St Kieran's College are kings again as they take title number 23
ST KIERAN'S COLLEGE 1-15, PRESENTATION COLLEGE 1-12
St Kieran’s took over the last quarter and out-scored the opposition by 1-4 to 0-1 to land what was their 23rd title.
When top scorer, Mark Kennedy and TJ Brennan put points together to leave the Presentation 1-10 to 0-11 clear heading into the last quarter the title looked there for the taking.
Wing-back Killian Egan and Blanchfield again pointed to complete a short but remarkable turnaround as St Kieran’s now led by 1-14 to 1-10 with time almost up. There was no surrender this time once the Kilkenny side were in front.
Neither side gave much ground during a close and tight marking opening half. The scores were level six times and the only goal chance came when Eoin Cody crashed a shot from close range on the right against the far upright at the road end in the 18th minute.
The teams went step for step after that, but when Aaron Brennan lofted over a beautiful point for Kieran’s in the 30th minute it looked like they would carry the advantage into the break.
They didn’t. A well taken injury-time score from TJ Brennan levelled, leaving it 0-7 each at half-time.
Early in the new half the winners worked their way into a 0-10 to 0-7 lead, but after Kennedy crashed home a great goal for the Presentation in the 39th minute (1-8 to 0-10) they lifted their game. Subsequently they got into a winning position, but determined St Kieran’s weren’t prepared to settle for second best.
SCORERS: St Kieran’s College - Eoin Cody (0-8); Conor Kelly (1-0); David Blanchfield, Killian Egan (0-2 each); Martin O’Connell, Aaron Brennan, Ciaran Brennan (0-1 each). Presentation College - Mark Kennedy (1-8); TJ Brennan (0-2); Gavin Lee, Adam Clarke (0-1 each).
St Kieran’s College - Dean Mason; Darragh O’Keeffe, Padraic O’Neill, Jamie Young; Darragh Corcoran, Conor Murphy, Killian Egan; Martin O’Connell, David Blanchfield; Darragh Maher, Eoin Cody, Aaron Brennan; Ciaran Brennan, Conor Hoban, Cian Kenny. Subs - Conor Kelly for Hoban; Dacel Fwamba for M. O’Connell.
Presentation College - Patrick Rabbitte; Christy Brennan, Eoin Lawless, Jason Reilly; Oisin Salmon, Shane Quirke, Donal Parr; Ian McGlynn, Brandon Lee; Sean Burke, Gavin Lee, TJ Brennan; Mark Kennedy, Adam Clarke, Adam Brett. Subs - Jason Joyce for Lee; Liam Leen G. Lee; Tom Quirke for S. Quirke.
Referee - Johnny Murphy (Limerick)
Strong late burst not enough to save battling Castlecomer
ST RAPHAEL'S 1-18, CASTLECOMER CS 1-14
When Mark O’Regan pointed for the winners in the 55th minute they were sailing when 1-17 to 0-12 clear, and they looked like easing to victory.
However, Castlecomer produced their best hurling in the minutes that followed. Jack Buggy shot a pair of points. Billy Dowling nabbing a goal with an assist from Ciarán Cooney to cut the gap to 1-17 to 1-14 as the losers really took the game to the opposition.
Castlecomer got off to a great start when Jack Morrissey shot a point after only 15 seconds. They weren’t headed until St Raphael’s had a wonderful point from a sideline cut in the 20th minute by Sean Connaughton (0-6 to 0-5).
By this time the Connacht champions were flying, with centre-back Evan Cox absolutely magnificent in the way he moved the ball from the defence, while Alex Connaire, Connaughton and Adrian Prendergast were also playing very well.
St Raphael’s grabbed a goal in the 23rd minute. Mark Regan got to the end of the cross from the left by Conor Slattery to touch the ball home from the edge of the square.
The Cats battled for points afterwards from James Brennan, Jack Buggy and Jack Morrissey, but they still trailed by 0-8 to 1-10 at the break.
It was never easy for Castlecomer during the second period, but when they came with a strong late drive they certainly ruffled the feathers of the opposition.
SCORERS: St raphael’s - A. Prendergast (0-7); S. Connaughton (0-5); M. O’Regan (1-2); A. Connaire (0-2); E. Cox, D. Shaughnessy (0-1 each). Castlecomer CS - J. Buggy (0-9); B. Dowling (1-0); J. Morrissey (0-2); J. Brennan, E. Cahill, C. Cooney (0-1 each).
Castlecomer CS - Karl Downey; Dara Delaney, Colm Kealy, Conor McMahon; Dan Coogan, James Brennan (capt), Chris Korff; Dean Bray, Declan Buggy; Eoin Cahill, Thomas Brennan, Jack Buggy; Ciarán Cooney, Jack Morrissey, Michael Doyle. Subs - Bill Dowling for M. Doyle; . Liam Brennan for T. Brennan
St Raphael’s College - Cian Warde; Shane Morgan, Adam Nolan, Dean Moran; Ryan Kelegan, Evan Cox, Keith Dervan; Conor Slattery, Alex Connaire; Sean Connaughton, Adrian Prendrgast, Tiernan Killeen; Mark O’Regan, Aidan Fahy, Darren Shaughnessy. Subs - John Cooney for A. Fahy; Ciaran Connaughton for R. Keleghan
Referee - Sean Stack.