Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy defeated CBS Midleton by 1-8 to 0-7 in the Dr. Harty Cup Hurling Semi-Final on Saturday January 28th at Mallow.
St Colman’s can dream of double after tight derby duel
Report by Eoghan Cormican for the Irish Examiner newspaper
St Colman’s Fermoy 1-8 Midleton CBS 0-7: When the most coveted piece of silverware in Munster Colleges hurling last resided at St Colman’s, it sat in a display cabinet next to the Dean Ryan Cup.
The latter trophy returned to the Fermoy College in November for the first time since 2003 and the prospect of yet another provincial double nears reality following Saturday’s all-Cork Dr Harty Cup semi-final win – St Colman’s have not been present in the decider since winning the last of their nine Harty Cup titles 14 years ago.
There they’ll meet Our Lady’s, Templemore and there is no question the gritty performance which saw them squeeze past their East Cork rivals won’t be sufficient to trouble, in the words of St Colman’s manager Flannan Cleary, the “red hot favourites”. That this semi-final didn’t live up to its billing, though, will matter little to the Fermoy students as they set about preparing for February 18. A crowd of 2,691 flocked to Mallow for the third meeting of the pair this season; an unanswered 1-6 in the closing 10 minutes of their first round Harty Cup clash back in October swung the verdict in St Colmans’ favour, with Midleton CBS exacting revenge in the Cork colleges final a week before Christmas.
Between then and here, St Colman’s put 3-12 past CBC to further signal their intent, while Midleton ended the reign of 2016 champions Ardscoil Rís after two epic quarter-final battles.
This particular contest, however, failed to come anywhere near the dizzy heights either reached in previous rounds. The first- half, in particular, was awash with errors. Scores, on the other hand, were desperately hard come by. Six white flags was all they could muster, only two of which arrived from open play.
The winners, having faced a strong breeze in the opening period, were much the happier with the 0-3 apiece interval scoreline. “To keep them to three points whilst we were playing against that breeze was terrific,” said Cleary. “We came out then and we got the start we wanted.”
By that, he means the 1-2 which they bagged within eight minutes of the restart. Diarmuid Lenihan threw over a ’65 following Adam Daly’s goal-line heroics in preventing Brian Roche’s ground stroke from crossing the white paint. David Lardner doubled their advantage and while Liam O’Shea got his and Midleton’s fourth point in response, Fermoy full- forward Roche capitalised on a defensive error in the 38th minute to register the only major.
They’d hit just three points in the remaining 22 minutes, but with Midleton’s radar, from both open play and the dead ball, out of whack – the losers hit 14 wides in total, their 1-8 tally proved more than enough to get the job done.
There were a couple of nervy moments late on as centre-back Niall O’Leary, excellent throughout, had to throw his body in front of Ger Millerick’s goal-bound effort. Liam Gosnell sent the rebound wide and their challenge ended when Liam O’Shea’s close-range free was repelled – the latter pair accounted for Midleton’s 0-7 total.
“After we got the goal, we went into a bit of a lull. When we were in that lull, Midleton didn’t capitalise. They threw the kitchen sink at us and it was really tough going there at the end, but our defence stood up to it. The leaders we have inside in our dressing-room is absolutely fantastic. It’s a fantastic win.”
An added bonus was having atoned for their one-point defeat to Ardscoil Rís at this very juncture 12 months ago.
“As I told the Midleton lads, we were in their position last year. We lost in heartbreaking circumstances. Nine of the lads playing here were there last year. That hurt drove us.”
Scorers for St Colman’s: D Lenihan (0-3, 0-2 frees, 0-1 ’65); B Roche (1-0); B Murphy (0-2); S O’Connor, D Lardner, R Galvin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Midleton CBS: L O’Shea (0-5, 0-2 frees); L Gosnell (0-2 frees).
ST COLMAN’S: E Davis (St Catherine’s); E Wallace (St Catherine’s), J O’Leary (Castlelyons), K Neville (St Catherine’s); S McCarthy (Fermoy), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), E Roche (Bride Rovers); S O’Connor (Bride Rovers), D Lenihan (Ballyhooly); J Sheehan (Kilworth), B Murphy (Castlelyons), D Lardner (Fermoy); C Ryan (Bride Rovers), B Roche (Bride Rovers), A Creed (Fermoy).
Subs: F Hickey (Ballyduff Upper) for Ryan (44 mins); R Galvin (St Catherine’s) for Sheehan (53); J Meighan (Ballyhooly) for Creed (58), G Lardner (Fermoy) for McCarthy (58)
MIDLETON CBS: R Walsh (St Colman’s); A Daly (Midleton), S O’Leary-Hayes (Midleton), E O’Sullivan (St Colman’s); R McConville (Midleton), J McDonnell (Aghada), A Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill); S O’Meara (Midleton), C Coughlan (Killeagh); B Twomey (Carrigtwohill), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s), C Terry (Aghada); L O’Shea (Lisgoold), J Stack (Kiltha Óg), L Gosnell (Carrigtwohill).
Subs: M Kelly (Kiltha Óg) for Twomey (41); P O’Brien (Midleton) for Stack (50).
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).
When – Saturday January 28th at 1:30pm
Where – Mallow
Referee – Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)
Next Round – The winners will play the winners Our Lady’s Templemore and Nenagh CBS in the Final on Saturday February 18th.
Adults – €5
Students / OAP’s – €3
Results to Date
Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy
Quarter-Final – Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy 3-12 Christian Brothers College, Cork 1-12
Last 16 – Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy 4-22 St Flannans 2-19 (AET)
Group E – Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy 2-15 CBS Midleton 1-14
Quarter-Final Replay – CBS Midleton 2-11 Árdscoil Rís Limerick 0-15
Quarter-Final – CBS Midleton 2-12 Árdscoil Rís Limerick 1-15 (AET)
Last 16 – CBS Midleton 1-15 Scoil Na Trioniode Doon 1-12
Group E – Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy 2-15 CBS Midleton 1-14
Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy and CBS Midleton will meet on Saturday in Mallow vying for a place in the 2017 Harty Cup Final on February 18th. These Cork schools are no strangers to each other having met in Group E in their opening game of the competition. On that occasion, CBS Midleton led by five points heading in the final stages only to see the Fermoy side scored an unanswered 1 goal and six points to win by 2-15 to 1-14.
Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy moved on to a meeting with St. Flannans in the last 16 and though heavily favoured, found themselves three points down deep in to injury time only for a last gasp Diarmuid Lenihan free to find its way through a number of players in to the back of the net to force extra time. Fermoy made no mistake in the additional period and won by nine points in the end. There was no such drama in the Quarter-Final as a dominating first half versus Christian Brothers College, Cork put Fermoy in to an unassailable position. Despite a comeback from CBC, Fermoy qualified for the semi-final with six points to spare. The Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy forward unit has improved from game to game and players like Barry Murphy, Brian Roche, Conleth Ryan and Diarmuid Lenihan will prove a handful for any side as the school aims to qualify for their first Harty Cup Final since 2003.
CBS Midleton have had a tougher route to the semi-finals, firstly overcoming a battling Scoil Na Trioniode Doon in the last 16 by three points before being drawn against the 2016 champions Árdscoil Rís Limerick in the Quarter-Final. This tie proved to be one of the better Harty Cup battles of recent times as it took 140 minutes to decide the winner after a draw and replay. In the drawn game, the sides were level no less than 11 times through the game and though Midleton led heading in to the end of normal time, Árdscoil Rís rallied to force extra time where no winner could be declared. The schools returned to the fray a week later for another cracking game. Midleton appeared set for victory but having been reduced to 14 men, the Cork side conceded a six point lead in the closing stages and found themselves a point down in injury time. There would be one further twist as Midleton earned a penalty and with the option of taking a point to force another period of extra time, Liam O’Shea went for goal and duly converted which turned out to be the winning score as Midleton progressed by a two point winning margin.
For CBS Midleton, these two tough Quarter-Final games will surely stand to them in their quest to qualify for their first Harty Cup Final since 2006. Liam Gosnell and Liam O’Shea up front have been responsible for the majority of Midleton’s scores in this campaign and aided by goalkeeper Ross Walsh, Sean O’Leary Hayes, Aaron Walsh Barry and Christy Coughlan they will hope to overturn their opening game defeat at the hands of Coláiste Cholmáin Fermoy back in October.
Diarmuid Kirwan is the referee for this game in Mallow on Saturday with a 1:30pm throw-in.