Donegal’s last chance of Ulster Schools football silverware were well and truly ended on Friday, when Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Holy Trinity, Cookstown.
Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair 0-4
Holy Trinity, Cookstown 7-10
With Rosses Community School also put to the sword also by Holy Trinity in the Markey Cup (senior) and Colaiste na Carraige pipped last weekend by St. Ciaran’s Ballygawley at U16, Pobalscoil headed to Newstownstewart carrying Donegal last chance of making an impression in Ulster in 2012..
But as the final scoreline suggests the Goath Dobhair boys were well out of their depth and the game as a contest the game was over as early as the sixth minute.
Pobscoil’s prospects were not helped by the fact that they were without their marquee forward Darragh Boyle. The number 14 missed the game through injury after suffering a knock playing soccer the day before (Thursday) against Abbey Vocational School.
While leading marksman Boyle would probably not have alterted the outcome it would be fair to assume the margin of defeat might not be just as big.
Because in fairness to James Carroll’s boys, they did, through the hard grafting of his brother Michael Carroll in midfield, enjoy enough possession to have more than four points on the scoreboard at the finish; it was simply they did not have the cutting edge up front which Boyle gave them in their run through Donegal..
Pobalscoil got off to the worst possible starts as they were hit with two Cookstown goals in the opening six minutes. Wing forward Caolan Mallighan polished of a sweeping move inside 30 seconds to slip the ball past Conor Boyle with David Mulgrew netted the second five and half minutes later. Mulgrew drilled home following a double save from Eoghan Gallagher and Boyle.
Leading 2-0 to no score, with Mulgrew pulling the strings, Holy Trinity, added two more points from James Devlin and Mulgrew before Carroll from a free on 15 minutes struck the Donegal side’s first score.
And when Naoise Boyle added a second within 60 seconds, the hope was that Pobalscoil were at least going to make a game of it.
However, a third Cookstown goal from Sean Conway shortly afterwards put paid to those aspirations. While Carroll converted another free, it was all Holy Trinity for the remainder of the half as they added a further goal and point courtesy of Mulgrew to go in 13 points in front, 4-4 to 0-3 at the half-time interval.
With the game over the second half was only academic as the Tyrone champions (they defeated St. Ciaran’s, Ballygawley, by a point in the Tyrone final) hit 3-6 to Pobalscoil’s single point.
James Devlin on 36 minutes, Shane McKeon on 51 and Mulgrew 57, were the goal scorers while James Devlin, Mulgrew, Conway and Tiernan McNamee added the points.
Carroll raised his side’s sole second half white flag in the middle of the half on another day that the gulf in class between Donegal and Tyrone schools’ football as once more highlighted in big bold letters.
Pobalscoil Gaoth Dobhair: Conor Boyle; Conor McFadden, Eoghan Gallagher, Sean Ferry; Ciaran Brown, Ciaran McHugh, Odhran Ferry; Michael Carroll (0-3,2f), Ryan Kelly; Kyle McFadden, Naoise Boyle (0-1), Michael Roarty; Eamon Colum, Dan Gallagher, Neasa McBride. Subs: Shane O’Donnell for C. Boyle; Donal Spink for N. Boyle; Michael J. Coll for E. Colum; Michael Dwyer for M. Roarty.
Holy Trinity: Michael Donnelly; Aidan McKenna, Shane McNally, Tiernan Hurl; Conor McDonald, Tiernan Corr, Oran Devlin; James Devlin (1-2), Manus Teague; Caolan Mallaghan (1-0), David Mulgrew (3-6), John Devlin; Sean Conway (1-0), Shane McKeon (1-0), Daniel Quinn. Subs: Tiernan McNamee (0-1) for O. Devlin.
Referee: Kieran Brolly (Derry)
Man of the match
Holy Trinity’s David Mulgrew scored 3-6 and was the man that pulled most of the strings for the winners and most definitely the man of the match. Midfielder Michael Carroll was Pobalscoil’s best performer while Conor Boyle in goals nor his replacement Shane O’Donnell could be faulted for the goals. Eoghan Gallagher at full-back too and Naoise Boyle - in the first half - had their moments too.
Two goals within six minutes of the start, the first from Caolan Mallaghan inside 30 seconds, set the tone for the afternoon and ultimately set Holy Trinity on their way.
Derry official Kieran Brolly did not have a very taxing outing with a minor first half flare-up involving a number of players from both sides was his only real test. But he took the sensible approach dealt with the matter speedily, had a quick word with a few of the protagonists and he had no bother for the remainder of the game.