Lazarus is alive and well and at Coláiste Na Carraige, this fact was confirmed on Friday, as the school’s U-16 footballers produced another remarkable comeback.
Coláiste Na Carraige 3-5
St Josephs (Coalisland)2-7
Suspicions had been raised the previous week when the Carrick boys came from six down with a little over ten minutes remaining in their Donegal final clash with a strong Abbey VS.
The boys from the South West went on to emerge comfortable 1-16 to 1-13 winners in extra-time.
Friday’s revival was in the Ulster U-16 quarter final in Irvinestown.
Seven points down and with a little over 13 minutes remaining, Paddy Boyle’s young guns did it again in another display of character and a never-say-die attitude.
Three goals, two of them in the space of a minute, pulled the rug from under a rampant St Joseph’s who were literally camped in the Carrick half for the whole of the third quarter.
Fullforward Pauric O’Neill, struck for two of the goals with corner-forward Oran Doogan hitting the other. Man of the match O’Neill and Aaron Doherty knocked over late points to send the highly fancied St Josephs packing and hand a place in the last four to the Donegal champions.
O’Neill struck for the first of the green flags on 48 minutes after a run from inside his own half by Lanty Molloy, who by his own high standards had a quiet game up to that. Thomas Carney of St. Joseph’s, a member of last year’s Tyrone minor team, was the dominant midfielder for most of the 60 minutes.
Sixty seconds later O’Neill was the architect as his long delivery was drilled first time to the Coalisland net to bring Coláiste Na Carraige right back into the game and within a point of the Red Hand boys, 2-4 to 2-3.
While St Josephs lost Tyler Devlin to a second yellow, Carney edged his side two in front again, before O’Neill’s second three pointer with seven minutes of nomal time remaining propelled the Carrick boys to the front and a 3-3 to 2-5 lead.
Paul Donnelly levelled the game once more but in a frenetic finish, Aaron Doherty popped over from close range and O’Neill converted from 13 metres for a last gasp injury time point.
Pulling the strings
With Carney who scored the Coalisland goal after eight minutes and Paul Donnelly pulling the strings around the middle the Tyrone boys, led 1-1 to a point at half-time.
And but for two brilliant saves from Ronan O’Hare and some heroics in defence from Fionn Gallagher, Conor Carr and Pauric McShane, the Tyrone champions would have been further ahead at the changeover.
O’Hare made one more super stop before picking up an injury early in the second half and was replaced by Colm Garvey.
St Joseph’s dominated the third quarter and Ryan O’Neill struck their second goal six minutes into the new half the lead was out to five points, 2-2 to 0-3.
And when Carney added two more points the margin was out to seven and their place in the last four looked in the bag.
But Coláiste Na Carraige had other ideas. As well as the aforementioned O’Neill, Lanty Molloy, Doherty, O Hare and three rocks in the last line of the defence - Gallagher, Carr and Pauric McShane all played well.
Brian O’ Donnell in midfield and Gary Molloy in the half-line of the attack, were the others that turned in big peformances for the Donegal nursery.
Coláiste Na Carraige: Ronan O’Hare; Fionn Gallagher, Conor Carr, Pauric McShane; Paddy McShane, Aaron Doherty (0-1), Jordan Burns; Lanty Molloy, Brian O’Donnell; Gary Molloy, Shane Gillespie (0-1), Kenny Doogan; Tadhg McGinley, Pauric O’Neill (2-3,2f), Oran Doogan (1-0). Subs: Colm Garvey for R O’Hare (inj, 43).
St Josephs: R Morgan; D Toner, J Fee, O Bayne; E Loughan, T Devlin, S Crew; P Donnelly (0-1), T Carney (1-5,2f); B Leonard, R O’Neill (1-1), C Stock; S Donnelly, S Burke, E Robinson. Subs: P Girvan for B Leonard (46); E Loughran for S Donnelly (48).
Referee: G. McLaughlin.