Leinster Spar FAI 5-a-side soccer champions

5-a-side champions of Louth sounds great. 5-a-side champions of North Leinster sounds even better!! Imagine how thrilled and proud everyone in St. Peter’s was when on Thursday, 11 May, 2017, the boys’ 5-a-side soccer team were crowned champions of Leinster. What an historic achievement by coach, Mr Mc Comish and his squad of players!! All roads now lead to the famed Aviva Stadium in Dublin, on Wednesday 31 May, when St. Peter’s represent their county and their province in the national finals.

A sunny MDL complex in Navan was the venue for the provincial finals where boys and girls teams representing schools from all corners of Leinster descended. Standing between Dromiskin and glory were the county champions of Dublin, Wexford and Laois.

First up was Castlebridge NS from the Slaney County. However, Mr Mc Comish had his team relaxed and well prepared. A commanding performance from the lads saw them emerge 3-1 winners after a tough encounter. Next was the formidable Central Model NS from Dublin. Once again the boys showed their never say die spirit and they ground out a tough 3-2 victory. Favourable results in the other fixtures meant this left them one game from glory. A draw or a win against Gaelscoil Phortlaoise would make their dreams come true. But, to complicate, matters a victory for the Laois team would see them snatch the title.

This was a nerve wracking contest that ebbed and flowed as both teams desperately searched for an opening. However, it was Portlaoise who made the vital break through. Our hearts sank as they poached a goal that left them with one hand on the cup and St Peter’s facing  heart breaking defeat. Lady luck seemed to have deserted us as Evan smacked the crossbar with a rasper and the Gaelscoil defenders made a series of last gasp tackles.  With the clock ticking down, and desperation creeping in, the magic moment came. Cool as a cucumber Rory seized on a loose ball in the penalty box and tucked away in to the corner. Joy was uncontrolled but unfortunately there was still five minutes left!

This was no place for the faint hearted. Hoarse supporters cheered every tackle, every header and every interception while keeping an anxious eye on watches that seemed to be going in slow motion. Mr Mc Comish urged one last supreme effort and, with another class save from Cian and a last gasp clearance booted down the field, the referee blew the final whistle meaning St. Peter’s NS, Dromiskin, Co Louth were the Leinster champions for 2017.

Hugs, laughter and tears of joy were the order of the day. There was a resounding cheer when Nathan raised the cup and the enormity of what they had achieved sank in. Winning Leinster titles builds up an appetite and all hand retired to Applegreen and a well deserved treat!

The next morning saw a rousing guard of honour reception from the whole school and the team and Mr Mc Comish were feted in the school hall. We hope that all the young students listened carefully to the wise words of our coach regarding skill, hard work, team work and fair play.

We can’t wait to go to Dublin in two weeks time!!

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