A hat-trick by Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir guaranteed St Fintan’s High School the capture of the Bank of Ireland Leinster Schools Fr Godfrey Cup crown at Ollie Campbell Park yesterday afternoon.
The opposition, Temple Carrig entered the fray without two of their front row stalwarts but once St Fintan’s got into a rhythm they were always going to be difficult to stop and so it proved.
Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir was quick to throw down the gauntlet making ground and attracting defenders, before an unorthodox offload allowed Louis Martin to brush off tackles for the opening try, converted by Ben Barnes in the sixth minute.
While Temple Carrig disrupted well at times, St Fintan’s quickly made light work of transitioning to the front-foot where wing Lawniczak exploited the short side to reach for the line before a sweeping attack up the left saw Temple Carrig’s full-back, Corey O’Brien score and close the gap to 12-10 at half-time in favour of St. Fintans.
The early minutes of the second half saw Temple Carrig go on the front foot and take the lead, when out-half Darragh Shanahan’s quick-thinking duped a rush defence for Lawniczak to perfectly pick a bouncing ball for a third try and put Temple in front for the first time (15-12) in the 37th minute.
St Fintan’s were under pressure but the nerves were settled when a bruising burst by Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir drew a penalty which was easily converted from in front of the sticks and a number of minutes later, Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir struck again, this time crossing the whitewash to put St Fintan’s ahead.
There was much to savour and barely time to draw breath before that man O’Connor-O’Hehir tore off again, this time up the right, before chipping over the top and grounding the ball for his third try. Brother Tadhg O’Connor-O’Hehir was not long on the pitch when he got on the scoreboard, taking a pass at full speed to beat the cover in the 54th minute.
This was a memorable day for St Fintan’s and is a great vote of confidence in their continuing development and St Fintan’s head coach Peter Synnott was content to share his feelings on a historic season.
“We challenged the boys to show us they are a good side and they began to believe they were as the season wore on,” he said. “It is an incredible achievement for them to go from the 1B League all the way to the Junior Cup semi-final last week, capping off everything with silverware to show for it.”
A great finale to a great season and well done to all concerned.
Scorers – St Fintan’s High School – R O’Connor-O’Hehir three tries, L Martin, T O’Connor-O’Hehir try each; B Barnes, R Cantwell con each. Temple Carrig – T Lawniczak two tries; C O’Brien try.
St Fintan’s High School – Rohan O’Shea (Samuel O’Leary 55); Oisin Kelly (Tadg Young 44), Marcel Haas, Louis Martin, Ryan Curley (Andrew Boyne 55); Ben Barnes, James Burke (Simon Fogarty 55); Ponamu Palazzetti (Jake Reynolds 53), Christian Takaichvili (Tadhg O’Connor-O’Hehir 44), Robert Harvey (capt); Patrick Fogarty (Frank Quinn 53), Michael Bolger (Brendan Dillon 53); Adam Coffey, Simon Cantwell, Rory O’Connor-O’Hehir.