Despite battling their way to a two point half-time lead, Clonaslee VS had no answer to a second-half onslaught from St Peter’s, Dunboyne that saw the Meath school cruise to a 13 point win on the all weather pitch in St Loman’s last Wednesday.
Over the course of the hour, the outstanding Dunboyne midfield pairing was the difference as they accounted for 2-14 of their side’s total with Eoin Dunne scoring 2-9. Incredibly for a side who put up 25 scores, their starting full-forward line failed to trouble the scorers.
The sides had also met in the Senior Final where Clonaslee had come out on top but despite battling right to the end, they had to settle for second best against the Meath side this time around.
Things seemed to be going well for Clonaslee at the end of the opening quarter as they held a 0-5 to 1-1 lead with Stephen Kelly accounting for four of the points and Ciaran White the fifth.
Kelly caused problems for Dunboyne throughout the game and finished with an impressive haul of 1-8 in an excellent personal performance.
Dunboyne gradually got a foothold in the game and were two points in front late in the first-half but Clonaslee finished strongly with points from Kelly and White and an opportunist goal from Pierce Kelly. While Dunboyne did hit the last score of the half from Ciaran Carey, Clonaslee were 1-8 to 1-6 ahead at the break and were in a strong position.
However Dunboyne came out with a renewed sense of purpose at the start of the second-half with Eoin Dunne and Ciaran Carey taking complete control in the middle of the field.
With just six minutes of the half elapsed, Dunboyne had added 2-3 to their total, 1-2 from Dunne, while all Clonaslee managed in reply was two points from the dependable Stephen Kelly.
The points kept flowing for Dunboyne as they launched over eight in a row without reply to put the game well beyond Clonaslee’s reach. Most of the damage was done in the middle of the field as Clonaslee struggled to clear their lines. The Clonaslee full-back line held firm under intesne pressure with the majority of scores coming from long range.
To their credit the Laois school rallied in the closing stages with Stephen Kelly and Walter Murphy finding the back of the net with Murphy also adding a point.
Kelly’s goal came from a rasping close range free while Murphy showed great strength and persistence to score his goal six minute from time.
Even at this stage however, Dunbyone were relentless and they had the final say in the game adding another 1-4, with man of the match Dunne accounting for the four points, to run out deserved winners.
Scorers: Clonaslee VS: Stephen Kelly 1-8 (1-3f, 0-1 ‘65); Walter Murphy 1-1; Pierce Kelly 1-0; Ciaran White 0-2. St Peter’s College, Dunboyne: Eoin Dunne 2-9 (0-1f, 0-1 ‘65); Jack Cox 0-5; Ciaran Carey 0-4; Jack Delaney 1-1; John Mitchell 1-0; Hugh Smith 0-1; Jack Delaney 0-1.
Clonaslee VS: James Hickey; Ciaran Conroy, Dylan McEvoy, Daniel Rigney; Eoin Delaney, Jack Conroy, James McRedmond; Liam Delaney, Walter Murphy; Gerry Carroll, Stephen Kelly, Ciaran White; Patrick Hyland, Glenn Shaw, Pierce Kelly. Subs Used: Tom Horan, Liam Senior, Dylan Mooney, Mark Campbell, Adam McDermott.
St Peter’s College, Dunboyne: Tomas Water; Brian Rowe, Conor Hughes, Michael Farrell; Eoin Ryan, Hugh Smith, Colin Clarke; Kieran Carey, Eoin Dunne; Jack Cox, Jack Delaney, Conor Gilmartin; Dara Kilmartin, Colm Geoghan, Andy O’Connor. Sub: John Mitchell.