Sports

Offaly Schools football team into last four in Leinster

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The combined Offaly schools football team are into the last four of the Leinster Post Primary Schools Senior football 'A' championship after seeing off the challenge of Louth schools in their quarter final played last Saturday on a scoreline of 3-17 to 3-8.

In their first year to enter the 'A' championship and with plenty of logistics to overcome, the coming together of all Offaly post primary schools with the exception of St Mary's, Edenderry, has proved a success with impressive wins over Dundalk Schools and Louth Schools to now set up a semi final showdown with Marist College, Athlone.

With St Mary's Edenderry fielding on their own in the 'A' grade, there was a feeling in the coaching and games wing of the Offaly County Board that a combined team would benefit from inclusion and it certainly looks to be bearing fruit already.

While the individual schools play in the lower grades, they are now being exposed to the 'A' grade also and is a move that can only benefit the players going forward.

The management team of Paul McConway, Liam O'Reilly and Padraig Murray have a tough job on their hands to even get players together with so much other stuff going on. Clubs are back training, individual schools such as Gallen CS have their own championship still ongoing and with a chunk of the panel involved in the Offaly U20 panel.

Players from Gallen CS, Ferbane, Ard Scoil Chiaran, Clara, Tullamore College, Colaiste Choilm and Killina SS were all represented on Saturday last with Gallen CS star Cian Johnson top scoring with 2-8.

The Marist will be a step up in class in the semi final but the Offaly outfit will go into the game on the back of two morale building wins.

The combined team idea was brought in for the hurling last year with the Combined hurling team making a Leinster league semi final before bowing out in the opening round of the championship.

It was hoped that would be built on this year but the combined team didn't partake in the championship with the club minor championships in Offaly running on so late being one of the major factors.

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