West Mayo school reach second successive final

WESTPORT’S Rice College dispatched Munster champions Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh with a hat-trick of goals in a rain drenched Tulla United AFC on Tuesday afternoon to book their place in the FAI Under 17 Tom Ticher Cup National Junior Cup final.

The Mayo school went one up inside 12 minutes when Cillian McGing rifled the Bishopstown net with a fantastic finish following some great ball control from Conor Cannon to chest the ball down under pressure and release McGing for the opener.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh were limited to half-chances for much of the first period as Michael McDonnell marshalled his defence confidently.

Westport’s led was doubled 12 minutes into the restart with a sweet half volley from inside the near post as Captain Daniel O’Malley duly converted. McGing again in on the action down the wing as he turned supplier.

Chris Harrington who was the hero in the Munster decider had a few long ranges efforts from set pieces but nothing to seriously worry McDonnell between the posts. Kirby and Zeph were also impressive for the Cork outfit.

The contest was wrapped up for Rice College in the 63rd minute when Conor Cannon finished off with a lovely touch to smash the ball past Captain Senan Dorgan.

Regardless of the score-line it was a highly entertaining encounter as Bishopstown played some delightful football, but Westport were just that little sharper with their passages of play and clinical in front of goal.

To make matters worse for the Cork side, they went down to 10 men following the dismissal of Dylan McCarthy 12 minutes from time. This gave Westport teachers Brian Flannary and Darragh Connolly an opportunity to utilise their bench as a raft of substitutes came in the latter stages of the game.

Last season’s beaten finalists will relish a second consecutive appearance in the Tom Ticher Cup showpiece.

Rice College had five players returning from last season’s heroics as Conor Reynolds, Malachi Forde, Daniel O’Malley, Cillian McGing and Conor Cannon all featured.

They overcome Abbey Vocational School from Donegal on spot-kicks following a two-all draw after extra-time in the same phase of the competition last year.

Rice College then went on to meet St. Mary’s Diocesan School of Drogheda in the Cup final with the Louth side winning out 4-1 in Athlone to take the title.

It’s second time around for these lads as they try to go one better next month when they’ll meet either St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny or St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy in the final.

The other semi-final is scheduled for this Thursday in Oriel Park, Dundalk with the National Cup final pencilled in for Wednesday, April 19 (1 p.m.) following the Easter Break.

Rice College: Michael McDonnell, Eoghan Moran, Sean Casey, Alex Halpin, Conor Reynolds, Cillian McGing, Andre Ludden, Jamie O’Malley, Jack Dawson, Conor Cannon, Daniel O’Malley

Subs: Killian Conway, Jack O’Malley, Ethan McGing, Peter McGowan, Malachi Forde, Simeon Popow, Matthew Staunton.

Teachers: Brian Flannary, Darragh Connolly.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown: Senan Dorgan, Dylan McCarthy, Jordan McCarthy, Matthew Quirke, Robert O’Leary, Jayden O’Leary, Seán Kirby, Quenten Danza, Geoffrey Zeph, Chris Harrington, Ryan O’Leary.

Sub: Kian Nagle, Callum Caplice, Jack Smyth, Daniel Castles, Jordan Millard, Odhran Foley, Mark O’Brien, Gary Holland.

Teachers: Richard O’Regan, Martin McElligott.

Ref: Pat Gleeson (Clare).