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Wednesday was a historic day for the Colaiste Oiriall U14 boys’ team when they won the VEC Gaelic Football Under 14 County Final. They took on a formidable Castleblayney College team who had romped to victory in every league game this season including a comprehensive win over a weakened Colaiste Oiriall outfit in the first game of the season.

Colaiste Oiriall 7-4     Colaiste Bhaile Na Lorgain 6-4    




Both teams took to the field on a cold, wet, blustery day cheered on by a healthy attendance of fellow students, teachers and parents. The game started at a frantic pace and both teams scored an early point each, James De Búrca with the point for Colaiste Oiriall. For the next ten minutes defences were really on top with some ferocious tackling taking place to prevent both forward lines from settling.

It was going to take a bit of magic from somebody to open up either of the defences and this person was Colaiste Oiriall’s full forward James De Búrca. James received a ball on the right hand side of the park from a pass by Dearcan Ó Donnghaile, composed himself and rifled an unstoppable drive high into the net past the keeper. Suddenly Colaiste Oiriall had their tails up and Sean Ó Ruanaidh won a kick out and played another ball into de Búrca, who was more central this time and once again dispatched an unstoppable shot off the post and into the goals.

U14 025

Castleblayney College launched a couple of attacks up the field but the majority of their balls into their full forward line were cut out by an excellent half back line including Shane Mac Cionna, Tiarnan Mac Cuarta and the impressive Aodán Ó Broin. Colaiste Oiriall were still in the ascendancy around the middle third and another attack ended up finishing to that man again who once again displayed his excellent finishing ability by firing another strike into the roof of the net. At this stage Colaiste Oiriall seemed to be cruising with not long until the break, but a piece of sloppy play coming out of defence lead to a turnover and out of nothing Castleblayney College had a goal and what they sensed as a way back into the match.

Mistakes started creeping into the Colaiste Oiriall play and Conor Ó Dughaill was called for over carrying coming out of defence. Castleblayney hit the resulting free over the bar. There was now six points between the teams and Castleblayney College really grabbed the initiative and after putting intense pressure on the Oiriall defence grabbed another goal just on half time. This left the score at half time 3-2 to 2-2 to Colaiste Oiriall.

Castleblayney College started the second half strongly again and it wasn’t long before they had drawn level.  They seemed to be in the ascendancy at this point. At this point several of the Oiriall players really took the game by the scruff of the net in particular Aodán Ó Broin, Jamie Mac Murchaidh and Conor Ó Dughaill and this really seemed to lift the team.  Two great attacking moves each involving five or six different players resulted in two goals being scored both from Conor Ó Dughaill. The game was a real end to end affair with some great work being done by both teams: Jamie Mac Murchaidh scored a fantastic goal for Colaiste Oiriall however Castleblayney replied almost immediately. With five minutes left there were three points between the teams when a long ball into the Castleblayney College square was flicked on by Dearcan Ó Donnghaile in the Blayney net. Castleblayney came fighting back again and a mix up in the Oiriall defence allowed a shot to squeeze in just inside the post. With only couple of minutes left Castleblayney laid siege to the Colaiste Oiriall goal but the defence who were well marshalled by Maitiú Ó Ruaidhe and Zach Ó Meallain held firm.


Oisin Ó Murchú did very well in particular to come and claim a high ball and clear it from the danger zone. The referee who had an excellent game blew the final whistle and the Colaiste Oiriall players and supporters erupted in celebration. The U14 trophy was accepted by the Captain of the Team, Jamie Mac Murchaidh who thanked Castleblayney College for an excellent and well fought game in the tough conditions.

In an overall excellent team performance special mention has to go to Tiarnan Mac Cuarta who was extremely solid in defence, Jamie Mac Murchaidh who worked extremely hard to force a number of vital turnovers, as well as chipping in with a few important scores, James de Búrca whose 3 goal contribution in the first half really got the team going and gave belief to the team and especially Aodán Ó Broin who was a real leader on the field from centre back and really drove on and inspired those around him. The scorers for Colaiste Oiriall were as follows, (James De Búrca 3-1, Conor Ó Dughaill 2-0, Jamie Mac Muchaidh 1-2, Dearcan Ó Donnghaile 1-0, Cian Mac Giolla Comhaill 0-1).