BY KIERAN McCARTHY
AHEAD of Ireland's opening Group B hockey game in Rio on Saturday, let's look back at when the Harte brothers, David and Conor, played their part in ending Bandon Grammar’s long wait for an All-Ireland senior schoolboys’ hockey title with a 4-3 win against Ulster school Royal Belfast Academic Institute (RBAI) in late 2005.
It took 20 minutes of extra time before Bandon Grammar came out on top, as they battled back from 3-1 down to win by a single goal.
Having lost in the 2003 and ’04 finals, it was third time lucky for the West Cork school, who defeated Sutton Park 9-0, Kilkeel 9-0 and Campbell College 4-1 to top their group, and then goals from Conor Harte and Aaron Beamish gave them a 2-0 semi-final win against Banbridge.
In the final Jason Lynch put Bandon Grammar 1-0 ahead, but by the fourth minute of the second half, RBAI led 3-1. Lynch scored his second goal before captain Conor Harte led by example to score a late penalty corner. Paul O’Leary scored the winning goal in the first minute of extra-time.
Pictured is the Bandon Grammar team that won the All-Ireland schoolboys’ title in 2005. Front row, from left, Denis Pritchard, coach, Darren Beamish, Patrick Shanahan, Karl Lynch, Conor Harte, Paul O’Leary, Alastair Smith, Jason Lynch and Philip Burns. Back from left, Eoin Fitzsimons, Colin Crowley, Simon Sweetnam, David Harte, Roger Gray, Eric White, Aaron Beamish, Clinton Sweetnam and Darren Platts, coach.