The School’s GAA Team Win an Epic Final in Parnell Park

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Fingal League Final 2022 – Boys’ Division 5

Belmayne Educate Together N.S 3-08 St. Francis of Assisi N.S 2-10

A final in the making for fourteen years. Belmayne and St. Francis are neighbouring schools and both were established in 2008. St. Francis were favourites after handing out a heavy defeat to Belmayne in the group stages. The highly anticipated final was a classic. Epic comebacks and a nail-biting finale that had everyone on the edge of their seats.

St. Francis immediately took control of the match, scoring three points and rattling the net to make it 1-03 to 0-00. Finally, in the sixteenth minute, Belmayne scored. Luke Kavanagh kicked a cross-field ball to Flynn O’Connor who tapped it over. St. Francis reasserted their dominance by knocking over two fantastic points from distance. At this stage, the signs were ominous with St. Francis holding a seven-point lead. Belmayne were then offered a lifeline. Jamie Malone kicked towards Kevin Lattimore who knocked it into the path of O’Connor. A sublime strike from O’Connor left the goalkeeper with no chance and the ball floated into the net. St. Francis bombed forward and fired over another point to increase their advantage to five. Reinvigorated by their earlier goal, Belmayne pushed forward, with Cillian Hanlon tapping over a free-kick. At the end of the first half, St. Francis led by four.

Belmayne started the second half as they finished the first with Hanlon scoring another free-kick. Then Hanlon kicked a high ball towards the forward line which was collected by Ozie Turan. Turan hit a looping kick that deceived everyone and dipped right under the crossbar. Regaining composure, St. Francis ran forward and tapped over a delightful point. Hanlon then sprinted forwards weaving around three defenders to score another point. A few moments later Hanlon tapped over another free to level the match. St. Francis restored their lead shortly afterward, scoring a point from a free-kick. In the 37th minute, Belmayne took the lead for the first time. Dylan Wareham soloed towards goal and struck an unstoppable shot that ended up in the back of the net. In the next ten minutes, Hanlon scored three points to extend Belmayne’s lead to five. It was backs to the wall for Belmayne from then on. Two minutes from time, St. Francis were exerting enormous pressure and scored a beautiful goal into the bottom corner of the net. Jake Barton who made so many amazing saves throughout the match couldn’t stop it. As the clock went to red, St. Francis scored another point to reduce the gap to one. From the resulting kick-out, St. Francis gathered the ball. Faced with a wall of black they kicked for a point that went agonisingly wide.

Just as the ball was being kicked out, the referee blew the final whistle. Joy for Belmayne and agony for St. Francis. An amazing game that ended in a one-point win for Belmayne. A brilliant display of skill and character from both teams. The parents and teachers should be very proud of all of them.

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