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St. Kierans retain Senior Colleges title at the final whistle

By Mary Morgan Sun 3rd Apr

St Kierans College (Kilkenny) 2-10  Ard Scoil Ris (Limerick) 1-11For the second year in succession St Kieran’s College produced a stirring finish to snatch the All Ireland colleges “A” title from the grasp of Ard Scoil Ris at Semple Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Last year the Kilkenny College wiped out a five points deficit in the closing quarter to snatch victory over the same opposition. This time it looked like the Limerick school were about to avenge that defeat when they led 1-11 to 1-9 with injury time beckoning. That was until Thomas O Hanrahan struck for his own and St Kieran’s second goal in the 62nd minute.In the early stages Ard Scoil Ris looked the more assured side but with William Phelan in particularly good form at full back they found the Kieran’s defence hard to crack.  Declan Hannon landed a massive 95 metre free after 90 seconds for the Limerick side. Thomas O Hanrahan equalised in the sixth minute. Michael Brennan then pointed for St Kieran’s from out on the sideline and now despite winning the possession stakes the Limerick side found themselves in arrears. At the end of that opening quarter the sides all square at 0-3 each. John Power who had a fine game edged St Kieran’s a point clear with a free in the 18th minute. There was no further score for nine minutes. Then in the 27th minute Michael Brennan put the sliotar in behind the Ard Ris defence and Thomas O Hanrahan finished clinically. Shane Dowling ended the first half scoring with a pointed free for the Limerick lads to leave the score at the break St Kieran’s 1-4 Ard Scoil Ris 0-4.The second half was only 30 seconds old when a good move finished with Kevin O Brien placing Oisin Hickey for the Limericks sides’ only goal to level the match at 1-4 each. St Kieran’s response was to hit four unanswered points from John Power who had three and Michael Brennan to go 1-8 to 1-4 ahead by the 40th minute. Shane Dowling steadied the Limerick side with a pointed free. By this stage the Ard Scoil Ris selectors had made a number of positional changes including bringing centre back Declan Hannon to the attack and theses moves began to pay dividends. By the 56th minute the Limerick side had slipped two points clear1-11 to 1-9 and it seemed they would avenge last year’s galling defeat.That was until Hanrahan’s timely intervention after good work by Conor O Shea saved the day for the St Kieran’s side who were winning their 18th title. Ard Scoil Ris did have a late chance when they were awarded a close in free but Jamie Shanahan’s shot was blocked and with it went the Limerick side’s last chance of victory.
St Kierans: Tom O Hanrahan 2-2 John Power 0-4 (1 free) Michael Brennan 0-2 Richie Reid 0-1 William Phelan 0-1 (free).
Ard Scoil Ris: Shane Dowling 0-6 (5 frees 1 65’) Oisin Hickey 1-1 Declan Hannon 0-1(free) Mark  Carmody 0-1 John Fitzgibbon 0-1 Alan Dempsey 0-1
St Kierans College: Sam Johnston (O Loughlin Gaels) Luke Hickey (James Stephens) William Phelan (Dunnamaggin) Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge) Cathal O Neill (Danesfort) Pat O Carroll (Lisdowney) Jack Mc Grath (James Stephens)Patrick Butler (O Loughlin Gaels) Conor O Shea(Clara) John Power (Carrickshock) Cillian Buckley(Dicksboro) Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens) Jack Nolan (O Loughlin Gaels)Michael Brennan (St Patricks (Ballyragget) Thomas O Hanrahan (Thomastown) Sub Richie Reid (Ballyhale Shamrocks)Ard Scoil Ris P.J Hall(Adare) Kelvin Lynch (Patrickswell) Barry O Connell (Kildimo) Damien Moloney (Meelick) Alan Dempse (Na Piarsiagh)  Declan Hannon,(Adare) Martin Moroney (Parteen) Mark Ryan (Na Piarsiagh) Jamie Shanahan (Sixmilebridge)  Mark Carmody (Patrickswell) Shane Dowling(Na Piarsiagh)  Brendan O Connor(Croagh/Kilfinny) Kevin O Brien,(Patrickswell) Oisin Hickey (Meelick) John Fitzgibbon(Adare) Subs – Ciaran Keogh (Na Piarsiagh) Jack Kelleher (Patrickswell) Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)Referee – Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)

By Mary Morgan Sun 3rd Apr

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