Dr. Harty Cup Under 19 A Hurling Quarter-Final
Thurles CBS 3-31 John the Baptist Hospital 4-28
Report by Ed Donnelly
90 minutes, 66 scores, 14 wides, 7 yellow cards, 37 players and 15 scorers. Just some of the numbers from an outstanding game of hurling after which the large crowd in attendance were none the wiser about who will qualify for a meeting with CBC Cork in this year’s Dr. Harty Cup Semi-Final.
Dundrum was the setting for this Quarter-Final meeting of two well drilled sides as a steady mist descended on the sod before throw-in. From an early stage, Hospital looked the more accomplished side and in particular, were causing the Thurles full-back line all kinds of problems. A combination of frees and points from play put the Limerick side in front and when midfielder Patrick Reale raced through for a goal in the 15th minute, John the Baptist led by 1-7 to 0-4. Thurles CBS rallied briefly with three unanswered points, two from play but Hospital remained the better team for the remainder of the opening half and by the interval, led by 1-13 to 0-11.
The second half began with a bang as Paddy Creedon scored a goal for Thurles CBS in the opening minute and when Devon Ryan pointed a free a minute later, there was now just a point between the sides. Thurles were playing with much more intensity now but were hit with a sucker punch in the 33rd minute when Ryan Tobin raced through and hit a ball to the top of the Thurles net to restore a four-point advantage. Tobin’s goal however didn’t change the general run of play which saw Thurles as the dominant side now and the Tipperary school would go on to score the next five points to take the lead in the 46th minute, 1-17 to 2-13.
Having done all the hurling up to that point in the second half, Thurles seemed to take their foot off the gas once they got in front as John the Baptist added three points in four minutes (two from substitute Peter Morrissey and a Dylan O’Shea free) to go back in front by two points with ten minutes of normal time remaining. Those final ten minutes were filled with hip to hip hurling in the best traditions of the Harty Cup as Hospital looked to maintain their lead.
Thurles reduced the deficit to a single point thanks to a Devon Ryan point from play before John the Baptist seemed to seal the deal with two long range frees from Dylan O’Shea followed by a Paddy Morrissey point from play to go four points in front after 58 minutes. Devon Ryan and Jack Lanigan added points from play for Thurles as the game entered injury time but when Oisin O’Grady added a point from play from a tight angle in the 64th minute, Hospital looked likely winners as they went three points in front. There was still time for one last Thurles attack and despite the best efforts of the Hospital defence, Paddy Creedon managed to score a goal with the last puck of normal time to bring the sides level and force extra time.
Buoyed by their late escape in normal time, Thurles CBS began the first half of extra time on fire, scoring 1-3 from play in the first two minutes as points from substitute Liam Cashin and Jack Lanigan were followed by Paddy Creedon’s third goal and an Eoin Purcell point. At 3-23 to 2-20, a win for Thurles now looked likely for the first time but John the Baptist were having none of it. In the 64th minute, the Limerick side won a penalty and Dylan O’Shea found the back of the net to give his side a lifeline. O’Shea would add two further points (one free) and by half-time in extra time, just a point separated the teams – 3-23 to 3-22.
The Thurles scoring drought continued as the second half of extra time began as Brian O’Grady and Dylan O’Shea (free) put Hospital back in front to finish off a run of 1-4 without reply. With every ball being fought for with high intensity and the scoreboard ticking over at a mighty rate, the tackle count was even higher. Luke Cashin equalised for Thurles on 72 minutes before Devon Ryan put Thurles in front with a point from play a minute later. Dylan O’Shea pointed a free in the 76th minute to bring the sides level and when Cashin scored a point from play in the 78th minute, it looked like a winner for Thurles. There was still time for an equaliser which duly arrived from the stick of Dylan O’Shea from a long range free in the 80th minute and another period of extra time would be required – 3-26 to 3-26.
After a short break, the first five minutes of the second extra time period saw just two scores, a point from play by Thurles substitute Jack Leamy and a Dylan O’Shea pointed free to leave the sides deadlocked at the interval. The remaining five minutes of the game would produce six further scores in this thrill a minute encounter. Thurles made a push for home with two points from play from substitutes Jack Leamy and Luke Cashin. John the Baptist took the lead soon afterwards when a long range free from Dylan O’Shea fell short and ended up in the back of the Thurles net. Devon Ryan equalised for Thurles soon afterwards with a point from play before Thurles substitute Jack Lee scored a point from play from the sideline with time almost up to put his side in front. John the Baptist Hospital needed to score from the next phase of play with time almost up and this duly arrived as they won a free which was pointed by Dylan O’Shea to leave the teams deadlocked after 90 minutes of captivating action – Thurles CBS 3-31 John the Baptist Hospital 4-28.
With light fading, the teams and officials agreed to go to a replay instead of the free taking competition decreed in the GAA Official Guide to settle this game and thus, both sides earned the right to play again for a place in the semi-final. The replay has been fixed for Saturday January 19th at a venue and time to be confirmed. If you missed this game, free up the diary because if the replay is anything like the drawn match, you won’t get better entertainment anywhere.
Scorers: Thurles CBS: D Ryan 0-14 (10 frees), P Creedon 3-1, J Lanigan 0-4, L Cashin 0-4, E Purcell 0-3, J Leamy 0-2, M Hackett 0-1, K Ryan 0-1, J Lee 0-1
Scorers: John the Baptist Hospital: D O’Shea 2-17 (one penalty goal, one free goal, 13 frees), P Reale 1-1, R Tobin 1-0, O O’Grady 0-4, P Morrissey 0-3, B O’Grady 0-3.
Thurles CBS: K Bracken, P Melbourne, J Kirwan, J Hickey, F Hanafin, K Hayes, J Ryan, M Hackett, K Moloney, K Ryan, D Ryan, E Purcell, P Creedon, D Flood, J Lanigan
Subs: L Cashin for D Flood (46m), E Morris for F Hanafin (48m), J Leamy for J Kirwan (51m), J Synott for K Ryan (60m), J Lee for P Creedon (67m), F Hanafin for P Melbourne (68m).
St John the Baptist: D Macauley, K Reale, M Quinlan, P Byrne, B Heavey, K Bonar, A Buckley, E O’Mahony, P Reale, R Tobin, B O’Grady, M Martin, A O’Heney, D O’Shea, O O’Grady
Subs: P Morrissey for A O’Heney (27m), K O’Shea for P Reale (51m).
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford)