Munster GAA Post Primary Schools Under 16 ½ B Football Final – Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee 3-14 Abbey CBS, Tipperary 3-6

Post Primary Schools Munster U 16 ½ B Football Final

Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee 3-14 Abbey CBS, Tipperary 3-6

Report by Jerry Ring

The Abbey CBS failed in their brave bid to win the Post Primary Schools Munster U 16 ½ B Football Final for the first time in Rathkeale on Friday last. The Abbey were left to rue losing concentration in the final minutes of both halves and letting the impressive Tralee outfit chalk up a series of scores in those crucial periods that ultimately decided this exciting match.

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Mounthawk started briskly with the fresh breeze at their backs and raced into a four point lead inside the opening 8 minutes. The Abbey were struggling to gain a foothold in the middle of the field but then against the run of play Daire Egan found the roof of the Mounthawk net in the 12th minute. Mounthawk responded with two points from play before the Abbey boys again responded when Andrew Vance latched on to a brilliant through ball from wing-back Cian Ryan to round Robbie Murphy in the Tralee goals and put the Abbey on level terms after twenty minutes, 2-0 to 0-6. The Tralee based outfit responded immediately when a flowing move finished up with corner forward Ferdia O’Brien finding the bottom right-hand corner of Jack Comerford’s net. Andrew Vance arrowed over a superb free from the right hand touchline and Daire Egan followed this up with a fine score after a typical strong run through the heart of the Mounthawk defence to leave only three points between the sides with 3 minutes to the half-time break. It was in this time that Mounthawk accelerated ahead with four unanswered points from Jack Carmody, Cathal O’Reilly, Karl Mullins and O’Brien. This left the Tipperary boys trailing 1-11 to 2-2 at the break.

Mounthawk opened the scoring immediately after the resumption through captain Andrew Barry and in the 2nd minute of the half Abbey full-back Davy Byron was shown a black card for an innocuous challenge in the middle of the field. The Abbey were certainly up against it at this stage but they showed the character that had got them to this stage of the competition. Shane Neville added a fine point which O’Brien again responded to. Through the tireless work of Tommy Lowry and Shane Neville in the middle of the field the Abbey gained a foothold in the match and in the space of five second half-minutes the talented Shane Ryan fired 1-2 to put this pulsating tie back in the melting pot. The goal arrived when Ryan was picked out by Tommy Lowry with a fine foot pass and the Galtee Rovers man cooly finished to the Mounthawk net. When Ryan fired over his second point the 53rd minute there were only two points between the sides and all the momentum was with the Abbey boys. Shane Neville grazed the post with a super effort that would have drawn the Abbey within one point and from the ensuing kick-out the Abbey earned a scoreable free but took the free quickly and were charged with over-carrying. Within ten seconds the ball was in the Abbey net after the excellent Louis Ryle was the first to react after Abbey goalkeeper Jack Comerford had tipped a fierce goal bound drive on to the crossbar. The Abbey were shell shocked and from the following kick-out Mounthawk won possession and corner-forward Fergal Ryan raised another green flag for the Kerry boys. Andrew Vance replied with a pointed free but it was fitting that Mounthawks captain Andrew Barry closed out the scoring with a fine pointed effort.

The Abbey were left disappointed at the final whistle but could have left the Limerick venue with their heads held high after giving their all against an excellent Tralee outfit for whom centre-back Iarla Courtney was a colossus in the second half when the Abbey making their push for victory. On the day the Abbey were best served by Tommy Lowry, Shane Neville, Shane Ryan, Daire Egan and Andrew Vance. While the Abbey boy’s football ability or commitment could not be questioned a telling statistic from the game was that in the last five minutes of each half the Abbey were outscored 2-5 to 0-2. Having won the Under 15 championship earlier in the season the Abbey certainly have many more exciting days ahead with this very talented group.

Scorers: Abbey: A. Vance 1-2 (0-2 f.), S Ryan 1-2 (0-1f.), D Egan 1-1, S Neville 0-1.
Mounthawk: F O’Brien 1-4, F Ryan 1-2, L Ryle 1-0, A Barry, J Carmody & K Mullins 0-2 each, R Dolan & C O’Reilly 0-1 each.

Abbey: Jack Comerford (Arravale Rovers), Conal Donovan (Arravale Rovers), David Byron (Galtee Rovers), Stephen O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty), Cian Ryan (Arravale Rovers), Shane Power (Galtee Rovers), Daniel Kelly (Arravale Rovers), Tommy Lowry (Arravale Rovers), Shane Neville (Lattin/Cullen), Caolan Hennessy (Cappawhite), Daire Egan (Galtee Rovers), Tadhg Ryan (Galtee Rovers), Cormac Maher (Arravale Rovers), Andrew Vance (Emly), Stephen O’Dwyer (Galtee Rovers). Subs: Shane Ryan (Galtee Rovers) for T Ryan, K Franks (Lattin/Cullen) for Byron.

Mounthawk: R Murphy (Austin Stacks), A Thompson (Ardfert), D O Buachalla (Kerins O Rahillys), S Collins (Kerins O Rahillys), C O’Reilly (Austin Stacks), I Courtney (Ardfert), P Quilter (Austin Stacks), A Barry (Na Gaeil), S Dowling (St. Pats), J Carmody (Na Gaeil), R Dolan (Churchill), L Ryle (Austin Stacks), F Ryan (Austin Stacks), K Mullins (Kerins O Rahillys), F O’Brien (Austin Stacks).

Referee: P Carroll (Limerick)