Although soccer in Clongowes is now one of the little brothers of the oval ball game, there was a time when it reigned supreme. It was first introduced to the school shortly after the amalgamation with Tullabeg in 1886 and notable participants included Oliver St John Gogarty (the Buck Mulligan of James Joyce’s Ulysses) and a Jesuit scholastic, Mr William Doyle (founder of ‘The Clongownian’ and casualty of the First World War).
More recently it has enjoyed a resurgence in the school thanks to the commitment of Mr Noel Mason from the music department, and the senior team plays league and cup football all through the year. A notable recent graduate of the Clongowes soccer academy is Bidemi Afolabi (OC 2013) who currently plies his trade with Oxford City. Last Saturday Clongowes took a notable scalp in their cup quarter final and Mr Mason sent us this report…
The Clongowes Senior Soccer team continued their unbeaten start to the season by defeating a much fancied Kill Celtic side in the quarter final of the Kildare and District Under 18 cup on Saturday last. Kill, who were beaten finalists in last years Cup final are currently in second place in the division above Clongowes.
Clongowes made a blistering start to the game and were two up inside eight minutes thanks to goals from John Garty and Mark Reynolds. Several more chances went abegging before a clearly frustrated Kill side were reduced to ten men when their centre half was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Jack McCreevy just before half time.
The second half saw Clongowes dominate initially and Jack McCreevy made it three nil on the hour mark. Kill rallied as Clongowes eased off a little and pulled a goal back with fifteen minutes remaining. It took several top class saves from Michael Collins in the Clongowes goal to keep Kill at bay but they scored a second with just five minutes remaining. However, a nervy ending was avoided when John Garty converted from the penalty spot after Mark Reynolds was taken down.
A 4 – 2 victory to Clongowes then and lots of football to look forward to.
Clongowes currently top the Under 18 Major Division and, as well as reaching the semi-final of the Under 18 cup, they qualified for the quarter final of the Youths Cup with a big win over Arlington FC just before Christmas.
Mr Noel Mason