Dundalk Schools manager Leslie Toal has said that his side will keep their feet on the ground after reaching the Leinster Colleges ‘A’ SFC semi-final.
It is the first time since 2002 that the Dundalk side has reached the semi-final stages of the competition.
Co-incidentally, they went on to win the trophy that year and the team contained many players who are on the Louth panel today.
Toal’s side progressed to the semi-finals after beating Coláiste Ioságain Portarlington 4-7 to 1-5.
It was a comfortable win for the Schools side but Toal has promised that neither he, nor his players will not get carried away with the result.
He said: “After the game, we talked to the players and told them not to get carried away and brought them down to earth.
“Portarlington had four or maybe five good players in their team and we made good use of the wind, so we know that we cannot get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Toal’s side will now face St Mary’s of Edenderry, a team that knocked out the Dundalk side two year ago in Edenderry, a game that Toal remembers.
“We should have won that game, but it was in Edenderry and they had a lot of support and maybe got to the referee.”
However, this game is pencilled for Saturday week in Navan at a neutral venue, with a neutral referee, something that pleases Toal.
“With the neutral venue, we will stand a chance.
“We played a northern team in a challenge match a couple of weeks ago and we got beat by a point, but we learned a lot from that game, on how fast the northern teams can use the ball.”
In Dundalk’s first, game against Coláiste Mhuire, they were up against a tough team, a task that was made tougher by a fussy referee Donal Smith, who seemed to favour the visitors on the day.
However, in their second game, Toal was impressed with the performance of Michael McAdam, who called it down the middle.
“The first referee, we could not believe his performance, but thankfully the ref on Saturday called it down the middle.
“That is all we want, fair play on the day.”
Toal expects to have a full squad at his disposal for the game, which is taking place on Saturday due to pre-Leaving Certificate examinations.
Aaron Murray left the field ill last week against Portarlington and Glen Traynor had to be replaced due to an injury.
The team were also missing Conor Ryan in full-forward and Darren Breen in goal but Toal expects all four to be back for the semi-final.
“We should have a full squad. We got to see some other lads play and they did very well, such as Ciaran Taaffe in goals so we were happy with that.”
p If anyone would like to sponsor the schools team, they are asked to contact Leslie or contact any of the schools involved, Coláiste Rís, De La Salle, St Mary’s College or Dundalk Grammar School.
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