Adam Fanning, Scoil Mhuire, Clane
Scoil Mhuire Clane progress into the knockout phases of the 2021 school championships after a narrow victory over Patrician School Newbridge, 0-11 to 0-10.
This loss means that Newbridge go out of the group stages on points difference and they will be left wondering how they let this opportunity slip through their fingers after leading four points at the break and reducing Clane’s dangerous forward line to just three scores.
However, it was only one half that Newbridge could keep that forward line quiet as within 5 minutes of the restart, Clane had racked up four points to draw themselves level. It was a half’s work undone in quick time, but this game wasn’t going Clane’s way without a fight. A coolly taken free kick from Sam Ryan put Newbridge back in the ascendency.
This game was competitive on and off the pitch with both rabid familial support and coaching clashes on the side-line. Both sides boasted a star-studded touch line with former Kildare players John Doyle and Tommy Moolick coaching their Newbridge side against Clane’s own Kildare star coach Paul Cribbin.
The teams traded scores up until the water break and just before the teams got the chance to rehydrate Newbridge’s Ryan Behan O’Shea finished off an incredible solo run with a well taken point to put his side in the lead once again.
It seemed that Newbridge led at every juncture of this game, apart from the one that mattered most. Clane were trailing by one with minutes remaining and up stepped corner forward Oisin O’Sullivan who jinked past two defenders and slotted over the bar to bring these sides back together on the scoreboard.
The closing comments were tense as the Newbridge coaching team tried to communicate to their players what was required on points difference to see them progress. But as Newbridge searched for a goal it was Clane who would emerge victorious following an exceptional point from forward JP Gill to win the game for his team.
This game was an exhibition of some of the future stars of Kildare football and none shone brighter than Clane’s Adam Fanning. The tricky attacker is off winning the under 23 ‘A’ championship with his club and just like he did in that final, he played a pivotal role in his team’s success.
There were many strong performances across both sides and Newbridge, who came so close, often looked to their two stars of this game, towering midfielder Kevin Crowley and Moorefield forward Sam Ryan. It’s heartbreak for Newbridge and the contrast in emotion between the two sides was there for all to see at full time.
Scorers: Scoil Mhuire Clane, Adam Fanning 0-4, Oisin O’Sullivan 0-3, JP Gill 0-2, Alex Lenihan 0-1, Sean Tighe 0-1.
Patricians Newbridge, Sam Ryan 0-3, Niall Costigan 0-2, Ryan Behan O’Shea 0-2, Eoin Curtain 0-2, Joseph Dunne 0-1.
Scoil Mhuire Clane: Adam Millea; Daire O’Doherty, Sean Sheridan, Mark Wallace; James Kealy, Cathal McKennedy, Cormac Denagher; Alex Lenihan, Alex Kehoe; Darragh Swords, Adam Fanning, Calum Doran, DJ Percival, JP Gill, Oisin O’Sullivan.
Subs: Enda Keane on for Cormac Denagher (45 minutes).
Patrician Secondary School Newbridge: Cathal Moore; Tom Stapleton, Mark O’Connor, Kody Pringle; Sean Browne, Padraig Daly, Mikey Troy; Kevin Crowley, Aaron Walker; Sam Ryan, Niall Costigan, Ryan Kearney; Ryan Behan O’Shea, Joseph Dunne, Jack Mahon. Subs: James Loughman on for Joseph Dunne (45 minutes)
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