St Declan's College

U18 Dublin Hurling Champions

19-December-19
U18 Dublin Hurling Champions

U18 Dublin Colleges B Hurling Final

St Declan’s College 2-19

St Colmcilles 1-19

The Dublin Colleges B hurling final was contested on Wednesday 18 December 2019 at a windswept Abbotstown venue by St Declan’s College, Cabra and St Colmcilles CS, Knocklyon. (Both teams earned the right to their place in the final having topped their respective groups. At the semi-final stage St Colmcille’s had a relatively easy passage past Lucan CBS. St Declan’s faced last year’s winners and a much fancied Castleknock CC opposition who had hoped to achieve a Dublin back to back at senior grade. It was a game that lived up to its expectations and one where St Declan’s had to play at their best to overcome a very talented and sporting Castleknock outfit. In the end a single point separated the two sides.)

A nationwide status yellow warning issued on Tuesday night for the following 24 hours didn’t disappoint as both teams took to the pitch. St Declan’s played with the gale force swirling wind in the opening half knowing that they would need to amass a high score to remain in contention facing the breeze. This was dutifully provided through a very workmanlike performance across the pitch. Some positional changes proved pivotal as St Declan’s sought to come to terms with the Knocklyon opposition. Goals from Ben McSweeney and Conor Tyrrell were vital in consolidating the lead to which five of our players contributed.

(HT St Declan’s 2-13 St Colmcille’s 1-06)

The second half started well for St Declan’s when they scored three points in quick succession. However, that was the beginning of a drought until the 30th minute. St Colmcille’s launched a very strong comeback making excellent use of the conditions and heaping pressure on our backs with searing attacks. These attacks proved successful as point after point started to register on the scoreboard. Cool heads were called for and the St Declan’s crew proved up to the task with half forwards dropping to provide an extra layer of support. Tired legs called for substitutions; each new player brought into action contributed manfully.

On the 30th minute Ger Ryan stepped up to score a huge free providing a four-point cushion. With five minutes of added time Colmcille’s won a free in front of the posts which was converted leaving just one score between the sides. Declan’s held out with some powerful defending until the final whistle. It was greeted with widespread celebrations from players and supporters. Most certainly it was a contest worthy of a final. Great credit is due to both sides for the level of skill and determination displayed in atrocious conditions.

Michael O’Grady, on behalf of Dublin Colleges and the Leinster Council, presented the cup to the winning captain Rory Howe. In his speech Rory thanked Michael for the gift of a set of jerseys which had been given to the school on behalf of the Friends of Dublin Hurling (FODH). This happened at the FODH banquet which took place in November. St Declan’s College had been honoured as the Senior School of the Year recognising the contribution it has had to the promotion of hurling in Dublin at schools’ level throughout the last 60 years. Mr Teehan received the award on behalf of the school. Guests on the night, and also singled out for praise in respect of their commitment to the school, its students and gaelic games promotion, were Mr Caffrey, Mr Connell, Mr Rickard and Mr O’Connor.

This final brings schools fixtures for 2019 to a close and caps off for the players a very successful year. The majority of players are members of either St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh or Naomh Fionbarra. Both clubs finished their year on a hurling high. Naomh Fionbarra won the Dublin Minor D championship in recent weeks beating St Thomas’s Castleknock in the final. St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh enjoyed success at U16, Minor and U21 level winning each of their respective championships. It is testament to all the hard work players, mentors and club officials are putting in to developing a love of hurling and skill development. We offer our congratulations to all involved. We also have two very valued players who are members of Erins Isle.

A particular note of thanks is due to the loyal band of parents, family members and friends (including Brandy) who braved the conditions yesterday to support the team. They have been a constant on the sideline throughout the years and their encouragement and advice is really appreciated.

Following the Christmas break we take to the hurling fields again to play Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown in the Leinster senior hurling semi-final. The U16 hurling team will play their Dublin final in January v Maynooth PP. Enjoy the rest!

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St Declan's College,
Nephin Road,
Cabra,
Dublin,
Ireland

01 838 0357



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