Jim OSullivan

St Declans Ross Fitzpatrick powers through midfield. | Photos: Jim OSullivan

St Declan’s 3; St Stephen’s 0

■□■ View Photos

St Declan’s turned the tables on St Stephen’s on Friday morning last at the RSC. Last season the two Waterford schools met in the final in Ben Wadding Park and on that occasion it was St Stephen’s who came out on top but last Friday the famous Stephen Street school had to taste the bitter pill of defeat.

They lost the game but they certainly played their part in another excellent decider. The two games played on Thursday (Division 2) and Friday of last week produced memorable matches for the large crowds present at both. Perhaps the final scoreline here was a little flattering to St Declan’s but nevertheless they did deserve their hour of glory.

Blistering start

St Declan’s got off to a flying start and the St Stephen’s outfit found themselves two goals behind inside the opening seven minutes.

Andrew Phelan created the opener after four minutes by getting to the right endline and pulling the ball back for Ross Batty who side-footed past Reece Flanagan from close range.

Things got even worse for the Stephen Street boy’s three minutes later. Batty took a fine pass from Aaron O’Connor and picked out Ross Fitzpatrick who drilled the ball to the net from inside the penalty area, giving goalkeeper Reece Flanagan no chance.

St Stephen’s were thrown a lifeline on 16 minutes when Aidan Lawless clipped Adam McNamara inside the penalty area. Referee Mark Lucas pointed to the spot but Luke Power shot wide.

Third goal

St Stephen’s came out fighting in the second half and they almost pulled a goal back on 36 minutes. Luke Power got in a fine cross from the right which was met by Dean Walsh but his strong header was well saved by the St Declan’s goalkeeper James Grogan.

Ten minutes later St Declan’s wrapped up the game when they scored their third goal. Aaron O’Connor fed Aidan Lawless and when he picked out Andrew Phelan, the talented St Declan’s player headed to the net in brilliant fashion.

Two minutes later Luke Power brought a good save from James Grogan and Power was unlucky again late on when he shot over the bar following a pass from Dean Walsh.

St Declan’s (panel): James Grogan, Jack McCarthy, Aidan Lawless, Craig Dowling, David Hogan, Ross Batty, Andrew Phelan, Aaron O’Connor, Jamie Regan, Ross Fitzpatrick, Richard Ryan, Conor Hogan, Shane Hannon.

St Stephen’s (panel): Reece Flanagan, Michael Roche, Roy Butler, Shane Ryan, Cory Gallagher, Ryan O’Higgins, Eddie Meaney, Brian Cunningham, Dean Walsh, Luke Power, Adam McNamara, Shane Coady, Aaron O’Gorman, Dale Butler, Jack Power, Darragh Sheridan.

Referee: Mark Lucas.

Man of the Match: Aaron O’Connor (a hard call because there were lots of top-class displays but Aaron never put a foot wrong during the 60 mins).