In a tournament where many individual performances were well praised, the whole St Benedict’s team produced successful performances throughout the day.
Starting from the back the performances were extremely solid and admirable; Tiernan Murray pulling off vital saves in all games. Consistently, the captain Mark McCann proved a leader throughout the day, showing real heart as a lynchpin of the full back line and kept everyone in line when the ball was at the other end or when they found themselves under pressure. Under severe pressure the captain displayed good fielding skills and many clearances made.
In the half back line, the rock of defence, Ciaran O’Neill, performed exceptionally well throughout, with man marking skills and a crucial sliding block to prevent a certain goal, after a diving save from Murray. The block came at a crucial time in the final. Lee Johnston helped Ciaran with the pressure by collecting the opposition's puck outs and feeding the forward line with pin point passing accuracy.
The midfield line consisted of Peter Cullen, the tireless engine of the midfield line, and Brennain O’Boyle, who also performed excellently. Cullen scoring a superb goal after running from the St Benedict’s half back line.
The talisman of the team Eamon Og McAllister, helped in every move by Diarmuid Mulholland and Conor O’Kane, were posing a real threat to the opposing teams. With a real deserving performance, the forward line was filled with able men for the job; Gary Murray slotting over four marvellous points with the wind against him. The forward line was battling with attack after attack and hunger; every forward wanted the silverware!
In the final, which was the toughest match of all, every player stepped up to give the required effort for the win. The first half was all St Benedict’s, who gathered an early lead. The boys were expecting Dungannon to come out the hungrier side in the second half which they did, slotting over unanswered points. With time running out and St Benedict’s five points up, a rasping shot from point blank came towards goal, and was superbly deflected over the bar by Murray.
Dungannon were ruthless in attack and this showed when Brennain O’Boyle put his body on the line for a brilliant block which set the game up for the final result; not to forget the block which came in from Conor O’Kane to set up McAllister again to put the icing on the cake.
The St Benedict’s team deserved the win on the day as the hunger was shown in everyone’s performances. Every player epitomised the determination required to win the tournament and they are a credit to their respective clubs, families and, of course, the College.
The winning team was;
Tiernan Murray, Dominic Martin, Ricardo Conceico, Mark McCann (Captain), Brandon McLarnon, Ciaran O’Neill, Lee Johnson, Peter Cullen, Brennain O’Boyle, Diarmuid Mulholland, Eamon Og McAllister, Conor O’Kane, Gary Murray, Jarrett Martin, Ryan Martin.
Match report By Fintan Murray