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Hogan Cup: St. Colman’s 3-14 Dundalk Schools 1-9

St. Colman’s, Newry stand on the threshold of history following this emphatic Hogan Cup semi-final victory over Dundalk Schools.

In their glorious history the Violet School seat of learning have never won back-to-back Hogan Cups, but they are now only sixty minutes away from doing so with St. Jarlath’s, Tuam standing in their way at Croke Park on Saturday April 9.

Manager Cathal Murray admits that they have work to do if they are to achieve that goal.

“We made very hard work of it” said Murray.

“Dundalk put us under pressure at times and we hadn’t things all our own way.

“We knew that the first 10 minutes were crucial. We enjoyed a great start, but didn’t push on as much as we could have.

“It wasn’t our best performance of the year and we have things to improve on, but that’s the best way to be going into a final.”

St. Colman’s blitzed their opponents right from the word go and were virtually out of sight shortly before half-time, when they held an 11 point lead.

Caolan Mooney had the game’s opening score inside 60 seconds and points followed from Ryan Johnson, Jerome Johnson and Tony McGreevy and we still had only played five minutes.

With Ryan Johnson and Conor Gough on top in midfield and McGreevey and Pearse Casey winning every break ball St. Colman’s pushed forward time and time again.

Mooney bagged a superb goal in the 12th minute and although Ciaran Byrne did get a couple of points for Dundalk, Mooney’s second goal of the afternoon gave the holders’ an 11 point advantage.

In the final minute of the first-half Conal McKeever capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Matthew McNeice to score a Dundalk goal but St. Colman’s still led 2-8 to 1-4 at halftime.

In the third quarter Byrne landed three points for Dundalk, but St. Colman’s maintained their advantage thanks to a Jerome Johnson free and an excellent point from play from half back Kealan Haughey.

Jack Haughey sent over a point and while Byrne got his sixth score of the afternoon at the other end it proved to be Dundalk’s last of the contest.

St. Colman’s stepped on the gas with substitute Patrick Morgan and Jerome Johnson both pointing from play before Mooney knocked over a free.

A minute from time Shay McArdle put the icing on the cake when he finished to the net.

St.Colman’s: M McNeice, M O’Hare, N Donnelly, J Haughey [0-1], D Brannigan, E Magee, K Haughey [0-1], R Johnson [0-1], C Gough, T Mulholland, P Casey, C Mooney [2-3], S McArdle [1-1], J Johnson [0-5], T McGreevy [0-1]. Subs: P Morgan [0-1] for Mulholland, R Mussen for Mooney

Dundalk Schools: D Breen, K Lenehan, D Smith, C McMenamin, Sean Thornton, D McMahon [0-1], S McAuley [0-1], P Reilly, J Stewart, K Hearty, A Sharkey, C Doyle, C Byrne [0-6], S Thornton, C McKeever [1-1]. Subs: C Ryan for Reilly, R Williams for McMenamin, A Murphy for Shane Thornton, A English for Sean Thornton, P Lynch for McAuley

Referee: P McEnaney (Monaghan).

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