There was heartbreak for Ulster champions, PCC Falcarragh, as they were defeated in the All-Ireland semi-final in Gortakeegan by two late goals for Grennan College, Thomastown.
PCC Falcarragh 2
Carlos O’Reilly (54), Ultan Boyle (57)
Grennan College, Thomastown 3
Shane Molloy (73), Steven Wemyss (78), Jack Barcoe (90)
Bank of Ireland FAI Schools John Murphy Senior ‘B’ Boys National Cup Semi Final
Three goals in the final twenty minutes of a pulsating tie now see Denis Doyle’s side pipped against Belmullet outfit St. Brendan’s College in this season’s showcase.
The Donegal School were feeling the pressure in the first forty five when Grennan College outsmarted them with their attacking prowess but a Man of the Match performance from Falcarragh’s netminder Shane Corless kept them in contention in a fantastic exhibition of goalkeeping.
Colm Whelan who was capped for FAI Schools International squad against England in last month’s Centenary Shield fixture in Luton played a pivotal part in his schools success. He released Jack Barcoe who unleashed a thunderous shot on target but Corless showed his class blocking with his feet.
Whelan got in on the action himself twelve minutes later as a goalmouth scramble saw the ball nudge toward goal but again a combination of an Anthony Browne intervention and a hand from Corless was enough to deny the youngster.
Set piece specialist Jack Barcoe fed Micheal Murphy at the back post on twenty three minutes but again Shane Corless pulled off an exceptional save.
Falcarragh were playing some nice football in the opening exchanges but their final ball was letting them down, much to the relief of Grennan’s Number One, Micheal Walsh.
It was scoreless at the interval as Grennan College just couldn’t see past Corless.
Falcarragh experienced a purple patch in the second period which saw them produce two goals in three minutes. The opener came courtesy of Carlos O’Reilly as he slotted past Walsh with ease following a great ball from Ultan Boyle on 54 minutes.
Their lead was doubled three minutes later when supplier turned goal-scorer as Ultan Boyle smashed a beauty past a stunned Walsh.
There was a lengthy delay in proceedings as Falcarragh student Conan Brennan landed awkwardly on his hip following an inconspicuous aerial assault.
The game restarted with twenty minutes remaining as the momentum swung Grennan’s way. The rampage produced a wonderful piece of magic as Shane Molloy’s half-volley slotted past Corless to give them a vital lifeline!
Five minutes later, a Jack Barcoe corner was met by the head of Steven Wemyss who netted an excellent equaliser.
The Falcarragh men were silenced in the 90th minute when Jack Barcoe converted the match winner from a sensational set piece from 30 yards out as the ball floated past the head of a stranded Corless.
Heartach for PCC Falcarragh but jubilation for Thomastown side Grennan College who now focus their attention on the Cup Final which is scheduled for Friday, April 13.
PCC FALCARRAGH | Shane Corless, Fionn McGinley, Patrick McGinley, Kyle McMullan, Michael Mulhern, Carlos O’Reilly, Edward O’Reilly, Conan Brennan (Odhran McBride 70), Michael McHugh, Ultan Boyle, Anthony Browne
SUBS | Reece O’Donagh, Neil Kelly, Dairmuid Coyle, Joseph Coll
TEACHER | Shane Gillespie
GRENNAN COLLEGE, THOMASTOWN | Micheal Walsh, Steven Wemyss, Steven Donnelly, Micheal Murphy, Jack Holden, Shane Maher, Shane Molloy, Jamie Holden, Jack Barcoe, Colm Whelan, Adam Farrell
SUBS | Cian Shanahan, Jack Keirns, Tommy Carolan, James Drea, Joe Conlon
TEACHER | Denis Doyle
REFEREE | Paul McGeown (Monaghan)