. His pace beat the offside trap and he placed the ball neatly past the keeper into the bottom left-hand corner.

It was the game’s key moment. Buoyed by the advantage, St Tiernan’s pushed on and, on the 82nd minute, they closed out the win from a corner.

Patrick Hennessy crossed the ball from the right where it was knocked down by John Nkwocha to Mwale who scored his second of the day.

Patricians attempted to fight back, showing some of the menace that got them to the final with a couple of good chances. Liam English – the St Tiernan’s goalkeeper – was in resolute form, however, and made a couple of exceptional saves while the defence of Cian Ball, Patrick Hennessy and midfielder Leon Ryan helped St Tiernan’s close out the game and earn their All-Ireland shot.

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