Tuesday 24th of Feb – Senior Football comes to an end!

January 27, 2023

St. Pat’s vs Coláiste Choilm Tullamore

St. Pat’s were knocked out of this year’s Leinster championship after a narrow defeat to Coláiste Choilm Tullamore. St. Pat’s had to travel to O’Connor Park for their Leinster quarter final tie with Coláiste Choilm. While the 18,000 seater stadium wasn’t full, the St. Pat’s fans made sure that the volume didn’t drop as they cheered their team on. With a Leinster semi-final up for grabs, it was going to be a tight game that would go to the wire and that’s exactly what happened. 

The first score of the game came from the home side with a point from just left of the D. This score, 3 minutes in, would be Coláiste Choilm’s only score of the half. This was down to St. Pat’s putting pressure on any player that passed through the 45. Andrew Canavan got St. Pat’s first score of the game after a quick free from Robby Finnegan. Just when everyone thought that Matthew Kealy’s free kicks couldn’t get any better, he came up with a sensational score from about 5 yards in from the sideline just outside the 21 meter line.This put St. Pats up by one point, 16 minutes into the game. Coláiste Choilm had a goal chance after a free was dropped short into the square but it was cleared off the line by James Reeves and goalkeeper, Luke Healy, gathered the ball and played an excellent pass out to Andrew Canavan. 

27 minutes in and St. Pat’s had their first goal chance of the game. A left footed attempt from Robby Finnegan, dropped in front of the oncoming attacker Andrew Canavan, who punched the ball towards goal but was denied by the Tullamore goalkeeper. Luke Doyle popped up from corner back to score an outstanding point, an outside the boot shot, leading up to the break. However, St. Pat’s got one more opportunity when Matthew Kealy intercepted the ball in defense, it was worked out very well by St. Pat’s to Cian Commons, who gave a long direct ball into Robby Finnegan. Finnegan won possession and popped it off to Billy Smyth who finished off an excellent team score. This put St. Pats into the lead by 0-4 to 0-1 at the halftime break.  

Tullamore came out all guns blazing in the second half with three quick scores in 6 minutes. With the game level, and the home side on top, it looked like it was going to be a tough day at the office for St. Pats. This was until substitute Ben Corkery was handed the ball from Robby Finnegan on the 45 yard line. He shimmied past two Coláiste Choilm players, continued his run, and calmly slotted the ball into the top left corner to put St. Pat’s up by 3 points, with just over 15 minutes left. However, Coláiste Choilm responded with the next 4 scores, including a free in the 22nd minute, that put them 1 point ahead. However not all was lost. Ben Corkery was fouled just outside the top of the D and the reliable Matthew Kealy converted to bring St. Pats level with Coláiste Choilm, with just 3 minutes plus added time left. St. Pat’s then went on to win the Tullamore kickout. At the end of several passes, Cian Commons dropped back into the pocket and popped up with a massive point for St. Pats which put them a point up on the scoreboard. It wasn’t over yet. Coláiste Choilm responded almost instantly with an equalizer. Then, 5 minutes into added time, St. Pat’s hearts were broken. They defended superbly forcing Tullamore from side to side, but the break of the ball did not go their way and they conceded a point in the 65th minute of the game. The final score was St. Pats 1-6 Coláiste Choilm 0-10. 

While it was heartbreaking for us to be knocked out, this group of players put in a huge amount of effort all year. From training in the wind and the rain, to playing challenge matches all over Ireland, the commitment was unbelievable from each one of them. Behind every good team is a great group of coaches, and there aren’t many better then Mr Peppard, Mr Tierney and Mr. Reynolds. The amount of work that is done behind the scenes is huge and often goes unnoticed, gathering information about the opposition, preparing each session or simply just having a word with the players. These boys were a great group who worked well together and had fun on and off the pitch! There is no doubt that St. Pat’s will be back next year.

 St. Pat’s team: Luke Healy, Luke Doyle(0-1), James Reeves, Breandán Mc Guinness, Matthew Kealy(0-2), Danny Waters, Lorcán O’Connor, Darren O’Brien, Tadhg Martyn,Séimí Byrne, Cian Commons(0-1), Andrew Canavan(0-1), Neil McGinley, Billy Smyth(0-1), Robby Finnegan. 

Subs used: Ben Corkery(1-0), Cormac Liggan, Ciaran Quinn.

 By Colin Scanlon