An extra time winner from Summerhill College skipper Brian Glennon denied Scoil Mhuire a first ever Senior All Ireland title as the Sligo College retained their title in a real hum dinger of a final at a packed Maginn Park yesterday.
Scoil Mhuire weren’t supposed to have a prayer in this decider but as the supporters broke into the first of their specially composed chants at kick off, their players responded with a dominant start.
The Sligo giants were rattled early on as Scoil Mhuire’s high pressing game forced mistakes and Georgie Kelly was denied on 15 minutes by a brilliant one on one save by Ryan Blake after seizing a stray defensive pass.
Set pieces were to have a huge bearing on the outcome of the game and, somewhat against the run of play, Summerhill seized the initiative on 23 minutes as Gary Armstrong’s free in broke to centrehalf Stephen Kerins in the box and he volleyed past McGonagle.
Sligo gained confidence form that goal but, from another set piece, Scoil Mhuire equalised before the break when Mark Coyle stabbed home from close range following a Ryan Varma corner. It was the Connacht champions who settled quicker in the second half and on 53 minutes they restored their one goal advantage a 20 yard daisy cutter from Malachy Spratt flew into the bottom right corner of the net.
Ryan Varma’s outstanding deliveries from dead balls and striker Georgie Kelly’s aerial prowess meant they were creating chances from any dead ball situations inside the Sligo half.
It was the head of centrehalf Peter Doherty, that levelled for the Buncrana boys however as he rose highest to nod a Varma centre into the roof of the net to set up a grand stand finish with 19 minutes remaining.
Despite the tireless workate of both sides they somehow found the energy to make a late bid to claim the cup inside the 90 minutes as Mark Kelly shot narrowly for Mhuire before a Gary Armstrong mazy run into the box was halted by a crucial sliding Doherty tackle.
The game was settled in extra time however as for the second time a Sligo defender netted from a free kick as another perfect Armstrong delivery was met with an unstoppable header from skipper Brian Glennon.
Ireland schools striker Georgie Kelly came close with a long range effort and a header in the second half of Extra Time but Summerhill held out to win the thrilling decider.
Final score, after extra time. Scoil Mhuire 2 Summerhill College 3
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