Premier League bound Kilkenny soccer star helps Wexford school to All-Ireland football title

Thomas O’Connor is tipped to join Southampton but he hit 2-6 today in Clonmel for Good Counsel against St Brendan’s Killarney.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Good Counsel (New Ross) 2-12
St Brendan’s (Killarney) 3-7

Jackie Cahill reports from Clonmel Sportsfield

PREMIER LEAGUE-BOUND Thomas O’Connor was sensational in Clonmel this afternoon as Good Counsel College, New Ross, retained their Masita GAA All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Paul McGirr Cup title.

O’Connor, a Republic of Ireland U15 soccer international, is hotly-tipped to link up with Southampton FC after he completes his junior certificate exams this summer.

The Kilkenny starlet, from the Tullogher-Rosbercon club, scored two penalty goals and four points from play on his way to a personal haul of 2-6.

O’Connor also produced a man of the match display in last year’s final at the same venue against St Francis College, Rochestown, when he scored 0-8.

Kilkenny's Thomas O'Connor could be bound for Southampton next season Source: Chris Ison

But St Brendan’s were left aggrieved from their very first attack when David Shaw claimed that his venomous drive had struck the crossbar and bounced behind the goal line.

Despite post match video evidence suggesting a goal, the umpires were unmoved and Good Counsel went on to establish an early lead.

St Brendan’s did find the net in the tenth minute, when David Spillane played a one-two with Donnchadh O’Sullivan before finishing well.

That goal handed St Brendan’s the lead for the only time in the game (1-0 to 0-2) as Good Counsel and O’Connor took over.

They hit back to lead by 0-7 to 1-0 before ‘The Sem’ bagged a second goal in the 23rd minute when Mark Hartnett finished another flowing move.

But Good Counsel were in control again just two minutes later as O’Connor coolly netted his first penalty after Niall Donohue fouled Luke Sinnott.

O’Connor added a couple of long-range specials for good measure before the break as the winners led by 1-9 to 2-1 at the turn.

Playing with the breeze in the second half, all was not lost for St Brendan’s but O’Connor netted his second penalty three minutes after the restart, after Alec Rennie clattered into the impressive Jamie Myler.

Seán Nolan added a point for Good Counsel before O’Connor put over a peach with the outside of his left boot for the biggest lead of the game, 2-11 to 2-1.

By full-time, however, St Brendan’s had reduced the deficit to just two points, with a host of other chances missed in the process.

David Clifford netted with seven minutes left and as St Brendan’s piled on the pressure with a flurry of points, Good Counsel were left hanging on for the win.

A run of 1-4 without reply down the home straight wasn’t enough for St Brendan’s as Good Counsel added the junior A football crown to the hurling title collected late last year.

Scorers for Good Counsel: Thomas O’Connor 2-6 (2-0 pens, 0-2 45;s), Luke Sinnott 0-2, Darragh Lyons, Seán Nolan, Jamie Myler & Sam Wall 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Brendan’s: David Clifford 1-1, David Spillane & Mark Hartnett 1-0 each, Michael Potts, Niall Donohue, Billy Courtney (f), Dara Moynihan, Donnchadh O’Sullivan & Lorcán McMonagle 0-1 (f) each.

Good Counsel

1. Darragh O’Connor (Cloughbawn)

2. James O’Shea (Adamstown)
3. Mark O’Neill (Gusserane)
4. Jack Walsh (Mullinavat)

5. Gavin Sheehan (Gusserane)
6. Eoin Porter (Cushinstown)
16. Jimmy Sutton (Fethard)

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8. Andrew Walsh (St James)
9. Darragh Lyons (St James, capt)

10. Seán Nolan (Horeswood)
11. Thomas O’Connor (Tullogher-Rosbercon)
12. Rory Higgins (Rathnure)

13. Jamie Myler (St James)
14. Luke Sinnott (Taghmon)
15. Sam Wall (Gusserane)

17. Richard Hennessy (Glenmore) for Higgins (58)
7. Richard Gill (Tullogher-Rosbercon) for Sheehan (60+2)

St Brendan’s

1. Alec Rennie (Fossa)

2. Michael Potts (Dr. Crokes)
3. Niall Donohue (Firies)
4. Oran Donoghue (Glenflesk)

5. Mark O’Shea (Dr. Crokes)
6. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk)
7. Jack Griffin (Dr. Crokes)

8. Billy Courtney (Dr. Crokes)
9. David Shaw (Dr. Crokes)

10. Cian Gammell (Legion)
11. Dara Moynihan (Spa, Capt.)
12. David Spillane (Spa)

13. Mark Hartnett (Dr. Crokes)
21. Ciarán Flynn (Firies)
15. Donnchadh O’Sullivan (Firies)

14. David Clifford (Fossa) for Flynn (half-time)
22. Lorcán McMonagle (Dr. Crokes) for Donoghue (39)
17. Seán O’Leary (Kilcummin) for Shaw (44)
21. Ciarán Flynn (Firies) for Gammell (47)
19. Thando Dube (Legion) for O’Shea (57)

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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