Roscommon CBS hang on to claim Senior Schools title

Roscommon Second level Schools Senior Football Final Roscommon CBS               0-8 St. Aloysius Athlone           1-4 Seamus Duke  Roscommon CBS has a single point to spare over St. Aloysius of Athlone in this Roscommon schools football final played in atrocious weather conditions on Tuesday in Kilbride.   In fact it was all credit to both teams who endeavoured to play good football in driving rain and strong, freezing winds – and it took an excellent save from Roscommon CBS goalkeeper Darren Coyle deep into injury-time   to prevent the title from going to the Athlone school after a well-contested game.   Roscommon CBS looked to have the intitiative early on when, against the elements, they took an early lead. But an Athlone goal before half-time brought them back into the game and it was nip and tuck after that.   Aloysius had the elements at their backs in  the opening half and they struck first when full-forward Jack Keegan scored an excellent point after 11 minutes and three minutes later Rob Egan doubled Aloysius’ advantage with a good point from play. However Roscommon CBS  took over for the next ten minutes and scored four points without reply.   With Ronan Gleeson driving them on from centre half-back, they began to get on top. Niall Kilroy points in the 16th and 20th minutes tied up the scores and further points from Shane Regan and Kilroy left it 0-4 to 0-2 in favour of the CBS after 24 minutes. However Aloysius scored a great goal in the 25th minute to bring them back into it.   Daniel Qualter drove in a high ball and Robert Connaughton fielded brilliantly before driving a great shot to the Roscommon net for an excellent goal. One minute into injury-time Shane Regan levelled the scores with a good point for the CBS to send the sides in level at half-time – Roscommon CBS 0-5 St. Aloysius 1-2.   With the elements to aid them, Roscommon CBS looked odds-on to go on and win eaily in the second half but Aloysius played ever so well and they more than matched the CBS in that second period.      Shane Regan kicked the CBS into the lead with a point three minutes after half-time but in the 12th minute Niall Keenan levelled the scores again with a very good point from 30 metres. Then in the 21st minte Regan was on target with a disputed point for the CBS and the Roscommon Town team looked to have secured victory when Kilroy scored at his second attempt after his free fell short of the target and the ball was passed back to him 30 metres out.   But Aloysius were not finished. Sub Dara Lennon converted a 25-metre free in the 31st minute and with time running out, Daniel Qualter made a superb run through the centre for Aloysius but his goal-bound shot was very well saved by Darren Coyle to give the CBS victory by the narrowest of margins.   For the CBS Ronan Gleeson, Niall Collins, Niall Kilroy, Shane Regan and Eoin Hoare were best while for a gallant St. Aloysius team Shane Mulvey, Daniel Qualter, Rob Egan and Niall Keenan were most effective. Roscommon CBS: D Coyle; G Feely, P Feeney, D Feeney; P Callaghan, R Gleeson, D Gilleran; N Collins, D Kelly; J O’Gara, N Kilroy (0-4), D Walshe; D Hunt, S Regan (0-4), E Hoare. Subs: D Hughes, D Kelly.  St. Aloysius: N Connaughton; A McNamara, S Mulvey, C Hannon; J Harney, N O’Connor, C Harney; D Qualter, E Connaughton; D Beirne, R Egan (0-1), D Reilly; R Connaughton (1-0), J Keegan (0-1), N Keenan (0-1). Subs: G Pettit,  D Lennon (0-1).  Referee: Vivian Hardiman.