Mitchelstown Crowned All Ireland Champions
They say “good things come to those who wait”, and while this somewhat sums up CBS’ All Ireland win in the Corn Ui Mhuiri Senior Football league, it most certainly does not tell the full story. This match on Easter Saturday, 26th March, where CBS Mitchelstown were victorious over St Mark’s, Warrenpoint at 0.11 to 1.07, was not an isolated exercise of luck but rather a culmination of hard work, determination and humble, unbridled focus, from both players and management, that began back in September.
The campaign that lead to St Conleth’s in Newbridge, last Saturday, was a resolved one, where every game was taken individually and humbly; where the team had to, at times, dig deep, and where a shared vision exuded from all involved: to lift an All-Ireland Cup in the Spring. This resolve was no more evident than in the Munster Semi-Final, against Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, where the CBS boys clawed back from a 4 points deficit with 25 minutes to go, to finish victorious with a three point lead. This victory seemed to embed a self-belief in the squad that aided the team in the remaining of their games up to and including the All Ireland Final.
The day of the All Ireland Final saw a sparsely-populated Mitchelstown as people left in their throes to support the CBS boys; the day saw one team bus, three 56 seat supporter buses and many many carloads of well-wishers: parents, students, past and present, teachers and local well-wishers venture up the M8 to. Co. Kildare with one objective, and one objective only at hand: to make history and bring the coveted All Ireland cup back to North Cork. The school has a long tradition in GAA, compounded undoubtedly by the dedication and passion of teacher and local Kildorrery man Mr. Willie Duggan. Mr. Duggan joined the staff of the CBS in 1982 and has been a driving force in the school’s success in G.A.A. since then. This excellence in direction was compounded by the addition of Mr. Cillian Bohane to the staff in 2007. Both of these teachers, along with Mr Conor O’Leary, who train the junior football teams, have seen many county and provincial successes over the years, though the coveted All Ireland was but a dream until this year.
The day of reckoning saw a wet and cool setting that did nothing to dampen the spirits of both supporters and team players. The CBS team began with great furore, seeing the boys dominate the first half from the outset, with a score at half time of 0.08 to 0.02. The second half, again, saw a strong and wilful Mitchelstown side lead the scoreboard, though the strength and fighting spirit of St Mark’s in the last quarter cannot go undisclosed, with a last minute goal in injury time leaving the final score at 0.11 to 1.07. However, though the final score had one point in it, nobody present could dispute that Mitchelstown CBS were the ultimate and deserving winner, despite the nail-biting final few minutes.
Though the whole panel exemplified an incredibly strong and team spirited game-plan, which definitely worked in the school’s favour, certain players must be identified for their role in the success on the day: Cathail O Mahony who scored five points, four from play; Mark Keane who was highly influential in both the mid-field and in the forward line; Seán Walsh who exemplified huge skill, fitness and sportsmanship in the midfield and Eoin O Mahony, who was instrumental in the CBS maintaining its lead throughout in clocking up two points from frees. The mid and forward line were strongly supported by a fierce and almost impenetrable backline, that predominantly refused to concede to any advancement attempted by the Warrenpoint side. The CBS side thundered through the vast majority of the game and were definitely the deserving winners on the day. However, though he did not play on the day, due to a highly controversial and contestable Red card issued in the All Ireland semi-final, credit must be given to Colin English who was such a huge and influential player for the whole year’s campaign, proving himself to be the most worthy of captains: a leader by example and a leader by inspiration.
The aftermath of the match saw the victorious team return home to the square of Mitchelstown to a rapturous reception, where the squad and their trainers were met with a jubilant crowd, and even a few bars of a song! They say indeed that good things come to those who wait…well Mitchelstown CBS have waited long enough and are now relishing in the best thing of all: just desserts for a justifiably admirable campaign, this season’s and every predecessor to it throughout the decades. All we’re waiting for now is to see what the very bright future might have in hold for the school in the immediate future years!
Team: C. O’Sullivan, E. Gallaghue, J. Coughlan, K. Roche, L. Finn, E. O’ Donoghue, D. Kent, S. O’ Sullivan, S. Walsh, B. White, G. Pendle, E. O’ Mahony, C. O’Mahony, M. Keane, A. English
Subs: P. McGrath for G. Pendle; P.O’Gorman for B. White
MITCHELSTOWN CBS CREATE HISTORY WITH ALL IRELAND TITLE
Report by Paddy Ryan
Mitchelstown CBS 0- 11
St Mark's Warrenpoint 1 - 7
History was created in St Conleth's Park Newbridge on Easter Saturday when Mitchelstown CBS won the All Ireland SFC (C)
title by the narrowest of margins. Not only was this the first ever All Ireland success for the school but it was the first ever National title to come to the town. It was a game played in tough weather conditions where Mitchelstown led from the start but were so close to being caught at the final whistle. It was a massive achievement as the CBS had to lineout without their influential midfielder and captain Colin English who was red carded in the semi final. The experienced Tipperary midfielder who played in the 2015 All Ireland MFC final defeat to Kerry was a huge blow to the side but on the occasion they lifted their game and won it for him.
CBS had the aid of the cross wind in the first half. They were quick to get on the scoresheet with Cathal O'Mahony pointing in the first minute. Mark Keane was narrowly off target before Adrian English placed team captain Eoin O'Mahony for a well taken point. The Down boys opened their scoring in the 7th minute when Tiarnan Rushe pointed a free. CBS created a five man attack but the end result was a wide. In the 11th minute good play by C J Barr and Ciaran Tinnelly led to Tiarnan Rushe cut through only to be denied by an excellent block by Jack Coughlan. Good play by George Pendle led to Adrian English gaining possession on the wing. The Ballyporeen man cut inside two markers and was brought down in the area and a penalty awarded. The resultant penalty by Sean Walsh went over for a point. Dylan Kent, Eric O'Donoghue and Lorcan Finn made some great attacks out of defence denying the St. Mark's side any chance of getting clean ball into their two dangermen Paddy Smyth and Tiarnan Rushe. 'Town' midfielders Sean O'Sullivan and Sean Walsh were also doing very well. CBS set up a few good movements but Shea Fitzpatrick broke up one very good attack. In the 19th minute Mark Keane kicked a great point. Further pressure led to a foul on Adrian English with Eoin O'Mahony pointing the free 0-5 to 0-1. St. Mark's only other score of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Tiarnan Rushe pointed in off the upright. Rushe was wide from a free soon after. In the 25th minute Mitchelstown edged four points clear again when a movement started by Lorcan Finn to Sean Walsh and Mark Keane saw the inrushing Cathal O'Mahony gain possession on the flank and kick a great point. CBS were now very prominent being well in control in the vital half back line and midfield sectors. Mark Keane won a vital high catch and offloaded to Adrian English who was fouled. Eoin O'Mahony made no mistake from the free. John McKernan broke up a good CBS attack with the ball breaking down field to dangerman Tiarnan Rushe who forced Cathal O'Sullivan to make a very good save. George Pendle was on hand deep in defence to gather the clearance and avoid the danger. C J Barr cut through and was again denied by a fine Cathal O'Sullivan save. St Mark's tried valiantly to get some scores before the break. In the 29th minute Eric O'Donoghue with a massive clearance found Cathal O'Mahony who kicked a great point giving CBS an interval lead 0-8 to 0-2.
St Mark's had the aid of the wind on the changeover. CBS had an early pointed free by Brian White. Aaron Magee replied for St Mark's following a three man attack. The Ulster side were showing signs of a recovery when John McKernan broke up a good attack and soloed through placing impressive Ciaran Tinnelly for a very good point. Shane Annett was wide for St Mark's after being put through by Aaron Magee and Shea Fitzpatrick. CBS responded well a foul on George Pendle led to a pointed free by Cathal O'Mahony 0-10 to 0-4. Dylan Kent made two great clearances along the flank as CBS tried very hard to hold the lead. In the 40th minute good play by Mark Keane and Eoin O'Mahony led to a great Cathal O'Mahony point.
For the remaining twenty minutes and 3 minutes of injury time CBS failed to score. However they defended valiantly and even though St. Mark's were on top in vital sectors around midfield they were unable to breach the CBS backline who held firm right to end. CBS now had Mark Keane at midfield. Dylan Kent made another vital clearance and won a free. However Cathal O'Mahony's effort into the wind tailed off wide. In the 47th minute St. Mark's created a good movement involving John McKernan and C J Barr that resulted in a good attempt by Aaron Magee that was punched clear by Cathal O'Sullivan and cleared away by strong defender Eoin Gallahue. A minute later Ciaran Tinnelly kicked a great point 0-11 to 0- 5. St. Mark's made some great attacks working the short passing in from midfield. CBS defence stood firm Jack Coughlan made some massive catches and they cleared very well under pressure. Killian Roche denied Paddy Smyth with a timely interception. In the 56th minute good play by Paddy Smyth led to a fine point by Tiarnan Rushe 0-11 to 0- 7. In the closing moments CBS were under constant pressure but they held firm. Eric O'Donoghue made a great clearance but the ball was back in once more by Aaron Magee. They conceded a close in free in the 6lst minute. Tiarnan Rushe kicked the free low knowing if it were saved they would be in for the rebound. The rebound went up into the air and was punched to the net by CJ Barr who was now operating in attack. Deep in injury time CBS cleared with the final whistle following to the delight of the large Mitchelstown CBS support. After wins over Ennistymon CBS, Douglas Community School, Patrician Academy Mallow, MICC Lisdoonvarna, Presentation Milltown Kerry in the Munster final, Dunshaughlin Community School in the All Ireland semi final they now capped it off with their 7th win of the campaign an All Ireland win over St Mark's.
Scorers for Mitchelstown CBS : Cathal O'Mahony 0-5 (0-1f) Eoin O'Mahony 0-3 (0-1f) Sean Walsh 0-1 pen. Mark Keane 0-1, Brian White 0-1f.
St. Mark's Warrenpoint : Tiarnan Rushe 0-4 (0-2f) Ciaran Tinnelly 0-2, C J Barr 1-0, Aaron Magee 0-1.
MITCHELSTOWN CBS : Cathal O'Sullivan (Mitchelstown) Eoin Gallahue (Galtee Gaels) Jack Coughlan (Glanworth) Killian Roche (Mitchelstown) Lorcan Finn (do) Eric O'Donoghue (Glanworth) Dylan Kent (Kildorrery) Sean O'Sullivan (Mitchelstown) Sean Walsh (do) Brian White (do) George Pendle (do) Eoin O'Mahony (Capt) (Ballylanders) Cathal O'Mahony (Mitchelstown) Mark keane (do) Adrian English (Ballyporeen) Subs : Padraigh McGrath (Galtee Gaels) for George Pendle, Padraigh O'Gorman (Mitchelstown) for Brian White.
ST. MARK'S WARRENPOINT : Dean Toner (Saval) Chris Killen (Rostrevor) Caolan Fitzpatrick (Burren) Mark Doyle (Rostrevor) Cathal Fegan (Burren) Shea Fitzpatrick (do) John McKernan (do) C J Barr (Mayobridge) Conor Lowry (Clonduff) Shane Annett (Mayobridge) Ciaran Tinnelly (Ballyholland) Aaron Magee (Mayobridge) Paddy Smyth (do) Conor Owens (Rostrevor) Tiarnan Rushe (Ballyholland) Subs : Darragh Murdock (Burren) for Conor Lowry, Jack Grant (Ballyholland) for Conor Fegan.
Referee : Brendan Cawley (Kildare)