St Paul’s came out on top in this thrilling Allianz Roinn 1 final to open this year’s Cumann na mBunscol finals in O’Moore Park last Wednesday.
While the final scoreline reads an eight point win, this was a closer game than that, as two excellent teams battled it out.
St Paul’s looked to be well on top in the second half when they went eight clear, but a brilliant Ballyroan fight back got them on level terms. St Paul’s had one final push in them though, and two goals from Ben Brennan saw them home.
DJ White had given them an ideal start, as his goal from a quick free saw them take a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after six minutes.
Ballyroan had wind advantage but St Paul’s excellent full-back line of Kevin Swayne and Jamie Keenan were keeping them at bay.
Brian Whelan slotted over three points in the first half for the boys in blue, and they could have trailed by more at half time were it not for some brilliant goalkeeping from Killian Byrne. As it was, St Paul’s lead 1-5 to 0-4.
The Portlaoise school made a bright start to the second half thanks to a goal from Matthew Dempsey and point from Liam Óg Brennan. Ballyroan hit back with two goals from Sean Fitzpatrick to get themselves right back into the game, and points from Brian Whelan and Alan McWey had them level with ten minutes to go.
The game was hanging in the balance now, and Portlaoise tipped it in their favour with points from Ben Brennan and Mark O’Reilly. Ballyroan couldn’t hit back, and that allowed Brennan’s two goals to seal the win for St Paul’s.