Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior B Hurling Final
Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore v St Patrick’s Maghera
2pm Saturday 31st March at Inniskeen, Co Monaghan
Leinster champions Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore go in search of All-Ireland glory when they face Ulster champions St Patricks Maghera in the Post Primary Schools Final on Saturday.
Success has continued the recent underage success of the clubs in the school’s catchment area. Ciarán Burke, Jack O’Brien, Ross Ravenhill, Kevin McDermott, Brian Duignan and Billy Fogarty are back to back Minor A winners with Ballinamere-Durrow in 2016 and 2017, while Conor Brophill, Seán Beatty and Cathal Brady were part of Na Fianna’s Minor A winning side of 2015. The side is managed by teachers Colm Cassidy (who made 64 Senior appearances for Offaly between 1997 and 2005) and Vanessa O’Brien, while the duo are assisted by Michael Duignan, Pat Cleary and Dónie Beatty.
The road to the final has been a long and winding one for the school known in its earlier years as Tullamore CBS. Coláiste Choilm defeated Naas CBS and Coláiste Mhuire Mullingar either side of losing to Banagher College in the group stage of the Top Oil Leinster championship. Wins followed in the knockout stage, over Coláiste Mhuire, Johnstown and St Mary’s CBS Enniscorthy.
The Leinster title was secured with a four point win over Coláiste Eóin. The Dublin school, who competed at A grade in recent years, led 2-8 to 1-7 early in he second half. Coláiste Choilm held the more fancied opposition scoreless for the Final’s remainder, drawing level with nine minutes remaining before Mark Dillon’s 53rd minute goal sealed the provincial title.
Character was tested and the final reached with an All-Ireland semi-final win over Portumna Community School. Coláiste Choilm were well placed at half-time when 1-4 to 0-9 in arrears with wind assistance to come. Tullamore led 1-9 to 0-9 when a scrambled Portumna goal ensured a frantic last eight minutes, but Brian Duignan held his nerve to convert a stoppage time ’65 to qualify for Saturday’s Final.
St Patrick’s Maghera will provide stiff opposition. The South Derry school draw their players from the Derry hurling heartland with most of the squad hailing from Swatragh, Dungiven, Slaughtneil, Lavey and Banagher. They defeated the previous two Ulster winners, St Mary’s Belfast and St Louis Ballymena on their way to the school’s 13th Ulster title. Richie Mullan and Tiernan McHugh were Derry Minor football panellists last year, with the latter scoring 1-3 in the school’s recent All-Ireland semi-final win over Munster champions CBS Mitchelstown.
Coláiste Choilm are going for their first All-Ireland title at this grade, while St Patrick’s have twice previously claimed All-Ireland B honours, in 2006 and 2011. However, the All-Ireland B championship was twice before won by an Offaly school – Presentation College Birr won the old Corn Uí Chaoimh in 1969 (beating Da La Salle Loughrea) and 1973 when Br Denis’ charges beat St Mary’s Belfast. The latter team included Brendan Birmingham, Pat Fleury and Joachim Kelly who would later win All-Ireland honours with Offaly in 1981 and 1985.
The schools will compete for the Paddy Buggy Cup. A Kilkenny man, Paddy Buggy was Úachtarán CLG between 1982 and 1985, and in his playing career won one All-Ireland and five Leinster Senior medals. Fondly remembered in Offaly, he was the first Leinster Council chairman to present the Leinster Senior trophy to an Offaly captain (1980) and refereed the Offaly Senior county final in 1965. Previous Paddy Buggy cup winners are 2014 – Coláiste Phobal Ros Cré, 2015 – Cross and Passion College Ballycastle, 2016 – Abbey CBS Tipperary, 2017 – John the Baptist CS, Hospital.
Path to the Final – Coláiste Chiolm
Beat Naas CBS 3-18 to 3-8 on 23rd November
Lost to Banagher College 2-11 to 4-15 on 15th December
Beat Coláiste Mhuire Mullingar 5-10 to 2-14 on 19th December
Beat Coláiste Mhuire Johnstown 1-12 to 1-9 on 3rd February (rest of Leinster semi-final)
Beat St Mary’s CBS Enniscorthy 3-11 to 1-6 on 24th February (rest of Leinster final)
Beat Coláiste Eóin 2-12 to 2-8 on 9th March (Leinster final)
Beat Portumna Community School 1-10 to 1-9 on 14th March (All Ireland semi-final)
Path to the Final – St Patrick’s Maghera
Lost to Cross & Passion College Ballycastle 2-6 to 4-20 on 11th September
Beat Garron Tower, St Killian’s College 3-12 to 2-11 on 18th September
Beat St Mary’s CBS Belfast 5-16 to 0-13 on 9th October (Ulster quarter-final)
Beat St Louis GS, Ballymena 4-11 to 1-10 on 17th October (Ulster semi-final)
Beat An Dún (Down schools) 1-19 to 2-12 on 27th October (Ulster Final)
Beat CBS Mitchelstown 2-15 to 1-9 on 10th March (All-Ireland semi-final)