Glenstal Reach the Final in GAA Football

Father Leahy Newbridge Football Tournament

(See Photos Section. Taken by Joe Gilbride)

IMG_0120On Wednesday morning, a bus filled with 30 Glenstal students made its way to Kildare to compete in the Father Leahy tournament at Newbridge College. Father Leahy was a passionate GAA man who won a school’s cup with Newbridge and established the tournament many years ago. This competition, in its 19th year, saw Glenstal reach its first final (we think!).

 Game 1

Glenstal took on Rockwell College in the first game and the opening exchanges looked all too familiar. Glenstal missed an early goal scoring opportunity when the ball crossed the face of the goal with nobody to steer it home. From the resulting clearance, Rockwell College went down the field and scored a goal to open their account. They added a point before Darragh Hanly pointed from the right hand side of the goal. Aidan Booth found the net to restore parity before Rockwell added another point to complete the first half scoring and a tight second half was guaranteed.

Rockwell College powered into a commanding lead when they scored a goal and 3 points early in the second half. With 7 points now separating the teams, it looked like Glenstal would be defeated. That was until the men from the Glen had their final say. First, it was Ruáirí Woodcock from midfield that scored a goal. Then, a Cian O’Farrell double put Glenstal ahead by 2 points. Both scorers made searing runs from out the field, leaving opponents for dust, before dispatching the football to the net. After Cian O’Farrell’s second hit the net, the final whistle sounded and Glenstal emerged victorious.

Final score:

Glenstal Abbey School 4-1

Rockwell College 2-5


Game 2

With enthusiasm flowing having won their first match, Glenstal began in earnest to win. This time, facing Cistercian College, Roscrea, they again would allow their opponents to open a commanding lead. Glenstal would trail on a score line of 2-2 to no score.

Early pressure in the second half saw a Glenstal revival as Aidan Booth converted from the penalty spot after he was hauled down approaching the goal. Charlie McCartan got another to leave only 2 points between the teams. Roscrea stretched the lead to 3 before Ruáirí Woodcock levelled proceedings when he raised a green flag. After a few tight exchanges, it was Roscrea who muscled their way to score a winning point.

Final score:

Cistercian College Roscrea 2-4

Glenstal Abbey School 3-0


Game 3

With teams beating each other in every game, it came down to the final match to decide who would make the finals. Numerous permutations were possible but if Glenstal obtained any result, they would play Newbridge in the final. Newbridge had 2 wins from 2 games and would face Glenstal in their final group game.

A tight first half saw Newbridge score 1-2 before Darragh Hanly sent a screamer to the roof of the net. Roscrea replied with a point and Cian O’Farrell equalled that before he added another goal to his own impressive tally for the day. That completed the first half scoring and Glenstal were in the lead by a single point.

Clovis Hanbury Tenison was in fine form in goals and produced many top class saves. His fingertips kept Glenstal in the lead until Roscrea pointed to tie the match. Over the bar was the easier route for Newbridge due to impressive net minder Clovis and they added 2 more points before getting their second goal of the match. Josh Kennedy was able to steer Cian O’Farrell’s through ball into the net to bring Glenstal back into contention once more. However, Newbridge finished strong, scoring 1-2, as Glenstal were desperately trying to score as much as possible themselves with points scored potentially deciding the final standings. Glenstal were unable to add anything further to their tally as the final whistle sounded.


Final score:

Newbridge College 3-8

Glenstal Abbey School 2-2


Rockwell College defeated Cistercian College Roscrea and so the scores needed to be counted in order to decide a three way tie. A tense few moments brought great joy to our panel as Glenstal had done just enough to make the final. Glenstal finished in 2nd place and would play Newbridge in the final courtesy of scoring 3 points more than their competitors during the group stage.



Unfortunately, the joy was short lived as the final would be a no contest. A strong and determined Newbridge dominated the first half. Glenstal’s will to work and disrupt the opposition was found wanting as they struggled to attain any possession or mount any meaningful attack. Before the half ended, Newbridge stormed into 5-1 to no score lead.

Darragh Hanly scored a fine point in the second half but any thoughts of a comeback were quashed when Newbridge resumed the rout.

Final score:

Newbridge College 7-3

Glenstal Abbey School 0-1


Newbridge ran out deserving and convincing winners. Nonetheless, it was a significant improvement for our boys and the efforts of the panel must be commended. The boys represented themselves admirably and received their silver medals after the teams ate together in Newbridge College. The hunt for GAA silverware continues as Glenstal lose their second final in as many years. Perhaps the upcoming U14 competitions may provide the elusive trophy we desire. Many thanks to all the parents and supporters made it to the event.



Aidan Booth
Robert Burke
Adam Byrne
Matthew Cannon
Max Downing
Peter Fahy
Taylor Gleeson
Clovis Hanbury-Tenison
Darragh Hanly
Joe Gilbride
Denis Hayes
Donagh Hyland
Patrick Johnson
Josh Kennedy
Seamus Kerrisk
Angus MacDonald
Robert McAleese
Ben McCartan
Charlie McCartan
Cormac Frawley
Robert McNamara
Timothy Murphy
Cian O’Farrell
Iarlaith Reilly
Tom Rooney
Ben Shippam
William Twomey
Ruairí Woodcock
Daragh Butler
Andrew Breslin