Columba’s end Kilkenny’s Trophy reign

Senior Trophy Semi Final
St Columba’s College: 6 (Ross Canning 3, Tom Gibbs 2, Robbert Nolan) Kilkenny College: 2 (Chris Dick, David McClure)

St Columba’s advanced to the final of the Schoolboy’s Senior Trophy following a 6-2 demolition of last year’s champions Kilkenny.

The cats were missing talisman Jeremy Duncan through injury as well as the influential Eamonn Walsh however good possesion early on suggested the visitors were not fazed and they took the lead after just two minutes when Chris Dick rounded Columba’s keeper Robbie Hollis and flicked into the bottom corner.

The home side was level within three minutes when Ross Canning dribbled half the field before passing for Tom Gibbs to finish with an easy tap in. And soon after, Gibbs broke through the Kilkenny defence only for goalkeeper Matty Thomson to deny the chance and clear his Lines.

Kilkenny retook the lead in the 12th minute when David McClure played a wonderful one-two with Dick before passing the ball over the line despite the best efforts of Hollis. Columba’s went in search of an equaliser and were awarded a short corner in the 20th minute. Canning drew a fantastic save from Thomson but the ball was called dangerous and another short was awarded. From the resulting set-piece, Canning worked a one-two with Gibbs before finishing past Thomson.

Johnny Atkinson went close after neat interplay with McClure but he blazed wide and the miss would prove costly as Canning notched up his second of the game with a drag-flick.

And, in the final minute of a pulsating half, Canning dribbled half the length of the field before passing for Gibbs to put the hosts 4-2 ahead.

Columba’s kept that momentum going into the second half, coming out all guns blazing and could have scored a fifth when Gibbs was put through one-on-one with Thomson but the goalkeeper saved well.

But victory was secured when Ross Canning completed his hat-trick from another short corner in the 45th minute.

Kilkenny didn’t give up and Hollis was called into action with an excellent short corner save from Dick in the 65th minute. Columba’s skipper Rob Nolan scored a sixth late on to cap off a glorious victory for the Rathfarnham Side.

** Word’s courtesy of Marcus Blake; photos below are from Herbie Sharman

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