Quinlan stars as Rockwell retain football crown

Tipperary Under 18 B Schools Football Final

Tipperary Under 18 B Schools Football Final

Rockwell College 3-5

Colaiste Dhun Iascaigh, Cahir 1-4

A brace of second half goals from Rockwell joint captain Bryan Quinlan saw the Cashel side retain the MacGabhann shield after an impressive showing against Colaiste Dhun Iascaigh from Cahir at Cahir on Monday last.

Rockwell went into this fixture after an emphatic victory over Ballingarry in the semi-final while Cahir who previously won the title in 2010 reached the final after a hard fought victory over Scoil Ruain of Killenaule in the Semi-Final.

Rockwell started with only three of last year’s illustrious winning side but it was last year’s substitute goalkeeper Bryan Quinlan who caused all the early problems for Cahir, gathering a ball well for an early point after two minutes after good work from Stephen Quirke and Eoin O’Sullivan in the build up. Quinlan missed a free just outside the 21 to further extend Rockwell’s lead minutes later but Rockwell continued to dominate with midfielders Jack Kennedy and Stephen Quirke proving more than a handful for the Cahir rearguard. Centre Forward Conor Cashman doubled Rockwell’s lead on 17 minutes and just a minute later wing forward Eoin O’Sullivan put Rockwell three up.

However Rockwell continued to clock up the wides and slowly Cahir, no doubt battle hardened after the semi final victory over Scoil Ruain, started to come more into the game. Forwards Ryan Murphy and Gerry Cronin started to test the resolve of the Rockwell fullback line and Keelan Hickey opened their account with a well taken free after 22 minutes. Buoyed by this score Colaiste kept the momentum going with midfielders Stephen Lambert and Alan Condron dominating the midfield exchanges. Another foul on Hickey on 28 minutes saw him bisect the posts with the resulting free and full forward Gerry Cronin tied things up on the stroke of half time with a well taken free point.

Colaiste needed a good start to the second half and they certainly got it when substitute Aaron Murphy blasted past a hapless John Smyth after just 3 minutes after breaking through the Rockwell defence. However Rockwell didn’t fold under the pressure and just 4 minutes later wing forward O’Sullivan pointed for the Cashel men. However the turning point in this game came just five minutes later when after impressive work by the Rockwell rearguard in the form of Bill Johnston and Liam Casey, captain Quinlan had his goal bound drive brilliantly stopped by Batrick Pella in the Cahir goal only for opportunist forward Conor Cashman to stab the rebound home from close range. Just five minutes later the game was over as a contest when after a great run by Casey from his centre back berth Quinlan found space out wide before putting an unstoppable shot past Pella.

Rockwell continued to dominate and the inevitable arrived on the 45th minute when after a brilliant one handed save by Pella from Rockwell’s Healy-Rae the follow up saw the Polish goalie penalised for a foot block and Quinlan made no mistake with the resultant penalty. Rockwell goalie Smyth made some vital stops in the closing stages to ensure there was no Cahir comeback and so the MacGabhann shield stays in Rockwell’s trophy cabinet for yet another season.

Rockwell : J Smyth (Kilsheelan), W Purcell (Boharlahan), C Looby (Cahir), JJ O’Connor (Boharlahn), B Johnston (Clonmel), L Casey (Cahir), S Murphy (Moyle Rovers), L Fahey (Rockwell Rovers), S Quirke (Moyle Rovers), J Kennedy (Commercials), C Cashman (Commercials), E O’sullivan (Mallow), J Healy-Rae (Kilgarvan), B Quinlan (Cashel), P Keneally (Fr Sheehy’s). Subs :J Walsh (Cahir) for O’Connor 23 mins, S Skelly (Holycross) for E O’Sullivan 45 mins, B McKenna (Cahir) for Healy Rae 45 mins, J Tobin (Fethard) for C Cashman 54 mins. Subs not used : C Flavin (Kilsheelan), S Lonergan (Ballylooby), P Feehan (Killenaule), S Hayes (Ennis), J O’Neill (Kilsheelan), J Heffernan (Cashel), C Manton (Fethard), G Kerrigan (Durlas Og) and J Norris (Moyle Rovers).

Cahir : B Pella, J Shine, O Moloney, P Murphy, J Morgan, C Casey, B Downey, S Lambert, A Condon, K Hickey, C O’Gorman, M O’Connor, R Murphy, G Cronin, K Barrett. Subs B Cooney & L Howard.

Referee: W Barrett (Ardfinan)