U 16 Gaelic Footballers win North Leinster Final

St Joseph’s recorded back to back North Leinster wins with a comprehensive victory over St. Mary’s CBS, Portlaoise. The Joe’s took the game to the Laois side early on and recorded points from Ross Nally, Sean Birch, Ben McKenna and Ciaran Downey but it was a goal expertly taken by Nally that put the Drogheda side in complete control. The Joe’s direct football and running were causing all sorts of problems and from a lovely team move. Gerard Harding had a shot brilliantly saved but Birch slammed home the rebound. Points from Bannon, Harding and Downey increased the Joe’s advantage by half time. The second half was a scrappy affair as Joe’s defence including Fergal O Donoghoe, Luke Cormican and Ian Connor dominated proceedings. The Joe’s upped the game in the last ten minutes and pulled further away with a hat trick of cool penalties taken by the excellent Emmet Carolan. The Joe’s had some excellent performances from Nally, Jamie Kelly and Paul Mathews but Conor Farrell was a real leader on the day and collected the man of the match award.

St Joseph’s winsU16 B Boys All Ireland Basketball Schools Cup Final 2014

St Joseph’s Drogheda 47 (17) – (R O’ Sullivan 18, L Cormican 11, I Connor 5)
St Andrew’s, Dublin 33 (23) – (J Brown 10, A Lee 9, A Wilson Flynn 6)
MVP – Robert O’Sullivan
An outstanding third quarter performance saw St Joseph’s of Drogheda mount a miraculous comeback against their opponents which was more enough as they easily defeated St Andrew’s of Dublin by 47-33 to be crowned the U16 B Boys All Ireland Schools Cup Champions for 2014.
A top quality attacking display from St Joseph’s forward Robert Sullivan, which saw him score an impressive 18 points and 6 rebounds, was more than enough for him to be named the games MVP. Excellent first quarter defensive displays from St Andrew’s Alex Wilson Flynn and James Brown prevented St Joseph’s from scoring heavily early on and forced the Drogheda side to focus their attack from the 3 point line. However, a standout performance from Sullivan made sure that the teams remained evenly matched at 13-13 at the end of the period. Sullivan easily dribbled past the St Andrew’s defence to convert 7 points in quick succession for his side, just after his captain Bobby Cudden had opened the scoring in the game.
The second quarter saw St Andrew’s quickly break away from their opponents thanks mainly to some beautiful passing play between Brown and Mark O’ Meara that exposed the weaknesses in the St Joseph’s ranks. In a complete reversal of the first quarter, this time it was St. Joseph’s who were forced to find the basket from 3 point distance while their opponents moved freely in and around the basket, converting a high percentage of their opportunities that saw the Dublin side take a 6 point lead heading into halftime. Words were obviously said at the interval by St Joseph’s Coach Ciaran McGroggan to his players as his side looked like a brand new team after the beginning of the third quarter. Faster passing combined with much better retention of possession saw the Drogheda side force their opponents into committing a high number of fouls, resulting in a total of (10) free throws for St Joseph’s. Unfortunately they were unable to convert all but (4) of these opportunities but a fine attacking display from O’ Sullivan and Cudden more than made up for this as the pair were able to combine to score 4 unanswered baskets before Demi Awosikia was able to reply for St Andrew’s with a darting run that ended with him converting an inside lay up from under the basket. Unfortunately for him and St Andrew’s it wasn’t enough to stop St Joseph’s from turning the tide of play and finishing the quarter in the lead for the first time in the game by 5 points. Defence was the last thing on either teams mind in the final quarter as both sides went all out attack in a final attempt to break away from each other. Unfortunately for St Andrew’s it wasn’t to be their day as St Joseph’s managed to rack up a further 13 points which was more than enough to see them walk away with the victory and as champions.

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