Calasanctius College Oranmore Claim First-Ever National Soccer Crown!

Calasanctius College claim first-ever national soccer crown in capturing FAI U-15 title

Calasanctius College in Oramnore defied the odds last week to capture its first-ever national soccer title when the school's U-15 Boys' side defeated Coláiste Dún lascaigh of Cahir 4-2 after extra time in the All-Ireland final in Limerick.

The school has enjoyed a hugely successful year on the sporting field across a range of codes, from GAA to soccer and rugby, but all that has been done without the school having a pitch to train or play on.

"We owe the local community a massive 'thank-you' for its support, from our local club, Maree Oranmore FC, to the local GAA club and also the Oianmore Community Development Association for the use of facilities throughout the year," said teacher and U-15 manager, Ruth Broderick.

As well as capturing the U-15 title, the school is through to the First Year All-Ireland semi-final; the rugby side captured the Connacht Junior Development Cup this year; while the school's hurlers reached the All-Ireland semi-final and the Gaelic footballers reached a Connacht Final.

"There is so much talent in this school, and the students have achieved so much despite not having a pitch to train on - as Ruth said, we are hugely dependent on the Oranmore Community Development Association for the use of facilities, as
well as Oranmore/Maree GAA club - any time we ask them for the use of a pitch, we are given permission straight away," said fellow teacher and the sports coordinator at the school, Patricia Treacy.

"It is a crying shame, we are on four acres and have had success in every sporting code this year, yet we are without a pitch.

We did use the pitch across Castle Road, but Aldi is on that site now. I did enquire about the green area beside it but that is zoned commercial use so we are still left trying to find a bit of grass every time we have training in any sport. "The lads have been brilliant this year, and we have received huge support from their parents as well as the local community - without all these people, we would not have the success we have," she said.

Aaron Connolly played a captain's role in last weekend's All-Ireland win, which saw the side go one better after they were
beaten in the First Year FAI decider last year. Connolly fired his side into the lead in the 10th minute, and after Cahir had equalised four minutes later, Connolly fired his side back in front just before the break.

He wasn't the only star on the side, as Calasanctius goalkeeper Mark Greaney saved a Cahir penalty a minute after the Tipperary side had equalised; and then denied Paddy Doyle with a flying save late in the half.

Cahir did draw level midway through the second-half when Greaney was finally beaten for a second time, but their chances
of claiming the title suffered a blow when they were reduced to 10 men close to the final whistle. Calasanctius assumed total
control in extra-time, and Connolly turned from scorer to provider in the first-period when he sent Ronan Manning clear,
and the brother of former Galway FC star and current QPR player Ryan gave Dominick Meynczak no chance in the
Cahir goal.

Connolly completed his hat trick after the restart with a left footed drive from a narrow angle, and they will now go on to
represent the Republic of Ireland in the Allen McKinstry Cup in Belfast from May 21 to 23 against the national winners
from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"We are all very proud of the lads and the effort of both the staff and the terrific local clubs we have here in Oranmore.

Maree/Oranmore FC does great work in the community, the GAA has been a great support, and the staff and Parents' Association have all got behind the lads.

"Sport is very important in school life, it is not all about studying and exams, and we have had great success in Calasanctius
this year alone. We might not have the facilities in terms of pitches, but we place a huge emphasis on sport here and the students do themselves and the school proud with their efforts, whether or not they get a medal to show for it at the end," said school principal, Mary Nihill.

Coach Noel Greaney paid tribute to the players for the dedication, and also to teacher Cathal McBride, who has been crucial
in developing soccer at the schooL

"I've been involved with the school soccer for about five years, firstly with Cathal McBride and now with Ruth Broderick after Cathal stepped down. We have great fun slagging Cathal that it is only since he stepped down that we reached consecutive All-Ireland finals, but that is all in jest, he has done huge amount for soccer in the schooL

"This team made the First Year final last year but lost to a good Cardonagh side 1-0 but in some respects, that helped build
the foundation for this year - the lads got the taste of a final, and were determined to go one step better this year," he said.

Pictured above the FAI U-15 champions, Calasanctius College team with their teacher Ruth Broderick. 

Calasanctius College: Greaney; Morrissey (Mannering 70), Doyle, Rooney, Smith (McDonagh 84); Quinlavin, Courtney, Lyons, Delaney (Ojo 76); Connolly, Manning.

Subs: Cillian McCarthy, Ronan Hanniffy, Daniel O'Neill, Kevin Maguire, Eoghan Geraghty, Conor Loughran.

Teacher: Ruth Broderick. Coach: Noel Greaney.

Colaiste Dún lascaigh: Meynczak; Farrell, Corbett, Murphy (O'Leary 81), Murphy; Doyle, Lambert, Murphy, Fitzgerald; O'Bli en (Jaros-Karnia 50), Cunningham.

Referee: A Keogh (Lirnerick).

Click here  to view full report of the match from the school website. 

(article courtesy of Connacht Tribune).