Wesley senior boys take third major

John Waring All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championship Final
Wesley 1 (Shane Madeley) St Andrew’s 0
Revenge proved a dish served piping hot for Wesley as Shane Madeley scored the vital goal to hand the Ballinteer school the John Waring All-Ireland Schoolboy Championship just a fortnight after a relinquishing the Leinster Senior Cup by the same scoreline.

The Irish U-16 hitman was the beneficiary of an outstanding baseline run from Alan White who drew goalkeeper Stephen West before laying on the perfect pull-back for Madeley to roll home in the seventh minute.

It proved the only goal of an absorbing contest to round off a fast and furious second edition of the John Waring “super sixes” competition, featuring the cup finalists from Ulster, Munster and Leinster.

Due to costs, the tournament was condensed into a one-day format rather than the two-day event last time out, making each school play potentially three fixtures.

Wesley progressed from what looked the harder group, beating Ulster champions Banbridge – shorn of the skills of Stephen Dowds due to a hamstring injury – 2-1 courtesy of two Peter English drag-flicks to seal their place in the decider following an earlier 4-1 win over Ashton.

St Andrew’s, though, were forced to see their destiny unfold in front of them as a 0-0 draw with Belfast’s Campbell College put them in danger of elimination.

The matter was decided by who could get the better scoreline against Bandon Grammar. First up, Andrew’s recorded a 3-1 win and then could only watch as Andrew Williamson and Chris Morrow put Campbell on the brink at 2-0. Andrew Scannell’s response, though, for the southerners meant the Booterstown school could breathe again and take up their title shot.

The exertions of the day meant there was little in it as players succumbed to cramp at regular intervals. Wesley served notice of intent, earning their only penalty corner inside three minutes before Madeley kept his cool to finish off an excellent move for 1-0.

Neal Megarity – who had a fine game from full-back – almost laid on a second when he squeezed a cross right past the face of a gaping goal-mouth while Madeley’s interchange with Andrew Malcolm early in the second half almost earned an insurance goal.

Andrew’s had their chances in the second half. Fiachra Maher’s push beat goalkeeper Rob Fitzgerald but had not the weight to get by the covering Megarity while the defender was also out fast to block a David Cole drag-flick to keep score-sheet clean and earn a third piece of silverware.

Wesley now travel to Holland at Easter to play in the European School’s Hockey Championships.

Wesley: R Fitzgerald, D McCrea, R Burke, C Motyer (capt), A White, K Shimmins, P English, N Megarity, S Madeley, T Samuel,
Subs: S Doherty, A Malcolm, D Sturley, L Chadwick, J Lewis, A Roberts, C Quinn, S Margetson

St Andrew’s: S West, M Cronin, F Maher, R Sykes, J Beirne, M Styles, D Cole, S Nolan, G Garrett, S Spence, C Stephens
Subs: R Anderson, R Nair, S O’Halloran, D Watkins, J Donnellan, J Codd, A Gaw

John Waring All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championship results
Pool A: Bandon 1 (A Scannell) St Andrew’s 3 (D Watkins, C Stephens, F Maher); Campbell College 0 St Andrew’s 0; Campbell College 2 (A Williamson, C Morrow) Bandon 1 (A Scannell)
Standings: 1. St Andrew’s 3pts (+2) 2. Campbell 3pts (+1) 3. Bandon 0pts (-3)

Pool B: Banbridge Academy 2 (Phil Brown, H McShane) Ashton 1 (W Johnston); Wesley 4 (L Chadwick, P English, R Burke, C Motyer) Ashton 1 (W Brownlow); Wesley 2 (P English 2) Banbridge Academy 1 (Phil Brown)
Standings: 1. Wesley 4pts (+4) 2. Banbridge 2pts (0) 3. Ashton 0pts (-4)

* For all of the Hook’s photos from the John Waring All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championship, click here. This version of the article originally appeared in Thursday’s Evening Herald.

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