Community College U-15s Win School’s First Munster Gaelic Football Title

The Castleisland Community College U-15 Gaelic football team winners of the Front from left: Front from left: Cathal Ryan, Shay O’Connor, Padraig Murphy, Dónal Ryan, Aaron Mc Carthy and Daniel O’Riordan. Second row from left: Daniel O’Sullivan, Darragh O’Sullivan, Alex Aherne, Seán Scanlon, Bill Keane, coach; Jamie Nolan, captain; Teresa Lonergan, principal; Óige O’Leary-Griffin, Cillian Moroney, Conor Ryan and Dian O’Dinoghue. Third row from left: Michael Curran, Ben McCarthy, Sam McCarthy, Daniel Murphy, Tadhg McCarthy, Cian Cahill, Ruairí Murphy, Gearóid Joy, Cian Pembroke, Eoin Corcoran and Luke McCarthy. Back row: Michael McCarthy, Jack O’Connor, Ciarán Ryan, Padraig O’Sullivan, Peter Stack, assistant coach; Graham West, Jakob Surzyn, Gearóid Collins and Glen O’Sullivan. Team member, James Barry was out due to injury.  ©Photograph: John Reidy

The Castleisland Community College team overcame a spirited challenge from opponents, Patrician Academy Mallow (P.A.M.) to win the school’s first ever provincial Gaelic football title at any age grade in Banteer earlier this week.

The Mallow school team started the brighter in this game by scoring two early points with the aid of a strong gale.

This was followed by a goal for both teams making it 1-02 to 1-0 after 10 minutes.

Castleisland exerted the greater pressure for the next 10 minutes and race into a 3-3 to 1-2 lead before P.A.M. came back late in the half to tie it up 3-3 to 3-3 at half time.

Positional Changes

P.A.M came out the stronger and punished poor defending by the Castleisland side to race into an eight point lead early in the second half.

A few positional changes shored things up for Castleisland Community College with Jamie Nolan the captain dropping back onto the very dangerous No.11 for the Mallow side.

Castleisland’s never say die attitude meant that coming into the last five minutes they were down by two points.

Exerting Serious Pressure

However, they started to exert serious pressure on Mallow to do just enough to bring it to extra time. Ending normal time at 6-7 to 6-7. 

On the restart in extra time Cian Cahill, who was moved to midfield from centre back, went on a point scoring spree and on a very difficult day for kicking points. But he managed to kick four sweet, unanswered points.

This was backed up by a Castleisland goal late in the first half of extra time. Mallow came back with a point to leave it at half time in extra time with Castleisland Community College up by six points.

Confidence Breeds Confidence

There was no way back from this for Mallow and Castleisland Community College locked it down until the last kick of the game when Mallow got a goal on the stroke of full-time.

There were Castleisland Community College players stretched out all over the field with cramps and they it was obvious that they really had left it all out on the field – to make it a historic first Munster title at any age grade and a beautiful early Christmas present for the small mixed country, North Kerry secondary school of 380 and 200 boys versus the might of 580 all boys in Patrician Academy Mallow. 

In the words of their coach and engineering teacher, Bill Keane, ‘confidence breeds confidence!

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