On the 6th of December a hopeful St. Mary’s of Mullingar took on All Ireland Champions St Fergal’s College, on a cold morning in Rathdowney.
St. Fergal’s got off to a flying start and took an early lead of eight points in the first 20 minutes with great scores from Liam O’Connell, Mark Kavanagh, Aidan Corby, Stephen Bergin and Philip Bergin. An injured Liam O’Connell was replaced by Eric Killeen early on. St. Mary’s made many attacks in the first half but the St. Fergal’s backs won possession each time and worked the ball up the field.
Danny Brennan was tested a few times but did very well to protect his goal on one occasion in the first half with a great save which resulted in a very strong clearance from Lee Cleere. Every time St. Mary’s got the ball they were put under huge pressure from the likes of Gavin Dunne, Jack Kelly, Mark Hayes and Eric Killeen. St. Mary’s only managed to score one point against the strongly defensive Rathdowney side.
As the ball was dropped into Stephen Bergin on the edge of the square he took a shot that was well saved but he managed to score a brilliant goal on the rebound. Less than two minutes later Colm Stapleton delivered a lovely ball into Stephen Bergin and again he struck a great goal to leave the score 2-8 to 1 point at halftime.
St. Fergal’s returned after half time with a point from a free scored by Mark Kavanagh. St Mary’s then won the ball and took it up the field to score two points in quick succession.
The St. Fergal’s team worked well together giving good passes and helping each other when in trouble, especially the forwards. They replied to the two points scored by St. Mary’s with six points scored by Robbie Phelan, Eoin Fitzpatrick, Aidan Corby, Shane Bowe and Mark Kavanagh. A prime example of the teamwork St. Fergal’s showed was the pass from Aidan Corby to Shane Bowe who took a powerful shot which ended in the back of the net. St .Mary’s, never giving up, stayed fighting and hustling and scored a point quickly after Shane Bowe’s goal. Unfortunately for them though St. Fergal’s never gave up hurling either and took the ball down the field and worked four more points, two from Mark Kavanagh and one each from Aidan Corby and Robbie Phelan. Stephen Bergin finished the scoring with a late goal to end the game, on a score line of 4-17to 4 points. St. Fergal’s now go on to play Heywood C.S in the Leinster Semi-final.