The old proverb says, ‘Tis a lesson you should heed, If at first you don’t succeed, Try, try again; And so it was when Monastery NS Ardee faced the Friary boys from Dundalk for the second consecutive year in this final.
The Ardee lads played against the wind in the first half but settled early with captain Johnathan Commins knocking over several points. Ardee began to dominate midfield and Tom Jackson gained possession in the middle and made a long run through the Friary defence to blast the ball into the net.
Karl Gillespie added superb points from play and from close in frees. Jay Crawley at centre half back was stopping all Friary attacks with the help of half backs Paraic McKenny and Conor O’Brien. The Friary boys could only respond with occasional points. By half time Monastery NS lead by 1-8 to the St Malachy’s four points.
From the throw in of the second half the Friary went on the attack and scored a great goal. Monastery NS responded with an excellent point from Eoin Corrigan-Clarke.
But the Dundalk lads were on the front foot and piled on the pressure, pouncing on a loose ball in the Ardee box and putting another one into the net.
Monastery NS continued to battle hard with Tiernan Corrigan, DJ McKeever and James McGillick adding points to the score. Again the Friary boys came back and from a free kick managed to scramble the ball across the line for a third goal.
The Friary boys were now one point behind the Ardee lads who were not going to give away their lead easily. Monastery NS went on the attack twice and two frees were conceded each time. Jonathan Commins played the captains role and from a distance calmly stroked the winning points over the bar. The final whistle blew and Monastery NS had won by three points on their third attempt.
The game finished with a final score of Monastery NS, Ardee 1 - 17 to St Malachy’s BNS 3 - 8. Monastery NS have now won the Corn Mhic Ardail 12 times since 1949, the last time being in 1996.
Captain Jonathan Commins thanked St Malachy’s for a sporting game, Cumann na mBunscol Lú for organising the competition and team managers Mr Dermot McCreanor and Ms Leanna Cusack.
Monastery NS: Luke Dunne, Callum Markey, Paul Doherty, Cillian Keenan, Paraic McKenny, Jay Crawley, Conor O’Brien, Jonathan Commins (0-6), Tom Jackson (1-2), Carl Gillespie (0-5), Eoin Corrigan-Clarke (0-1), Tiernan Corrigan (0-1), Conor Horan, James McGillick (0-1), DJ McKeever-Traynor (0-1). Subs: Ciarán Baylon, Ben Corrigan, Colman Finlay, Dean Kenny-Walsh, Ciarán McConnon, Darragh McCoy and Christopher Woods.