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Scoil Aodhain 2-16 Maynooth 2-5

Scoil Aodhain 2-16 Maynooth 2-5

For some, playing their last hour of football for a school team they’d grown to love over the past 6 years might inspire nerves and even a touch of nostalgia. This was never going to be the case for the six men who found themselves in this position on Tuesday last. Instead, they ruthlessly tore Maynooth PP apart in the Dublin ‘A’ Colleges final, led their younger teammates to final glory and basically said to the even younger pretenders watching on the sidelines: “Follow that and carry on the mantle.” They could not have done any more.

Despite wasting numerous early scoring chances and trailing 1-1 to 0-0 after 4 minutes, St Aidan’s trusted their own abilities and dragged themselves back into the game. Inspirational captain Aaron Elliott was dominating in midfield and when he dispossessed a Maynooth defender in typically robust fashion, he fed Paddy Small who brilliantly flicked the ball to the net to get the Whitehall men on the scoreboard. 5 brilliant first half points from Small, Daire Gray, Conor Kavanagh, Gavin King and Cian Gerrard left St Aidan’s a point to the good at the interval. This St Aidan’s side specialise in dictating second halves, and this is exactly what they proceeded to do here. Every single player completely outplayed their opposing number in 30 minutes of complete football which saw them outscore their opponents by 1-11 to just 1-1. It would require too many column inches to do full justice to each individual score. Gerrard and Small did much of the damage, scoring 1-3 and 0-5 respectively in this period. Kavanagh added 2 more points with typical swagger. However, the 18 men who featured and the 13 who didn’t get a chance to shine should all be hailed. They trained and battled together all year; they laughed and sang together at the end here. Sixth Years Sean Brennan, Elliot Craig, Cathal Doran, Aaron Ellliott, Conor Kavanagh and John Connell, fifth years Sean Power, Tony O’Sullivan, Rory Kerins, Daire Gray, Gavin King, Cian Gerrard, Paddy Small and Adam Conway, TY Donal Ryan, sub Jeff Rafter, the wonderkids James Doran and Enda O’Donnell......these are the men who were fortunate to see action on Tuesday. These were the men who helped St Aidan’s to this title for the first time since 1973. Tommy Drumm lifted the cup that day; exactly a decade later he raised Sam Maguire in the Hogan Stand. No pressure AE! 17 schools have won this trophy since St Aidan’s were last managed to glory by Br Coffey. Maynooth PP were going for 3 in a row here. This, coupled with the fact that they fielded 6 Kildare minor panellists gives some indication of just how special this performance was. St Aidan’s completely outplayed the champions who have years of experience at this level, scoring 2-16 just as they did in So......after 16 months of epic battles against opposition from 7 different counties, St Aidan’s senior football team’s record is played 16, won 14, lost 2. Bravo men. Thanks for the special days. Thanks for the memories. Roll on Tuesday and the U-16s. And roll on next year!