Peadar Barry Success For St Colman's
Peadar Barry Cup 2012
Corn Pheadair Ó Barra 2012
St Colman’s travelled to An Ríocht CLG on Friday October 5th for the annual Peadar Barry &-a-side tournament for U-151/2s. This is a unique opportunity for both the vocational schools and colleges to test their skills against each other in the 7-a-side format.
This year’s College team travelled to An Ríocht with the weight of expectation on their shoulders given St Colman’s recent success in the tournament. St Colman’s were drawn in a group with Our Lady & St Patrick’s, Knock, St Louis ‘A’ and Abbey CBS ‘B’. The first group game against Our lady’s and St Patrick’s was a tense affair to begin with the sides exchanging chances. It was taking the College boys some time to get to grips with the pace and tempo of the short game. However, as time wore on they grasped the tactics better than the Belfast side and began to settle into their rhythm scoring a total of 2-04 to 0-02. The next challenge came from Newry rivals Abbey CBS ‘B’ who raised the competitive bar. But again the College lads had superior tactics and stuck to their task scoring 3-05 to 1-01 and running out easy winners. The hard work was done and qualification secured before the final group game against St Louis ‘A’. With the pressure off the players loosened up and began to express themselves with a more complete display running out winners by a significant margin 4-04 to 0-00.
The quarter final display against St Mark’s ‘B’ was perhaps the most complete display of the day. The boys followed the plan to the letter and with hard work and no small amount of skill ran out again as easy winners by a margin of 4-05 to 0-04.
The semi-final brought us to a new level of challenge from the ‘Red High’ ‘A’. This was a tenser and more cagy affair with scores at a premium and where any mistake would be punished. This time St Colman’s did not get it all their own way and the Downpatrick lads matched them in almost every aspect. St Colman’s started the scoring but were pegged back immediately and the game ebbed and flowed like this until a decisive break in the 2nd period saw St Colman’s edge into a 6 point lead which seemed to break the belief of the ‘Red High’ boys. However, they rallied again but couldn’t reduce the deficit sufficiently and the college were again in the final. Such was the intensity of the day it wasn’t until this point we realised it would be our Newry neighbours Abbey CBS we would meet.
Optimism was not in great abundance among some given the Abbey were a much fancied side going into the tournament but to their credit the boys dismissed any defeatist talk and decided to give it their all for 15 more minutes.
The final was to be a much more tactical affair with the contrasting styles of the teams very clear to see. The Abbey set up defensively with counter attacking or isolation of their main scoring threat while the college pursued a high pressure, high intensity game. The result was a low scoring but intriguing first half which ended the Abbey a point to the good. The second half opened up a little with St Colman’s taking the game to the Abbey with a more adventurous approach. Again the story was points rather than goals, and the college were more accurate in front of the posts and they engineered a two point lead with a minute to go. The Abbey stormed back into it needing a goal and it came like a rocket from the right hand side to put them a point up and time almost up. There was time, however, for one more twist and up stepped Ryan McGreevy to point the equaliser from distance on the whistle.
This sent the final to extra-time with the golden score as the decider. It was simple - win possession develop an opportunity, and win the title. For the first time in the competition the midfield did not win the throw-in, the Abbey galloped down-field but inexplicably went for goal which was saved by Ryan McGreevy. The College had a reprieve and they moved in search of the winner, they moved down the left flank but strong defensive work from the Abbey resulted in a side-line ball from an acute angle. Ryan McGreevy stepped up again, went for it and converted. The Peadar Barry had been defended and defended in style. It was bad luck on a gallant Abbey side but it would be fair to say the more adventurous team won.