Galway will be hoping their fine tradition in schools’ soccer continues today when St Mary’s face Salesian College, Celbridge, in the 2010 FAIS Irish Senior A Cup final in Flancare Park, Longford Town (1pm ).
The Galway college is appearing in its fourth decider, having won on each of its three previous occasions 1988, 2001 and 2006. Last year it was the turn of city rivals St Joseph’s College (Bish ) who claimed the crown to maintain Galway’s strong record in recent years.
Both colleges in today’s decider came through tough semi-final encounters. St Mary's defeated Colaiste Mhuire, Cobh by 2-0, while Salesian College grabbed a last-minute winner (2-1 ) against Carndonagh Community College, Donegal.
St Mary's will be hoping for big performances from players such as goalkeeper Ronan Burke, defenders James Casserly and Shane Gallagher, midfielders Sean Glynn, Barry McEntee and Christian Lomboto, and the twin strikeforce of Tony Ward and Shane Maughan. Injury to current Irish schoolboys international Rory Gartlan is likely to rule him out of the game.
St Mary’s record in this year’s competition is strong with some 29 goals scored, and manager Paul Concannon will be hoping its strike force is in form against the Leinster opposition.
Interestingly, St Mary's Paul Concannon was manager of the victorious 2006 team, while coach Jason Moran captained St Mary's team to All Ireland success in 2001.