THE second running of the Corn Thomáis Uí Riordáin took place recently at Glanmire’s home venue of the Pike in Sallybrook.
The late Tomás Ó Riordáin was a former principal of Scoil na nÓg in Glanmire and last year the transition year students of Coláiste an Phiarsaigh decided to organise a Gaelic football blitz in his honour.
They were part of the GAA Future Leaders programme and this year’s class took on the mantle. The programme “is a cross-curricular programme comprising of a series of modules designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils.
“It gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic games.
“Students are challenged to organise and run both on-field and off-field events for other students and for the broader community and Gaelic games clubs.”
The students took a novel approach to organising the event. To maximise participation it was a mixed blitz with boys and girls from 5th class taking part. Eight teams from six schools made up two groups of four as Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil, Scoil Naomh Iosaef, Riverstown, Brooklodge NS, Gaelscoil Mainistir na Corann, Scoil na nÓg and Watergrasshill NS all made their way to the immaculately manicured pitches in the Pike.
Coláiste an Phiarsaigh’s transition years were well commended by the teachers present as the competition ran smoothly with the students taking to the tasks of refereeing, umpiring, logistics and mathematics like ducks to water.
The group stages were ferociously competitive, but from the off an early rivalry emerged between Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil and Scoil Naomh Iosaef from Riverstown who both had two teams participating. Brooklodge NS went close to qualifying for the semi-finals out of Grúpa 1 only to lose out narrowly in their final game, while Gaelscoil Mainistir na Corann were hamstrung by Sciath na Scoil commitments.
Meanwhile, in Grúpa 2 Scoil na nÓg and Watergrasshill NS had their moments. However, when the dust settled on the group stages, it was the four teams from Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil and Scoil Naomh Iosaef who had made it through to the final four.
Both semi-finals were tight affairs with Scoil Naomh Iosaef 1 emerging victorious in the first while in the second Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil 2 edged a thriller after extra time.
The final between these two sides was to be a similar affair but the Riverstown school led by four points with time almost up. The Gaelscoil were operating on fumes but managed to hit a late 1-1 to force the draw with Amelia Ní Chumascaigh excelling. They then edged ahead in extra time and when referee, Barra Ó Floinn, blew his whistle, they were the winners.
The hero of the hour was Gaelscoil Uí Drisceoil’s Liam Ó Dochartaigh and he was a worthy recipient of the cup from Micheál Ó Tuama, Coláiste an Phiarsaigh principal. Mol and óige agus tiocfaidh sí.