On Thursday afternoon all roads led to St. Cronans Park, for the local derby between Coláiste Phobal Roscrea and Cistercian College Roscrea to contest the U17 Post Primary Schools County Championship. With impressive victories over their opponents in their respective semi-finals, a close, hard-fought final was to be expected. This pre-match opinion was found to be false with Coláiste Phobal cruising to a 9 point victory over their local rivals on a score line of 5-17 to 3-14.
Coláiste Phobal got off to the best possible start when inside 3 minutes Roscrea native, Liam Seacy, found the net from close range. This lead was one which they would not relinquish for the entire game. Despite Roscreas early dominance, Cistercian College tried relentlessly to work themselves into the game, led by Jack Canning, a nephew of Galway hurling Star, Joe. A second Seacy goal, a brace of goals from Joseph Fogarty and some neatly picked off points from David Jones, Paul Costello and frees from Seacy saw Coláiste Phobal coast into a 4-9 to 0-5 lead at the break. All but one of the five Cistercian College points coming from frees from young Jack Canning, highlighting the superb defensive display from Coláiste Phobal, anchored by Cillian Ryan and Roddy Teehan.
The large crowd feared that a rout was on the cards in the second half, with Coláiste Phobal playing with the aid of the breeze, however a spirited Cistercian College team narrowed the gap substantially after the interval. The second half saw Canning move from centre half forward to full forward, a move that proved very beneficial for the Cistercian men. Fielding plenty of high ball, the Galway man proved to be a constant thorn in the side for the Coláiste team, winning frees and both creating and converting scores. Despite outscoring their opponents by 3-9 to 1-8 in the second half, the deficit proved too wide for the Cistercian College. Well taken points from Gearoid Murphy, Jason Gilmartin and substitute Coley Cleary, as well as a well taken goal from Paul Costello killed off the game for the Coláiste men.
The large Coláiste Phobal following, consisting of staff, students and family rose to their feet in recognition of their teams superb performance, to watch Coláiste Phobal Roscrea’s captain Jason Gilmartin lift the cup aloft.