Rochestown College Cork 1 Rice College, Westport 0
COBH RAMBLERS’ midfielder Gordon Walker was the hero for St Francis College, Rochestown with a dramatic late winner to clinch the Bank of Ireland sponsored FAI Schools Dr Tony O’Neill Senior Cup against 10-man Rice College, Westport.
It a was a historic day for the Cork school who have lifted the trophy for the first time ever and next Wednesday afternoon they will bid to complete a double when their Junior side face St Eunan’s College from Letterkenny in the Tom Ticher Cup Final.
Walker struck the decisive score somewhat against the run of play and just three minutes from the end of a keenly contested tie. It was not the first time that Roco had rescued an important game with a late goal after centre-forward David O’Sullivan’s 88th minute winner in their semi-final win over St Aidan’s CBS, Whitehall at the Waterford RSC.
Rice College had midfielder Cian McAllister sent off following a second yellow card in the first minute of the second half Rochestown’s winner was nearly cancelled out in the final minute when Killian Kilkelly burst into their box but full-back Rob Slevin cleared the danger with a saving tackle.
On a bitterly cold day, plucked from deepest winter, the Eoin O’Flaherty and Nevin Connick managed Cork side clinched the trophy for the first time in the school’s long history.
It is five years since St Aidan’s Community College in Cork won the Dr Tony O’Neill Cup but now Rochestown have added their name to the trophy, along with another Cork winner Nagle Community College in Mahon who won back-to-back titles in 2000/01 and 2001/02.
Best for the winners were goal-scorer Gordon Walker, James Sheehan and David Nason at the back and Rory Doyle and skipper Sean Hillard in the middle of the park.
ROCHESTOWN COLLEGE (4-4-2): Matthew Collins; Ger O’Mahony, David Nason, James Sheehan, Rob Slevin; Rory Doyle, Sean Hillard (c), Gordon Walker, Mark O’Connell; David O’Sullivan, Padraig Hickey.
Subs: Ross Slevin for Hickey (66), Donagh Gribbon, Niall Brennan, Andrew Hickey, Mark Donlon, Donal McGrath & Stephen Griffin.