Paddy Fitzgerald stars as De La Salle progress to Harty Cup semi-final
Report by Shane Brophy for the Irish Examiner newspaper
De La Salle College 4-13 Nenagh CBS 0-16
De La Salle’s goal touch was the difference as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Dr Harty Cup after pulling away from Nenagh CBS in closing stages of this quarter-final in Bansha.
Just one point separated the sides approaching the three-quarter mark but goals from subs Conor Tobin and Luke Horgan gave the Waterford school the breathing room to progress to a semi-final against St Joseph’s of Tulla.
Rising star Paddy Fitzgerald was to the fore for De La Salle, scoring 1-11 of his sides’ total, scoring the first three points before Sam Pender scrambled home a 10th-minute goal to put the Waterford school on the front foot. Fitzgerald added a side-line cut for good measure, but Eoin Grace followed likewise for Nenagh who relied on the free-taking of Darragh McCarthy who scored their other seven points in the opening half, as they trailed 1-9 to 0-8 at half-time.
Fitzgerald stretched the lead to five on the resumption, but Nenagh dominated the third quarter with their half-back line taking command and with McCarthy adding two more frees, skipper Sean Kenneally landed two fine points from play to cut the margin to the minimum.
Under pressure, De La Salle responded with Paddy Fitzgerald scoring a cracking 39th-minute goal to restore the four-point lead but further points from McCarthy (2) and Michael Ryan had cancelled out that goal by the 42nd minute. Fitzgerald landed two further frees with the game still in the melting pot in the 53rd minute when Conor Tobin goaled with his first touch just seconds after coming off the bench, a score which finally broke Nenagh’s resistance.
Man of the match Fitzgerald brought his tally to 1-11 before his miss-hit shot fell favourably into the path of sub Luke Horgan for De La Salle’s fourth goal in the final minute of normal time.
Nenagh CBS finished with 14 men with sub Paul Seymour red carded in injury time for an off-the-ball incident, joining management team member Donach O’Donnell who was also sent off midway through the second half for arguing with referee John O’Halloran.
Scorers for De La Salle: P Fitzgerald (1-11, 7f, 1sl); S Pender (1-1); C Tobin, L Horgan (1-0 each); J Twomey (0-1).
Scorers for Nenagh CBS: D McCarthy (0-12, 11f, ’65); S Kenneally (0-2); E Grace (sl), M Ryan (0-1 each).
DE LA SALLE: C Troy (Ballygunner); K O’Sullivan (De La Salle), C O’Keeffe (Ballygunner), C Keane (De La Salle); A O’Neill (Ballygunner), P Murphy (Mooncoin), R Dobbyn (Ballyduff Lower); K Furlong (Ballygunner), C Cantwell (Ballygunner); S Pender (Roanmore), P Fitzgerald (Ballygunner), D Nolan (Ballygunner); J Twomey (De La Salle), A Keane (De La Salle), O Hartney (Roanmore).
Subs: A Roche (Passage East) for Nolan (37); C Tobin (Ballygunner) for Hartney (53); L Horgan (Ballygunner) for Pender (56); D Williams (Kilmacow) for Cantwell (60+4).
NENAGH CBS: D McTiernan (Nenagh Eire Og); C Coffey (Kilruane MacDonaghs); A O’Halloran (Portroe), J McGrath (Kiladangan); M Cawley (Nenagh Eire Og), J O’Callaghan (Portroe), Michael Ryan (Burgess); A Steed (Silvermines), C Sheehan (Kiladangan); O O’Connor (Portroe), E Grace (Burgess), K Grace (Burgess); S Kenneally (Moneygall), A Hall (Toomevara), D McCarthy (Toomevara).
Subs: P Seymour (Kiladangan) for O’Connor (HT); Liam Grace (Burgess) for O’Halloran (36); J Mulcahy (Kilruane MacDonaghs) for Hall (46); A Ferris (Portroe) for Steed (55).
Referee: J O’Halloran (Limerick).