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Boys' Football- County Champions Again!


Boys win Corn Peadar Ó’Cearnaigh and Tom O’Callaghan Cup for the second year in a row!!

The boy’s footballers of St. Mary’s NS made history this month as they reclaimed the Corn Pheadar Ó Céarnaigh and O’Callaghan Cup that they had won last year. With many strong players departed since the triumphs of last year coupled with a tough start to the school year with early exits in the Sciath Mhic Raoise in autumn and the mini 7s at Easter, it was felt that silverware may elude this crop of 5 and 6 class boys. But as has been the case over the years in Knockbridge, the conveyor belt of talent continued to produce quality as many 5 class boys grew in stature to supplement the experience of the 6 class players.
In the Corn Pheadar Ó Céarnaigh final, the boys faced a very strong Tullyallen team that had swept through their section of the draw. In comparison, Knockbridge faced a very tough Tallanstown twice to reach the championship decider – the second time in a tight one-point victory in an enthralling semi-final. This match, just two days before their final, stood them in great stead as, in a hugely entertaining game, St. Mary’s NS came from four points down at one stage to snatch victory by two points thanks to two last gasp goals. Showing a mettle and determination that has been a hallmark of Knockbridge sides over the years, this year’s team were rewarded for a never-say-die attitude that sent the supporters on the day into raptures.
The following Thursday, the boys competed in the annual O’Callaghan Cup invitational tournament. As usual the competition was fierce with teams from Monaghan, Meath and Louth battling it out. From the start, Knockbridge made their intentions clear with a big win over local rivals Dromiskin and then a good victory over hosts, Sciath Mhic Raoise and Mini 7s champions Ballapousta. This left two games against the unknown opposition of Magheracloone and Nobber/Castletown. The Monaghan side provided stiff opposition and limited our forwards’ scoring chances in the opening half. A couple of early goals in the second half did the damage as Knockbridge held out for a 3-point victory. The final game against a Nobber-Castletown amalgamation brought out the resilience that had been on show in the County final the previous week as our boys came from a four point deficit to draw the game and set up a final showdown with Magheracloone. In the final, Knockbridge’s character was once again evident as a half-time deficit was overcome with a flurry of points in the second half to take the lead only to be put under severe pressure in the dying moments. Again, our players stood tall and soaked up this pressure to hold out for a narrow one-point win.
And so, Kieran McArdle hoisted the O’Callaghan Cup aloft on behalf of all the boys that have donned the red and white of St. Mary’s NS this year in a fitting finale for this talented crop of young men.

Kieran McArdle, captain, with the O'Callaghan Cup

The team celebrates their second win in a row

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