St. Ronan's, Lurgan 1-10
Rice College, Westport 1-9
Oisin Smyth's brilliant 52nd point proved the match-winner as St. Ronan's, Lurgan edged out Rice College, Westport to win their maiden Hogan Cup at Croke Park this evening.
Smyth dissected the posts from wide on the right to give the Armagh school an historic victory. St. Ronan's, who were only formed three years ago, beat St. Mary's in last month's MacRory Cup final before going on to record a surprise win over Kerry's Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools SF 'A' semi-final.
St Ronan's Jamie Haughey lifts the Hogan Cup. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.
In the battle of the first-time finalists, Rice College led by two points at half-time thanks to a fortuitous goal from Keith Joyce and two super saves from goalkeeper Cian Kennedy to deny Rioghan Meehan and Ruairi McConville, but a Tiernan Kelly major brought the winners back into it in the second half before Smyth's fourth point of the afternoon sent St. Ronan's and their supporters into dreamland.
The drama didn't end there as Rice College's captain Pat Lambert missed a last-minute free to level.
Smyth gave St. Ronan's an early lead, but it was wiped out when Joyce fisted to the net for the Mayo school after a Jack Carney '45' had dropped short. Stephen Loftus and Smyth exchanged points before the winners regained the lead with three unanswered points from the accurate Eoin McConville.
Joyce had the sides level again before the Westerners regained the lead to take a 1-5 to 0-6 advantage into the break.
St. Ronan's passed up on a third goal opportunity seven minutes into the second half when Jack Lenehan blazed wide from close range. But the goal they had been threatening to score finally arrived a minute later when Kelly fired home after Smyth's initial shot had been blocked.
That edged them back in front, only for the lead to change hands once again at the start of the fourth quarter thanks to efforts from Loftus and Mark Moran.
But the Westport school wouldn't score again as St. Ronan's regained parity through Adam Loughran before Smyth landed the winner.
St. Ronan's, Lurgan - L Mulholland; E McCluskey, A Mulholland, J Haddock; A McCreanor, J Lamont, J Haughey; J Lenehan, T Kelly (1-0); O Smyth (0-4), A Loughran (0-2), R Meehan (0-1); R McConville, L Monteiro, E McConville (0-3, 2'45, 1f). Subs: M McAfee for R McConville, J Megoran for A McCreanor.
Rice College, Westport - C Kennedy; L Dawson, R Brickenden, R Walsh; J Carney, E McLaughlin, M Brady; F McManamon, P Chambers; K Joyce (1-1), M Moran (0-2), L Tunney; S Loftus (0-4f), P Lambert (0-2, 1f), C Heaney. Subs: C Calvey for S Loftus, J McGlynn for M Brady.
Referee - B Cawley.