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Balla SS overcome St. Catherine’s Killybegs at Manulla to book showcase Senior ‘B’ final slot

FAI Schools John Murphy Senior ‘B’ Boys National Cup Semi Final

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Balla Secondary School, Castlebar 1-0 St. Catherine’s Voc School, Killybegs

AARON DUNLEAVY was the hero for BALLA SECONDARY SCHOOL in Manulla FC this afternoon (February 8).

The solidarity goal was carved out in the third minute after a goal mouth scramble which left the Ulster men on the back foot for much of the first half.

The game was originally scheduled for a neutral venue in Sligo but the Killybegs crew wanted a grass pitch and offered to travel to Manulla to fulfil the fixture.

The soft conditions seemed to favour the home side as they enjoyed a purple patch in the first forty five.

Dean O’Malley tested Daire Brennan between the posts on a number of occasions with some fine long range efforts but the keeper was equal to the challenge.

The St. Catherine’s scholars were the brighter in the second period but just couldn’t convert their chances.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Alex McBrearty’s set piece twenty five yards out was their best chance which forced Balla netminder David Dolan into a finger tip save over his bar. 

Balla may feel hard done by as match official John Munroe waved away two penalty shots in a tense outing for the Connacht starlets. They held out in the end despite four minutes of additional time and will relish another shout at a National title.

Balla Secondary School captured this title back in 2014 under the leadership of Kenneth Nally and Conor Walsh with goals from Gerry Canavan, Bryan Walsh and Dave Clarke saw them overcame Dublin outfit St. Tiernan’s CS, Balally that afternoon.

Dublin side Coláiste Mhuire based in Cabra are on the other side of the draw. They’re newbies to this stage of competition as they face the experienced St. Peter’s Community School from Passage West. The Cork School won the Cup in 2015 so they may have the favourite tag heading into the crunch encounter on Thursday afternoon in the RSC, Waterford (kick-off 1pm)

The National Cup Final is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2.

ST CATHERINE’S VOCATIONAL SCHOOL, KILLYBEGS | Daire Brennan, Colin Mooney, Gavin Gallagher (Barry Murray, HT), Jack Boyle, Kyle McGeoghan, Christopher Mulligan, Ambrose McGee, Dermot Cunningham (Captain), JP McGuinness, Alex McBrearty, Dean Breslin

SUBS | Daniel McCallig, Martin Heraty, Shane Adair, Matthew Huntley

TEACHER | Dónal O’Hagan

BALLA SECONDARY SCHOOL, CASTLEBAR | David Dolan, Cillian Joyce, Josh Mohan (Captain), Aaron Dunleavy, Dean O’Malley, Connor Burke (Conor Nolan, 58), Aaron Moran, Brian O’Donovan (Oisin Cronin, 80), Jack Jordan (Gavin Murphy, HT), Alex Cunningham, Jack Cunningham (Joshua Kiely, HT)

SUBS | James Dunne

TEACHERS | Monty Heneghan, Brian McDonagh

MATCH OFFICIAL | John Munroe (Mayo)

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