Subway All-Ireland Schoolboys Championships semi-finals
Wesley College ended St Andrew’s long reign as Subway All-Ireland Schoolboys champions in dramatic fashion as they prevailed on penalty strokes after an epic 3-3 encounter in normal time.
It sets up a final date with Banbridge Academy at 2.30pm at Shawsbridge this afternoon after the Co Down school got the best of Bandon Grammar 2-0 in the morning’s other semi-final.
For Wesley, they trailed early on as Andrew’s burst out of the blocks, going 1-0 up via Patrick Temperley’s corner rebound. The Ballinteer outfit responded in kind and got level when Cian Evers got a touch to Daragh Walsh’s crash ball.
Temperley got Andrew’s back in front before half-time from a smart corner move that was worked back to the injector.
But the pendulum swung in Wesley’s favour, though, when Mark Samuel intercepted and burst forward, creating a three on one which was perfectly executed. Samuel exchanged passes with Gibney before finishing off for 2-2.
Gavin Gibney then fired home a corner on the swivel to put Wesley in front from a corner at 3-2. True to their champion status, Andrew’s fought back and got level via Guy Sarratt’s drag-flick to make it 3-3, ultimately sending it to extra time despite a glut of Wesley corners in the last ten minutes.
But they made it count in the shoot-out after the regulation series ended level with Walsh potting what proved to be the winning effort.
At Queen’s, Kyle Marshall was the star man for Banbridge in their 2-0 win over Bandon, shining in defence while providing regular impetus in attack.
His goal seven seconds before the half-time interval was a peach, striking first time from the left edge of the circle for 1-0. It broke the deadlock of a well-matched first half in which Bandon had their moments.
Indeed, they would go on to rue the six corners they could not convert as Ben Keoghan-O’Keeffe and David Jennings made plenty of inroads.
Bann were always more clinical, however, and created the clearer chances. Charlie Norris got the insurance goal when Mark Barlow weaved his way to the left baseline. Conor Robinson got a strong boot to block his cross but it ricocheted off a defender’s foot.
While some hands raised to claim a corner, Norris took the ball down and flicked home amid a melee of bodies. Their corner defence limited any Bandon shots from raining down and they took their place in the final.
Subway All-Ireland Schoolboys semi-finals: Wesley 3 (C Evers, G Gibney, M Samuel) St Andrew’s 3 (P Temperley 2, G Sarratt), Wesley win 4-3 on strokes; Banbridge 2 (K Marshall, C Norris) Bandon GS 0