Our Lady’s Templemore defeated Kilkenny CBS by 0-24 to 2-15 in the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup (Under 18.5 A Hurling) Semi-Final on Wednesday March 15th at O’Moore Park Portlaoise.
Tom Byrnes: Templemore ready for final test
Report by Jackie Cahill for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Our Lady’s, Templemore (Tipperary) 0-24 Kilkenny CBS 2-15: Our Lady’s Templemore manager Tom Byrnes is relishing a crack at competition kingpins St Kieran’s in the Croke Cup final on Saturday week. St Kieran’s, the famed Kilkenny academy, are going for four in a row as Our Lady’s gear up for their first final since 1978.
Having won the Harty Cup for the first time in 39 years, Our Lady’s went a step further by seeing off the dogged challenge of Kilkenny CBS in yesterday’s Masita Post-Primary Schools All-Ireland Senior A Hurling semi-final.
However, standing in the path of ultimate glory are St Kieran’s, conquerors of Kilkenny CBS in the Leinster final and boasting a full-back line that Byrnes holds in the highest esteem. “They’re a savage outfit,” said Byrnes. “They’re big as well, strong and probably have the best full-back line I’ve ever seen at colleges hurling. You have Adrian Ronan’s son [Tommy] and DJ Carey’s son [Michael] is full-back. They’re formidable and they’re going to be a huge test.”
After walloping St Colman’s in the Harty final, Our Lady’s got the tight game they needed after a few weeks off. It should prime them for the St Kieran’s challenge and, while Our Lady’s won by three points, goals in stoppage time at the end of each half added some gloss to the final score, from a Kilkenny CBS perspective.
In truth, Templemore were the superior side, but CBS brought buckets of heart to O’Moore Park in Portlaoise. Crucially, Our Lady’s kept Sean Bolger quiet and, while Niall Brassil scored nine points, eight of those scores came from placed balls. In total, CBS hit 1-7 from play, but Templemore managed 0-16, including five in the first half from Andrew Ormonde.
Brian McGrath, Tipp’s 2016 All-Ireland minor winning captain, matched Brassil’s tally and his late point, after CBS goalkeeper Ben Maher had goaled from a 20m free, was a sumptuous effort from the right touchline. At key moments, particularly in the second half, McGrath showed real leadership, but he wasn’t alone, with full-back Padraig Campion executing a couple of heroic late blocks. Maher was blinded by the sun late on in the Leinster final, but any lingering fears about his mentality on the big day were banished by a series of fine saves. The O’Loughlin Gaels net-minder looks like a player destined for a big future and, in years to come, it’s likely that Our Lady’s and CBS players will renew acquaintances in the county colours of Tipperary and Kilkenny.
At half-time, Our Lady’s led by 0-14 to 1-8, as Joe Sheehan’s goal brought CBS back into contention. However, they couldn’t get closer to the winners than two points in the second half, as Templemore’s dream of a Harty/Croke Cup double, to emulate the feats of 1978, remain alive.
Scorers for Our Lady’s, Templemore: B McGrath 0-9 (5f, 2 65s) A Ormonde 0-5, D O’Shea 0-3, J Kelly & L Fairbrother (1f) 0-2 each, É McBride, J Ryan & R McCormack 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny CBS: N Brassil 0-9 (7f, 1 65), J Sheehan 1-3, B Maher 1-0f, S Boyd 0-2, S Bolger 0-1.
Our Lady’s, Templemore: E Collins; N Quinlan, P Campion, E Ryan; É McBride, P Cadell, A O’Meara; D Ryan, J Ryan; J Kelly, B McGrath, R McCormack; A Ormonde, D O’Shea, L Fairbrother.
Subs: S Doyle for D Ryan (59), F Purcell for J Ryan (59), G O’Connor for Ormonde (60+3)
Kilkenny CBS: B Maher; M Butler, J Minogue, J Molloy; P Collins, C Flynn, L Stynes; C Heary, N Brassil; R Buckley, S Boyd, S Bolger; S Staunton, D Dunne, J Sheehan.
Subs: C Drennan for Staunton (45), M Doyle for Dunne (53)
Referee: J Keane (Galway)
McGrath hits 0-9 as Our Lady's Templemore celebrate All-Ireland semi-final win https://t.co/LSB0A6tlOo @TipperaryGAA @Loughmore_Gaa pic.twitter.com/5odjs2nO3P
— The42.ie GAA (@The42GAA) March 15, 2017
0-9 for McGrath as Our Lady’s Templemore end 39-year wait for All-Ireland senior hurling final
Tipperary’s 2016 All-Ireland minor hurling winning captain was outstanding today.
Our Lady’s, Templemore (Tipperary) 0-24 Kilkenny CBS 2-15
Report by Jackie Cahill for the42.ie
FRESH FROM WINNING the Harty Cup for the first time in 39 years, Our Lady’s, Templemore, have booked their place in the Masita All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools All-Ireland senior A hurling decider.
Brian McGrath produced some big moments, particularly in the second half, as Templemore advanced to face holders and four-in-a-row chasers St Kieran’s from Kilkenny on Saturday week, 25 March.
Our Lady’s saw off Kilkenny CBS in today’s semi-final at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise and while they led by seven points approaching half-time – 0-14 to 0-17 – the winners were made to work for it.
Andrew Ormonde hit five points from play in the first half alone for Templemore but they the concession of goals in stoppage time at the end of both halves made life nervy for them. Templemore also needed a couple of huge blocks from full-back Pádraig Campion down the home straight but at the other end, Kilkenny CBS had goalkeeper Ben Maher making some big saves. At half-time, Templemore were 0-14 to 1-8 clear but they were hit with a sucker-punch goal in the third minute of stoppage time.
Templemore failed to deal with Niall Brassil’s free into their full-back line and Joe Sheehan was alive to the loose ball, sending a deflected ground-stroke to the net. That goal undid some of Templemore’s good work in the opening half because when they got on a run, they looked really good, with their three inside forwards – Ormonde, David O’Shea and Lyndon Fairbrother – collecting eight points from play between them before the interval.
Templemore opened with the first three points of the game but Kilkenny CBS, playing with the breeze in the opening half, settled and were level at 0-4 each by the 13th minute. The sides were deadlocked twice more but Templemore, who didn’t register a wide in the first half, were finding a steady groove and a devastating scoring run gave them clear daylight. Having fallen 0-5 to 0-6 behind, Templemore unloaded with seven unanswered points in a nine-minute spell.
They could have a goal, too, but CBS goalkeeper Ben Maher did well with a double-save to keep out first Ormonde and then Brian McGrath. Sheehan’s 25th minute point was the first time Kilkenny CBS had scored in ten minutes but Templemore responded with further efforts from Lyndon Fairbrother and David O’Shea. Niall Brassil clipped over his third free of the half before his delivery led to Sheehan’s goal.
The second half ebbed and flowed but the closest that Kilkenny CBS could get was two points. Goalkeeper Maher blasted home a 20m free in stoppage time to narrow the gap to 2-15 to 0-23.
But McGrath, 2016 All-Ireland winning captain for Tipperary, landed an absolute peach from the right touchline to settle frayed Templemore nerves. Templemore now have the chance to emulate their 1978 feats – when they added the Croke Cup to their earlier Harty Cup success.
Scorers for Our Lady’s, Templemore: Brian McGrath 0-9 (0-5f, 0-2 ’65) Andrew Ormonde 0-5, David O’Shea 0-3, Jerry Kelly & Lyndon Fairbrother (1f) 0-2 each, Éanna McBride, Jack Ryan & Ray McCormack 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kilkenny CBS: Niall Brassil 0-9 (7f, 1 65), Joe Sheehan 1-3, Ben Maher 1-0f, Sean Boyd 0-2, Sean Bolger 0-1.
Our Lady’s, Templemore
1. Eoin Collins (Drom & Inch)
20. Neil Quinlan (JK Brackens)
3. Padraig Campion (Drom & Inch)
4. Eoghan Ryan (Loughmore-Castleiney)
5. Éanna McBride (JK Brackens)
6. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens)
7. Aidan O’Meara (Drom & Inch)
8. Diarmuid Ryan (Clonakenny)
9. Jack Ryan (Toomevara)
12. Jerry Kelly (Borris-Ileigh)
11. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
10. Ray McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
13. Andrew Ormonde (JK Brackens)
14. David O’Shea (JK Brackens)
15. Lyndon Fairbrother (JK Brackens)
19. Shane Doyle (JK Brackens) for D Ryan (59)
17. Fintan Purcell (Drom & Inch) for J Ryan (59)
18. Gearoid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy) for Ormonde (60+3)
1. Ben Maher (O’Loughlin Gaels)
5. Mickey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
3. Johnny Minogue (Dicksboro)
6. Jordan Molloy (O’Loughlin Gaels)
9. Peter Collins (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Conor Flynn (Graigue-Ballycallan)
2. Liam Stynes (Dicksboro)
12. Conor Heary (O’Loughlin Gaels)
10. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)
7. Ronan Buckley (O’Loughlin Gaels)
14. Sean Boyd (Dicksboro)
13. Sean Bolger (O’Loughlin Gaels)
15. Shane Staunton (Clara)
8. Des Dunne (Danesfort)
21. Joe Sheehan (Dicksboro)
19. Conor Drennan (Galmoy) for Staunton (45)
17. Mick Doyle (Barrow Rangers) for Dunne (53)
Referee: John Keane (Galway)
BUSINESS END OF THE CROKE CUP
The main event of this week in the Masita GAA All Ireland Post Primary Schools series is the staging of the Croke Cup (Senior ‘A’ Hurling) semi-finals between the famed St. Kieran’s College and St Brigids Loughrea, managed by Galway captain David Burke, at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
And there is also the equally tasty clash of Kilkenny CBS and Our Lady’s Templemore at Portlaoise.
Both games takes place on Wednesday, March 15 at 2pm.
The renowned hurling stronghold of St Kieran’s recently claimed an incredible 55th Leinster colleges senior championship win and boast 21 All-Ireland titles on top of that. Their latest Leinster success arrived after a 1-14 to 0-13 victory over chief rivals, Kilkenny CBS.
That was Kieran’s third Leinster title on the spin, but the most impressive thing? It was delivered courtesy of a new-look team with the majority of the team from previous successes having moved on.
The key players in the current set-up are lethal forward Adrian Mullen from Ballyhale Shamrocks and classy centre-back, Martin Keoghan from Tullaroan. Indeed, those two are the only survivors from the 2016 team that landed the Leinster and All-Ireland titles.
Meanwhile Harty Cup winners Our Lady’s Secondary School Templemore will play Kilkenny CBS in the All Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling semi-final at O’Moore Park.
On Wednesday, Sean Bolger bagged a brace at Abbotstown as CBS booked their place in the semi-final. Evan Niland’s freetaking skills had helped Athenry to a three-point lead at the midway point, but a strong second-half showing secured CBS’s progression.
Niland won an All-Ireland minor winner with Galway in 2015 and was in deadly form throughout but outstanding long-range points from the likes of Bolger ultimately sealed a hard-earned win for CBS.
“We will be up against it,” says Our Lady’s mentor Noel Fogarty ahead of the semi-final. “But we are in a good place after winning the Harty Cup for the first time in 39 years.
“We were known as Templemore CBS back in 1978 when Martin Bourke captained the team to glory, but it was good to end the long wait.”
Almost 5,000 turned up to watch them hammer nine-time Harty champions St Colman’s by 19 points a few weeks ago and the outpouring of joy was tangible.
“We had been so close,” Fogarty says. We lost finals in 2000, 2002, 2013 and last year. We had serious players like Noel McGrath and Tommy Dunne over the years but we could never get over the line.”
Our Lady’s have the experience of having eight players from the 2016 campaign and Brian McGrath, captain of the all-conquering 2016 Tipperary minor team, is their Talisman, scoring 1-7 from centre-forward last time out.
In the other quarter-final St Brigid’s Loughrea beat St Colman’s Fermoy 0-19 – 1-13 to set up a mouth watering date with St Kieran’s.
As expected, Conor Molloy was in fine form for Loughrea, scoring eight points as they overturned a five-point deficit to book their place in the last four.
St Brigid’s, co-managed by Galway captain and current All-Star David Burke, finished very strongly, with Molloy, brother of Galway senior star and 2016 Under 21 skipper Brian, deadly from frees all day.