ST FRANCIS, Rochestown College added the Bank of Ireland sponsored All-Ireland Schools Junior Cup and the Tom Ticher trophy to their senior title to compete a unique All-Ireland soccer double at Home Farm’s grounds at Whitehall in Dublin yesterday.
The hero of the day was Roco goalkeeper Alan Kelleher who saved Letterkenny’s third spot kick and then duly blasted home his own effort giving the Cork boys a 4-2 success and the elusive double on a pitch that showed the wear and tear of over use in recent weeks. Rochestown won the senior competition with a 1-0 win over Rice College, Westport at the same venue last week.
Roco’s juniors beat St Caimin’s of Shannon in the Munster final and dispatched Marist College, Athlone 4-3 in a shoot-out after a 1-1 extra-time draw to reach the All-Ireland decider while slight favourites St Eunan’s qualified with a 3-2 win over St Joseph’s, ‘the Bish’ from Galway. Roco had two players Adam Hennessy and Patrick Buckley suspended for the final but they surmounted that double whammy to being the trophy back to Cork for the first time since Douglas Community School did so a decade ago in 2006/07.
Extra-time failed to resolve the issue and we went to the dreaded shoot-out where goalkeeper Alan Kelleher emerged as man of the match.
Rochestown’s successful spot-kick takers were Jaze Kabia, Conor Russell, Evan Donlan and that man Kelleher. Letterkenny’s Conor O’Reilly hit the post with their first effort and Conor O’Donnell had his penlty saved by Kelleher. Match referee Lee Duffy of the North Dublin Schoolboys League deserves a mention too as he had an excellent match.
Alan Kelleher; Ger O’Mahony, Josh Honahan, Conor Russell, Colin O’Mahony; Nathan O’Connell, Rory Doyle (capt), Dylan O’Flaherty, Jaze Kabia; Evan Donlon, Ross Slevin.
Shane Downey for O’Flaherty (69), Daniel O’Donovan, Dylan Fenton, Piaras O’Halloran & Callum Finnegan (not used).