Injury heartbreak denies Donegal side Coláiste Cholmcille in semi-final

All Ireand C Colleges Semi Final

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell


Heartbreak for Donegal side Coláiste Cholmcille

The loss of three key players to injury during the game was the main factor in Coláiste Cholmcille bowing out of the All-Ireland semi-final in Breffni Park 3G pitch.

Presentation De La Salle, Bagenalstown 1-15
Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon 2-10

The Ballyshannon boys were a good match for the Carlow side, but they were hit with body blows, losing big Dean Carroll after 20 minutes; wing-back Conall Sweeney with a dislocated finger before half-time and then with the winning post in sight and three points ahead, Nathan Boyle suffered a back injury with 10 minutes left.
After putting in a massive performance, they just couldn't hold out as Bagnelstown came strong in added time, which amounted to 10 minutes due to long injury delays to Boyle and the Carlow college's 'keeper, who was injured in making a great save from Seamus Keogh.
The sides were evenly matched throughout with a Bagnelstown goal after 13 minutes the difference in the opening half. Coláiste Cholmcille had the wind advantage but struggled to get good ball into Oisin Rooney to stick. Early points from Dean Carroll (2) and Michael McKenna were cancelled by Sean Smithers and Padraig Hynes before the goal, which was clinically despatched by Danny Doyle.
Shane McGrath and Nathan Boyle, the two standout players for Coláiste Cholmcille on the day, had their side level before Smithers got forward for another Carlow score.
Nathan Boyle pointed a free after Carroll's injury but the Carlow side hit three points in-a-row to lead 1-6 to 0-6, but two frees from Shane McGrath left just a point between them at the break, Coláiste Cholmcille 0-8, Presentation De La Salle 1-6.
The opening minutes of the second half saw a great save at either end, Seamus Keogh denied and when Presentation De La Salle broke, Sean Taylor made a brilliant stop at the expense of a '45'.
Coláiste Cholmcille created the first of their goals in great style with Shane McGrath cutting through from midfield only to be hauled down. From the penalty, Dylan Gallagher hit the top corner to put his side ahead, and Nathan Boyle cut through to hit a good point with his left to leave it 1-9 to 1-7.
Padraig Hynes pulled a point back but the Ballyshannon side created a brilliant second goal, Cian McGloin starting the move in midfield with a number of players involved before McGloin was on the end of the move to fire home and four points lead after 44 minutes.
Bagnelstown pulled a point back before injury robbed Coláiste Cholmcille of Nathan Boyle. That was the catalyst for a comeback and two more points left the Ballyshannon a point to the good going into added time.
It looked good when Michael McKenna popped over a tenth point with 62 minutes on the clock, but they were unable to hold out against non-stop pressure and the Carlow side hit four points to clinch a final place. Coláiste Cholmcille were not helped as Jason Granaghan first picked up a yellow for reacting after winning a free and within a minute he was shown black and red.
But spare a thought for Shane McGrath, who was truly outstanding in defeat, doing everything in his power to haul his side to the final. There were good performances also from Sean Taylor, Cian McGloin, Conal Sweeney, Dean Carroll (while on the field) and Nathan Boyle.

Coláiste Cholmcille team: Sean Taylor; Cian McGloin, Robbie Ryan, Shane Gillespie; Conal Sweeny, Jason Granaghan, Cáelán Drummond; Matthew McClay, Dean Carroll (0-2,1f); Ryan McKenna, Shane McGrath (0-3,2f), Michael McKenna (0-2), Dylan Gallagher (1-0), Oisin Rooney and Nathan Boyle (0-3,1f). Subs: Seamus Keogh for Carrol (20); Cathal McSharry for McClay (24) and Patrick McCaffrey for Sweeny (28); Shane Dorrian for Boyle (49); Matthew McClay for Drummond 59.

Presentation De La Salle: Paul Martin; David Lillis, Tadhg Roche, Sean Smithers (0-2); Jack Rowan (0-1), Niall Roche (0-1), Mickey Bambrick (0-1); Jamie McCabe, Martin Bridgett; Danny Doyle (1-0), Robbie Kane (0-5,4f), Padraig Hynes (0-3,2f); Aidan Lillis, John Martin, Cian Doyle (0-1). Subs., Michael Murphy for J Martin 30; Cormac Lomax (0-1) for Rowan 42

Referee: Noel Hand (Louth)