A stunning second-half performance from St Jarlath’s College, Tuam, saw the famous old football nursery book their place in the last four of the Connacht Colleges A Senior Football Championship on Tuesday in a windswept Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Beakan.
St Jarlath’s centre-half forward Conor Marsden was the main man on show, kicking 12 points over the hour (seven from play ) as the Tuam outfit used the wind at their backs in the second half to reel in the Claremorris school’s first half lead.
St Colman’s will be cursing their luck that they did not go in at the break with a bigger lead than the three point advantage they had after the opening 30 minutes. They kicked eight wides in the opening half and gifted St Jarlath’s their first two points, giving away frees from close range after being blown up for overcarrying the ball out of defence.
While St Jarlath’s were worthy victors the game was tighter than the scoreline suggests, with St Jarlath’s running in their two goals in injury time, when St Colman’s had already thrown in the towel. The south Mayo side were the better team in the first half with Sean Diskin causing all kinds of problems for the St Jarlath’s defence, so much so that his marker was hauled off after just 17 minutes of action. Diskin scored three points in the opening half, with Niall Joyce chipping in with two scores and Evan Roynane another point to send Colman’s in leading 0-7 to 0-4 at the turnaround. All of St Jarlath’s scores came from dead balls in the first half with Marsden kicking three of them and Ciaran Brady the other.
With the wind at their backs in the second half St Jarlath’s took the game by the scruff of the neck, and seven minutes into the half they were back on level terms thanks to three Marsden points. By the three-quarter stage of the game, Jarlath’s were five points to the good, before St Colman’s were able to register their first score of the half 17 minutes in. It was a procession at the end of the Tuam side as Colman’s could not get near them at all, with Daragh Quinn grabbing their first goal and Colin Brady their second deep into injury time. The north Galway outfit will now face Summerhill College, Sligo, in the semi-final.
St Colman’s: S Diskin (0-6,3f ), N Joyce (0-2,1f ), E Roynane (0-1 ).
St Jarlath’s: C Marsden (0-12, 5f ), Colin Brady (1-2 ), D Quinn (1-2 ), Conor Brady (0-1 )
St Colman’s: K Saunders; K Lydon, J Oates, M Ring; D Takkos, C Henry, J McCormack; C Diskin, D Barry; C Walsh, M Higgins, E Roynane; N Joyce, C Keane, S Diskin. Subs: P Barry for C Walsh, S Vahey for D Barry (BC ), S O’Donnell for P Barry, D Gilmore for C Henry (BC ), C Walsh for J McCormack.
St Jarlath’s: D O’Halloran-Forkan; P Neenan, D McHugh, B Mashengale; J Boyle, C Molloy, M Boyle; B Raftery, Colin Brady; Ciaran Brady, Conor Marsden, D Canny; D Silke, J Lyons, A Broderick. Subs: M Daly for, B Mashengale D Quinn for D Silke, Conor Brady for Ciaran Brady, S Garrett for J O’Boyle (BC ), J Boyle for A Broderick.