Pool four looks to be the tightest of the All-Ireland Schoolboy Championship groupings following huge tussles between St Columba’s and Ashton as well as Banbridge Academy and RBAI in Whitechurch Park.
Freddie Morris salvaged a point for Columba’s inside the last two minutes to earn a share of the spoils with a 1-1 draw against Ashton.
That looked to be the least of their aspirations in the first half as they controlled most of the play and earned a trio of corners. Morris also saw one taken off the line by Brian Stockil after his delightful first time flip over Peter Coulter and volley seemed destined for goal.
The Cork side, though, were to turn the tables in the second half, bossing the ball with Simon Wolfe at the hub of their best work. From their fourth corner, he gathered the second phase and fired across from left to right where Paul Holland was on hand to touch in.
And his side could have made the game safe with five minutes to go from the penalty spot but Peter Quigley saved well from Wolfe. Columba’s countered and Morris ducked and dived to find room for his reverse and shot home a great reverse for 1-1.
Bann and RBAI played out a similarly tight game straight after. The Co Down side took the one clear chance of the first period when a nice outletting move set Josh Rowe free down the left at pace. He worked the ball into the circle for Robert Scott to sweep home on his backhand.
Skipper Clarke Neville then banged home a corner hit for a 2-0 lead. RBAI did bounce back and were level from a corner. James Lorimer’s flick was pushed onto the post by Justin Glass but Sam Heggarty pounced to get his side on the board.
But no equaliser was forthcoming while but for Jack Cliff’s excellent stop on the line, Bann could have made the closing stages more comfortable.
In Pool 3, Karl Murray got the only goal of the game for Mount Temple, finishing off Andrew Jamieson-Murphy slip-pass in the second half to see off Villiers.
They next face Cookstown on Thursday morning, needing a win to set up a potentially big date with Wallace in the final round of games in the afternoon. Wallace won 3-2 against the Co Tyrone side.
Luke Madeley’s hat trick saw Wesley build a 4-0 half-time lead against Bandon before Ben Shanahan got a second half consolation. Methody’s 2-1 win over Sullivan Upper makes the morning game with Wesley at 10am in Mount Temple a huge one in terms of progression.
St Andrew’s title defence, meanwhile, was a 5-0 cruise against Newpark. Their main rivals are Campbell College who were 3-0 victors over Friends.
All Ireland Schoolboys Championships
Pool 1: Wesley College 4 (L Madeley 3, J O’Donovan) Bandon 1 (B Shanahan); Sullivan Upper 1 Methodist College 2 (R Turner, J Logan)
Pool 2: St Andrew’s 5 (G Browne, B Campbell, A Meates, A Fogarty, A Browne) Newpark 0; Friends 0 Campbell College 3
Pool 3: Mount Temple 1 (K Murray) Villiers 0; Wallace HS 3 (M Acheson, R Getty, J Wilson) Cookstown HS 2 (Anderson, Nelson)
Pool 4: St Columba’s 1 (F Morris) Ashton 1 (P Holland); Banbridge Academy 2 (R Scott, C Neville) RBAI 1 (S Heggarty)
Pool 1: Wesley College vs Methodist College, 10am; Mount Temple; Sullivan Upper vs Bandon GS, 10am, High School; Wesley College vs Sullivan Upper, 2.15pm, Booterstown; Methodist College vs Bandon GS, 2.15pm, Sutton Park
Pool 2: St Andrew’s vs Campbell College, 10am, Booterstown, Friends vs Newpark, 10am, Sutton Park; St Andrew’s vs Friends, 2.15pm, Booterstown; Newpark vs Campbell College, 2pm, Newpark
Pool 3: Wallace HS vs Villiers, 11.30am, High School; Mount Temple vs Cookstown HS, 11.30am, Mount Temple; Mount Temple vs Wallace HS, 3.45pm, Booterstown; Cookstown HS vs Villiers, 3.45pm, Sutton Park
Pool 4: St Columba’s vs RBAI, 11.30am, Booterstown; Banbridge vs St Columba’s, 3.45pm, Booterstown; Banbridge Academy vs Ashton, 11.30am, Sutton Park; RBAI vs Ashton, 3.30pm, Mount Temple