By Conor Martin
Scoil Uí Chonaill are 60 minutes away from a first-ever AIB Leinster Club Intermediate Football Championship title as they take on Allenwood in the provincial final this Saturday at Parnell Park.
Scoil ended a 60-year wait for an intermediate title when they beat Parnells after extra-time in this year's decider by the barest of margins, a solitary point.
They began their Leinster journey in the last eight and overcame Roche Emmets by a point to progress into the semis after being pushed all the way by the Rathduff club.
The club from Dublin 3 have had their fair share of entertaining encounters this year and their semi-final against Rathkenny would follow that trend and go the distance and be eventually decided by penalties.
Scoil shot-stopper Andy Bunyan was the hero in between the sticks as the Dubliners progressed into the final. Emmet Rogan, Brendan O’Connell and Brendan Murray were Scoil’s top three scorers, with the two Brendan’s finding the net, while Rogan racked up the best individual total with five points from frees.
Their opposition this weekend Allenwood also ended a long wait for an intermediate honour when they won the Kildare Intermediate Football Championship for the first time since 1993 thanks to a 63rd minute point from Jack O'Brien, who came off the bench to kick the winning point.
In the quarterfinals, an impressive nine points from Eoin Bagnall, six of which came from frees, saw Allenwood shake off conceding a goal at the death that saw the game require extra-time. Scores from Johnny Doyle and a goal from O’Brien also proved vital as Allenwood advanced as they beat St Malachy’s.
Their semi-final against Ballylinan also required extra-time. O’Brien found the net again as Allenwood pulled away, as useful points from Bagnall, Darragh Malone and a goal from Rory Moran saw the aforementioned contribute to their side ultimately recording a comfortable 2-17 to 1-9 win.
Both clubs are no strangers to games going the distance, which puts them both in good shape ahead of Saturday’s final. Allenwood are also looking for a maiden Leinster title. Both teams have strong attributes in attack, but expect a close encounter here and one that could go to extra-time and beyond. Regardless, there will be a new name on the trophy and Scoil Uí Chonaill will be doing all they can to make sure their name is added to the Leinster roll of honour.