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Templemore are Tops in Tipp

posted 6 Dec 2011, 08:06 by Unknown user

Roinn A County Football Final

St. Colmcille’s P.S., Templemore      0.7

St. Peter and Paul’s, Clonmel            1.2


As the bus pulled up outside Leahy Park in Cashel, the lyrics of The Saw Doctors famous song echoed in the minds of the young men from St. Colmcille’s Primary School, Templemore…‘To win just once, that would be enough.’ Never before had St. Colmcille’s won a Roinn A football final and as the team alighted from the bus, each player knew that if this was to be the day history was going to be made, it would take an almighty effort. The opposition from Clonmel, St. Peter and Paul’s came into the game unbeaten and as slight favourites. This was unchartered territory.


Scores of pupils, parents and supporters invaded the stand and a nervous din drifted across through the air on what was a near perfect day for football. Inside in the Templemore dressing room, memories of the difficult journey to the final were rehashed to help refresh the minds of the starting fifteen of what each player’s job was. Those victories came over Scoil Ailbhe, Thurles and St. Mary’s CBS, Clonmel and both had given the team the confidence to believe that this could be the day to crown a journey that began back in 2007 when a young Colin O’Riordan guided the school to a Roinn C title. Today, Colin was eagerly waiting in the stand with an All-Ireland Minor Football medal in his pocket and he joined in the applause as Captain Andrew Ormond led the boys in green from the dressing room. It was time.


With the warm up complete the team gathered for some final words of encouragement, guidance and inspiration from their three teachers who had given them so much over the past number of months. Principal, Kieran Healy asked for the simple things to be done right, Mr. Denis Kelly reminded them that they must work and fight for every ball and finally Mr. Conor Doyle passionately spoke of the desire to win. No more could be said or done and the team dispersed to shake hands with their opponents. Referee, Fergal Horgan, released the ball high into the air and forty minutes of skilful and committed football began.


The noise and singing from both the Templemore and Clonmel supporters only added to the frantic nature of the first five minutes of the game. Quick passing, quick thinking and two quick frees had Templemore off to a fine start. Paddy Cadell, Andrew Ormond and Michael Fogarty gave them a three point lead and suddenly all that noise from the stand seemed to be coming from only one side. Templemore were feeling confident now and went for the jugular on two occasions as Ciarán Hoctor and Paddy Cadell both went for goal only to see their efforts blocked by an impressive Clonmel goalkeeper. At the other end of the field, the Clonmel full forward was Kieran Donaghy- like as he towered above all other players on the field. He was the target for much of the Clonmel passes and as half time approached, a high ball was driven in his direction. The ball spilled to the ground and was toed to the back of the net. A huge moment in the game and as the sound of the whistle ended the first half, momentum had swung in favour of the boys from the south.


That momentum carried on into the second half with St. Peter and Paul’s dominating possession. Their reward was two points and it could have been more but for tenacious defending by Shane Doyle, Ben Collins, Ruairi Mockler and Noel Morrissey. The scoring of those three early points seemed like a long time ago now and two points separated the teams with less than ten minutes remaining. Slowly the Templemore forwards started to get their hands on the ball and Paddy Cadell and Andrew Ormond at mid field began to dictate matters around the middle. Hard work from Hugh Maher, Edward Bergin and Conor Cadell put enough pressure on the Clonmel defenders to win two frees which were calmly slotted over by Paddy Cadell. All level, all to play for and the tension mounted.


Then controversy ensued. A Templemore free kick was driven in, hit the crossbar and bounced down towards the goal line. Was it over the line? Could this be a match winner? No. The decision was not to allow the goal and the enthralled spectators all wondered if that was to be a defining moment. Thankfully it wasn’t and St. Colmcille’s powered towards the finish line. A second point from Michael Fogarty and a sublime effort from substitute Lorcan Roche, who replaced Diarmuid Delaney, put the Templemore boys on the cusp of glory. St. Peter and Paul’s pushed forward knowing that time was not their friend anymore as the game entered injury time. In front of the packed stand, the impressive Ciarán Byrne and Man-of-the Match, Éanna McBride dived in bravely to block down the Clonmel centre forward twice in succession. As the clap of ‘hand on ball’ reverberated around the ground it was clear to everyone that Templemore were not going to be denied.


Sheer relief, delight and shouts of pride could be heard from The Rock itself as the final whistle blew. Despair for a gallant St. Peter and Paul’s team but a recognition that this was a special day in the history of St. Colmcille’s, Templemore. Principal of St. Peter and Paul’s, John Hickey, presented the plaque to captain Andrew Ormond and he acknowledged the great spectacle that both teams had contributed to.


With the celebrations complete, the squad of over forty players boarded the bus for the journey home. What a difference an hour makes. The nerves and anxiety on the journey over had now been replaced with a sense of pride and achievement. Quietness replaced by spontaneous singing. And now thoughts spring back to the lyrics of that Saw Doctors song which had echoed in their minds earlier. ‘To win just once, that would be enough.’ Time will tell.