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McKenna the Jewel in Laragh National School's Crown

posted 5 Feb 2011, 02:05 by Unknown user   [ updated 5 Feb 2011, 10:16 ]
Laragh National School’s young Jack McKenna has capped off a great year, firstly he represented Laragh United in Croke Park earlier in the Spring and just last Saturday not only did he captain his school to victory but he was also crowned “Man of the Match”. The 3G Pitch in Kingspan Breffni Park was the setting as Laragh National School took on Drumkilly National School. The Laragh lads got off to a flyer and straight from the throw in a long ball from Patrick Cahill found Niall “Fitzy” Fitzpatrick and he lobbed in a speculative shot that garnered a green flag from the umpire. Moments later Fitzpatrick had another golden opportunity after a defense splitting pass from Pauric Reilly but blazed wide. Not to be outdone Drumkilly pressed hard and Jamie Smith who proved a handful for the Laragh defense all day produced a fine save from the impressive Rian Walshe in the Laragh goal. In the seventh minute however Jack McKenna began to enforce his huge influence on the match when he bagged his first Laragh goal with a pile driver into the Drumkilly net after some good work from Barry Davis. Pauric Reilly added another point shortly afterward from a close in free. Again Drumkilly’s Jamie Smith breeched the Laragh defense and laid off the ball to Ben Kelly Flynn who toe poked the ball past Walshe. Niall Fitzpatrick responded with another Laragh point but Jamie Smith cancelled this out with a neat point of his own. McKenna upped the gears again and scored a Hat Trick of points before half time. The first a close in free after a hefty tackle on Patrick Cahill. The second a fine solo score full of skill and poise after some tenacious defending from Laragh’s Kieran O’Grady. The third, another converted free after Drumkilly were again guilty of rash tackling. Also during this period of Laragh pressure Barry Davis who worked tirelessly all afternoon tagged on his first point with his left foot. The final score of the half was a Drumkilly consolation score by the way of a Jamie Smith fisted point.
Half Time Score: Laragh N.S 2-6 to Drumkilly N.S. 1-2 

Patrick Cahill again won the throw in and worked the ball into Pauric Reilly who lashed over the first Laragh point of the second half. Shane McVitty tapped over two frees for Drumkilly to keep them within touching distance of the Laragh lads but this would only serve as a temporary reprieve and Laragh again stepped on the gas. Niall Fitzpatrick latched on to a broken ball and volleyed the ball over the bar when the goal was a more realistic option. But not to be outdone seconds later a scramble ensued in the Drumkilly goalmouth and “Fitzy” bagged his second goal of the match. Jack McKenna rattled the Drumkilly net 3 minutes later with a thunderous right footed shot virtually putting the game beyond the Denn based school after some dogged work from the industrious Patrick Cahill in midfield. To compound matters Rian Walshe was proving invincible in the Laragh gaols and he produced another fine save at the expense of a point from Shane McVitty. After this Laragh had two guilt edge chances to finish matters but Paul Smith narrowly missed and Jack McKenna rattled the wood work. Despite all the Laragh pressure Jamie Smith pulled back a Drumkilly goal but this was his closing act in the game as seconds later he saw red after a very late challenge on Laragh’s Hayden Smith. As often happens the team with lesser numbers often gain some momentum and Drumkilly’s Ben Kelly Flynn grabbed a fine goal and this was followed by a Shane McVitty point. Pauric Reilly ended the half the way he started it with a good team point involving Barry Davis and Niall Fitzpatrick. The last score of the game was a close range point from Drumkilly’s Kalon Galligan. In summary Drumkilly showed character and worked very hard to respond to Laragh’s massive scoring potential. Ben Kelly Flynn looks like a star in the making and before the Red mist descended on Jamie Smith he too was a thorn in the Laragh side with the Boylan brothers working hard to restrict Laragh’s possession. However to the victors go the spoils. Rian Walshe was a rock in the Laragh goals with the exceptional Kieran O’Grady very good in defence. Lee Reilly had a solid first with Hayden Smith & Paul Smith working their socks off throughout. Patrick Cahill’s route one style and honesty of effort in midfield was superb with Niall Fitzpatrick and Pauric Reilly deadly in front of goal with real poacher instincts. But the real difference was Jack McKenna who gave an exhibition of scoring, general awareness and work rate. A very fitting captain and “Man of the Match” and he dedicated this Laragh National School victory to teachers Brian Carolan and Principal Donal Donohoe.

Full Time Score: Laragh N.S 4-9 to Drumkilly N.S. 3-6 

Laragh National School Captain & Man of the Match Jack McKenna receives his award & the cup in Kingspan Breffni Park last Saturday. 


Laragh N.S. Team: Back Row L to R: Kieran O’Grady, Paul Smith, Patrick Cahill, Rian Walshe, Ryan Conway, Mark Brady, Hayden Smith & Gavin Smith.

Front Row L to R: Niall Fitzpatrick, Pauric Reilly, Lee Reilly, Jack McKenna, Cathal Young, Barry Davis & Christopher Palmer.