Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Dr Eamonn O Sullivan (SF “C”) Final – CBS Mitchelstown 0-11 St Mark’s, Warrenpoint 1-7

Mitchelstown CBS defeated St Marks Warrenpoint by 0-11 to 1-7 in the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools Dr Eamonn O Sullivan (SF “C”) Final on Saturday March 26th at Newbridge.

Magical Mitchelstown bank first All-Ireland

By Daragh Ó Conchúir for the Irish Examiner newspaper

All-Ireland Post-Primary SFC ‘C’ final – CBS Mitchelstown 0-11 St Mark’s, Warrenpoint 1-7: CBS Mitchelstown added another chapter to their illustrious history by adding their first All-Ireland title at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge on Saturday.

The Cork school, who joined the Corn Uí Mhuirí (Munster senior A) roll of honour as far back as the 1975-76 season, have been regulars in the winner’s circle in both codes in subsequent years at domestic and provincial level. They had never scaled the highest peak until claiming the Masita All-Ireland post-primary schools’ senior C football title however.

They had to hold off a fierce late rally from a gutsy St Mark’s unit that just fell short, although Tiernan Rushe’s goal deep in injury-time was the final act of the game. That score could not mask the merit of Mitchelstown’s victory, as they dominated for the majority of proceedings and, while their Warrenpoint opponents undoubtedly upped the tempo in a frantic bid to rescue themselves, the winners certainly invited them on as they increasingly adopted a policy of containment.

Cathal O’Mahony was the chief contributor for the North Cork crew, scoring five points, including four from play, while 16-year-old Mark Keane was also massively influential at full-forward and as a ball-winner in the middle as the they stormed into a seven-point lead approaching the end of the third quarter.

The margin would have been greater had O’Sullivan not leaned back on his 15th-minute penalty kick and seen the ball rise just over the Warrenpoint crossbar. Brian White had taken a wonderful pass from Sean O’Sullivan earlier on to finish well, while Keane kicked a tremendous solo point.

Eoin O’Mahony slotted two frees to go with the unrelated Cathal’s three from play, the third coming just moments after Cathal O’Sullivan had made a brilliant intervention to deny St Mark’s a goal. The Down men went in trailing by 0-8 to 0-2 at the interval, with only a brace of points from Rush to show for their efforts. They had been playing into the wind though so would not have been without hope at the break.

Nevertheless, despite scores from Aaron Magee and Ciaran Tinnelly, the margin had increased by one as White and O’Mahony (two) found the target for Mitchelstown. St Mark’s threw everything at them in the closing period, scoring three points in succession through Tinnelly, John McKernan and Rushe, to reduce the margin to four but Rushe’s goal came too late to deny Mitchelstown.

Scorers for Mitchelstown CBS: C O’Mahony (0-5, 1 free); E O’Mahony (2 frees), B White (1 free) (0-2 each); M Keane, S O’Sullivan (pen) (0-1 each)

Scorers for St Mark’s: T Rushe (1-3 (1 free); C Tinnelly (0-2); J McKernan, A McGee (0-1 each)

MITCHELSTOWN CBS: C O’Sullivan, E Gallagher, J Coughlan, K Roche, L Finn, E O’Donoghue, D Kent, S O’Sullivan, S Walsh, B White, G Pendle, E O’Mahony, C O’Mahony, M Keane, A English
Sub: P McGrath for Pendle (47), P O’Gorman for White (56)

ST MARK’S: D Toner, C Killen, C Fitzpatrick, M Doyle, C Fegan, S Fitzpatrick, J McKernan, CJ Barr, C Lowry, S Annett, C Tinnelly, A McGee, P Smyth, C Owens, T Rushe
Sub: J Grant for Fegan (40)

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare)