10th Nov 2015

What a day! All the prayers and crossed fingers and toes worked on Tuesday November 3rd. It must have been one of the most pleasant winter’s days in living memory. And what a memory all those who were privileged to be there will have. Photos of the day are at the bottom of the page.
The 48 boys and girls who represented Scoil Mhuire in the two finals got a taste of what it is like to be a celebrity as they received a wonderful flag-waving guard of honour from first class and from a very proud and very emotional group of parents as they set out on their journey to Croke Park. Earlier that morning, the atmosphere built as both teams assembled for the team photographs in the courtyard.
Players travelled by car as the four busloads of excited and noisy supporters journeyed across the city to the stadium where all young footballers and hurlers dream about playing in.

Sciath Chumann na nGael
Scoil Mhuire 6-6
Holy Trinity Donaghmede 1-12
Weather conditions were ideal for the boys’ final which started at 1.10. The standard of football by both teams was exceptional. The main difference between the teams was Scoil Mhuire’s ability to score goals at vital times.
After opening up a two point lead, Lucan were rocked back on their heels by a fifth minute goal . However this seemed to spur on the Scoil Mhuire boys as they laid siege to their opponents’ goal. Only for the brilliance of the Trinity goalkeeper, this game could have been over by half time. Time and again, he kept out what seemed like certain goals. Indeed in the second minute he made a brilliant save to prevent Evan Colgan from scoring what would have been goal of the season when he latched onto a super Joey O Sullivan cross with a Lionel Messi-style volley. We were not to be denied for long however, as Scoil Mhuire knocked in three goals before half time to open up a seven point lead.
Holy Trinity refused to lie down and kept chipping away at the lead in the second half with some lovely points. But again Scoil Mhuire were raising the green flag at vital times, and three smashing second half goals from Reece Lamphiere, Adam Doran and Evan Colgan kept us ahead at all times.
The final whistle brought scenes of jubilation as victory had been secured in Croke Park by a Scoil Mhuire team for the first time since 1997.
Congratulations to our opponents, Holy Trinity from Donaghmede. It takes two teams to make a good final and Holy Trinity certainly played their part. In the quarter final they had beaten our neighbours Scoil Áine so we knew we were in for a tough match.

All 26 members of our squad featured on the pitch at some stage

Nathan Weafer Mc Govern:
Nathan could have covered for any position but he saw game time as keeper when he replaced Eoin Harrington in the second half . Kept a clean sheet and made some vital clearances.
Dylan Rankin:
Another to make a strong impression when he came on . Dylan was introduced into the backline and made sure no goals were conceded.
Abdul Ejide:
Second half substitute who can tell his grandchildren he played in Croke Park. Always in the thick of the action.
Gbenga Oluwayose:
Entered the fray in the second half and played his part as Holy Trinity tried to stage a comeback.
Umer Muhammed:
Introduced in the second half and was given instructions to attack the ball-he did this with some style, forming an impregnable full back line with Benji.
Conor Cooper:
Drafted in midway through the second half and got stuck in straight away . Always close to the action and kept the Holy Trinity defence on their toes.
Tomás Roche:
Made his appearance in the forward line though normally used in defence. Tomás made it a proud day for the Roche family as he graced the hallowed turf of Croke Park with his sister Niamh. The most improved player of the year.
Toby Nnadozie:
Purchased in the transfer market just before deadline day, Toby demonstrated when he came on why he was so close to being in the starting 15. Got on to a huge amount of ball and brought a great energy to the team when some legs were tiring.
Adam Doran:
If you google “impact sub” you’ll get “Adam Doran”. Very unlucky not to be on the starting 15, Adam terrorised the opposition defence when he came on and capped a fine performance with a cracking goal.
Lorcan O Reilly:
Followed in the footsteps of older brother Seán, who is the only boy ever to score a hurling goal for Scoil Mhuire in Croke Park. Lorcan almost did likewise and threw himself into the action once he was introduced.
Diarmuid Keher:
Replaced Daniel Nulty in the second half and did a great job marshalling the Trinity wing forward who was their most dangerous player.
Evan Colgan:
Almost unmarkable when he plays like he did on Tuesday. Blessed with pace skill and courage, Evan used all these attributes to terrorise the opposition.
Ben O Toole:
As usual , Ben did a mountain of work to create space and opportunities for his teammates. Two brilliant assists just before half time set his team up nicely for two vital scores.
Joey O Sullivan:
A thorn in the side of Holy Trinity. Joey’s blinding pace left his marker for dead on numerous occasions. If it was a soccer team , Joey would be called an old fashioned winger. Set up Evan for a wonder goal in the second half, with an exquisite pass.
Daniel Kane:
Youngest player on the Scoil Mhuire team and the one with the biggest heart. Worked his socks off all day and was rewarded with an opportunist goal in the first half . Daniel can now hang his medal beside his brother Philip’s hurling medal from 2012.
Alex Hickey:
Dynamic, strong and fiercely determined, Alex plays the centre half forward role to perfection. His direct running causes confusion in defences and creates space for his teammates. Alex had a stormer in Croker.
Anthony Nkosi:
Probably the hardest worker on the team. Anthony’s work rate is unbelievable and his unselfish style brings his team mates into the game . Had his best game this season in Croker.
Reece Lamphiere:
The semi-final hero. Reece was once again “up for the match” and his two cracking goals capped a top class performance.
Sami Clarke:
Worth paying the admission fee just to see this boy in action. Oozes style and class. Sami is a modest young man who lets his football do the talking on the pitch. Scored a few lovely points. Sami missed out on playing in a final in Cusack Park, Mullingar when he transferred to us two years ago. Hopefully his day out in Croker will make up for that somewhat !
Gareth Kenedy:
Just does the right thing at the right time….. always. Superb football brain, fearless and skilful. Gareth was immense on Tuesday.
Luke Cahill:
Having played all his previous games at wing back, Luke was moved to the centre for the final. He looked like he had been playing there all his life. A feature of Luke’s season has been his tackling and blocking. Superb display of centre half back play in Croker.
Daniel Nulty:
Daniel has been a model of consistency since day one. Daniel was given the task of marking Holy Trinity’s most dangerous forward and he did a great job. Great team player and a real sportsman.
Daniel’s handshake with a devastated St David’s player after the semi-final, while all around him were celebrating wildly, was one of the highlights of the season.
Eoghan Daly:
Unfussy, skilful player who does a lot of unseen donkey work for the team. Eoghan has had a great season and did his school proud in defence on Tuesday.
Benjamin Ubaekwe:
A strong contender for title of man of the match. Time after time , Benji cleared the ball fifty metres up the pitch to frustrate the opposition. Gave great protection to his keeper.
Charlie Byrne:
One of only two fifth class boys on the team. Charlie ensured that his goalkeeper was going to be well protected with his great positioning and lengthy clearances.
Eoin Harrington:
After recovering from the shock of conceding an early goal, Eoin went on to play a stormer, keeping a clean sheet for the rest of the game. Kept his defence on their toes and made a couple of excellent and crucial saves. Eoin had a great season

Sciath an Chladaigh
GS Taobh na Coille 4-9
Scoil Mhuire 2-2
Don’t mind the score. The Scoil Mhuire girls were well in contention in this game until the final few minutes when their opponents scored a couple of decisive goals. After recovering from a shaky start, Shannon Byrne and Ella Foster began to dominate proceedings and for a while, Scoil Mhuire looked the better team. The huge effort the girls put in eventually took its toll and we were caught on the break for those killer goals.
This has been a fantastic season for the girls and for their managers Ms Lowry and Ms Ryan.
If we are being honest, we did not hold out much hope of a Croker appearance at the start of the year, but thanks to the dedication of the girls and their managers, that Croke Park appearance became a reality.
While we were disappointed not to come out on top, we were delighted to have a girls’ football team representing the school in Croker for the very first time. Hopefully this will inspire other girls to take up a team sport (hopefully gaelic football or camogie) and to try to emulate our heroines of 2015.

Emma Delany: Emma gave it her all when introduced as substitute in the second half. She’ll be able to tell her grandchildren she played in Croker!
Zoe Jakub: Zoe first came to prominence in the mini leagues last year and as usual, she put her heart and soul into it when she ran on to the pitch in the second half.
Tegan Kelleher:
What a proud day for the Kelleher family. Tegan from 3rd class joined her sister on the pitch when introduced in the second half. Tegan plays for Lucan Sarsfields and it shows. Great heart.
Chloe Kavanagh:
Wonderful experience for Chloe to run out onto the Croke Park pitch. Fiercely determined with a never-give -up attitude.
Ella Marten::
Another girl fulfilling a dream in Croker. Ella always gives 100% for her team.
Aoife Murtagh:
Aoife will run till she drops… and then she’ll run some more. Aoife always leaves it all out on the pitch and is a great team player.
Méabh Egan:
Méabh always looks to get into the thick of the action on the pitch and Tuesday was no exception when she came on in Croker. Always keeps going to the end.
Rosana Rotaru:
Probably the most improved player on the team . Rosana always looks to set up opportunities for her team mates.
Christine Okakpu:
Christine can tell her grandchildren “I scored a goal in Croke Park” Strong, skilful and fearless , Christine can be proud of her Croke Park experience. Can put her medal alongside Kingsley’s hurling medal from three years ago.
Katie Hickey:
Katie’s brilliant winning point in the quarter final was one of the main reasons we reached Croker. She can now tell her uncle Davy to stop talking about his final appearance in 1994. Katie is the new kid on the block.
Niamh Roche:
Two Croke Park medals in the Roche household on the same day. If blocks were scores, Scoil Mhuire would be champions as Niamh has produced more block downs than the rest of the team combined. A lovely footballer with a great attitude.
Ella Foster:
What a player. Her slalom -like solo runs were a joy to behold. Scored a great goal and was unlucky not to score a few more. Watch out for Ella’s name in the future.
Clodagh Mc Donnell:
A human dynamo. Doesn’t seem to have a first, second or third gear. Great footballer, Clodagh’s player of the match performance in the semi final was instrumental in us reaching the promised land.
Shannon Byrne:
Superb work rate and almost unstoppable when she builds up a head of steam. Shannon works her socks off in every game and she did so again in Croker.
Maria Furmaniak:
Gave it her all and was particularly impressive when moved to full back. Maria is constantly working at her skills and it shows. A great team player.
Frances Winter:
A model of consistency and one of our best players all season. Frances hardly ever puts a foot wrong.
Bevin Kelleher:
Tegan’s big sister. Don’t be fooled by Bevin’s charming, lady-like qualities off the pitch. When she crosses the white line, she takes no prisoners (in the nicest way possible). Bevin was superb in Croker and a strong contender for player of the year.
Caitríona Chambers:
Caitríona missed out on the semi final but made a big impression when she made it back to play in Croker. A lion-hearted performer, Caitríona follows in the footsteps of Aisling and Conall, her older siblings, in winning a medal in Croke Park.
Faye Monaghan:
Solid, reliable defender, whose late interception in the semi final ensured her team would be playing in Croke Park. Faye had a great season and a great game in the final.
Sarah Lovett:
This girl does not know how to play a bad game. Sarah starred at full back and at midfield and never gave up.
Niamh Mc Clelland:
Always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Niamh is one of our best defenders and had a brilliant game in Croke Park.
Anna Capcarrere:
Puts 100% into everything she does. Brilliant save in the semi final sent us on our way to Croker. Anna is a girl for all seasons





One comment on “Finals Day in Croker

  1. Niall Roche on said:

    A special word of thanks to everyone who contributed to a fantastic day for all the Scoile Mhuire community from training and mentoring the teams to producing the match programme and banners to organisation of that very special day in Croke Park. An extra special word of thanks to Mr. Ellis (we presume) for his great analysis of each player’s contribution over the course of the season. For me it brought back very special memories of my own experience in Croke Park all of 37 years ago!