Mount Temple eased through the qualification process to the All-Ireland Schoolboys Championships with a pair of comfortable victories over Kilkenny and Newpark.
It means they join the pre-qualified Leinster sides High School, Wesley and St Andrew’s in the 16-team national competition that takes place in Belfast later in October.Indeed, they were ruthless in their efficiency. In their opening game of the winner-takes-all round-robin, they tore into an inexperienced Kilkenny, building up a 5-0 half-time lead.
There was little let up from Gareth Borland’s side in the second half with goal difference a potential factor and they subsequently added five more goals.
Polish Under-18 international Mateusz Nowakowski – who arrived in Ireland last year – scored four times while John Mullins and Rob Duggan added two each. Timmy Cullen and Fionn Delaney got the other goals.
Newpark kept their hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Kilkenny in game two of the series, netting toward the end of each half.
It meant Temple needed a draw or better to claim the qualification spot from this group but they found the going initially tough against a fired up Blackrock outfit that kept the game level at 0-0 at half-time.
But a composed Temple controlled the opening of the second half to make the crucial incisions with goals from Michael Fulham and Kevin Murray. Newpark got one back to put some pressure on but another Kevin Murray goal and a fifth of the group for Nowakowski made for a 4-1 win.
In the other qualifying tournament, Jaime Segui’s winning saw St Columba’s sneak through to the final spot at this year’s All-Ireland Schoolboys tournament as they came back from 1-0 down to beat Sutton Park.
It saw them shade a closely contested round-robin group ahead of Sutton and King’s Hospital with precious little between the sides.
The Rathfarnham outfit and KH shared a 1-1 draw in the opening game with Cormac McCooey on the mark for the former. King’s Hos, though, replied with a corner five minutes from the end.
Sutton raced into a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of their tie with KH and while the Palmerstown crew pulled one back, they never got closer than the final score of 3-1.
It put Sutton in the box seat where a draw would be enough for them to progress to the national stage from this Leinster qualifier.
And they looked good when an attack up the left saw them score from a tight angle for a 1-0 lead. Columba’s got one back soon after through McCooey to make it 1-1.
Then, just before half time, Columba’s turned the ball over near half way made three simple passes before Segui received the ball in the D, turned strong and calmly pushed into the bottom corner. They clung on for the victory and a place in the All-Irelands.