St. Kieran’s Kilkenny defeated Cashel Community School by 3-13 to 2-9 in the Masita All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup (Under 19 A Hurling) Semi-Final on Saturday March 4th at St. Brendan’s Park Birr.
Cashel's fairytale year comes to an end as Kieran's march on https://t.co/VKZJyO7oY9
— Irish Examiner Sport (@ExaminerSport) March 4, 2023
Cashel’s fairytale year comes to an end as Kieran’s march on
Masita All-Ireland Schools Croke Cup semi-final
St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny 3-13 Cashel Community School 2-9
Report by Kevin Egan for the Irish Examiner newspaper
A remarkable year for first-time Harty Cup champions Cashel Community School came to an end this afternoon at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr, as they ran into a St. Kieran’s side that was more effective than devastating, but still strong enough to secure their passage through to an eighth-successive Croke Cup final.
Both sides welcomed back key attackers from their provincial finals, and while Cashel’s Bobby Power was hugely effective, scoring 1-3 from play for the Tipperary school, it was Kilkenny U-20 panellist Harry Shine of St. Kieran’s who really turned the tide, pouncing for a crucial goal just before half-time and then carrying his side over the line with a string of late frees, several of which he earned himself.
Cashel certainly gave themselves the platform from which to build, as they exploded out of the blocks. Power teamed up with Ronan Connolly close to the St. Kieran’s goal to plunder an early 1-4 for the Tipperary school, the goal coming from a trademark high catch from Connolly on the edge of the square that enabled him to nab the first goal of the game after eight minutes. When the two attackers followed up with good points from play in the six minutes that followed, Cashel were six points in front against a St. Kieran’s side that looked all at sea.
In the blink of an eye, the lead was almost completely eradicated however, as Pádraig Naddy and Ted Dunne fired points either side of a gorgeous instinctive one-handed flick from Donagh Murphy for the opening St. Kieran’s goal.
By the 20 minute mark, the famous Kilkenny school were in front, as they took advantage of a huge stroke of luck. A shot from Murphy from a very tight angle crashed back into play off the upright, and Dunne pounced to seize the rebound and whip it to the net.
Cashel rallied to level the game at 2-3 to 1-6, but to only be level after having much the better of the first 25 minutes would have felt like an injustice, and St. Kieran’s didn’t waste any time in piling on the pain, adding another 1-3 before the break. Jeff Neary’s interchange of passes with Naddy and classy finish from 50 metres was the highlight score in terms of pure quality, but in terms of driving a dagger to the heart of the Munster champions, Harry Shine’s jump and flick on Bill Hughes’ long shot just before half-time was the crucial score.
As they had done in the first half, Cashel came out of the blocks strongly after half-time, and while they missed three good scoring chances, a point from Power was the only score in the first 12 minutes, before the same player pounced on a breaking ball and without needing to put his hand on the sliotar, his lift and strike was perfectly placed off the astroturf to skid underneath the St. Kieran’s keeper and into the net.
With St. Kieran’s on the rack, Connolly had a glorious goal chance that could have really shifted momentum back the way of Cashel CS, but an immaculately-timed hook from Pádraig Naddy averted the danger, and for the fourth quarter, St. Kieran’s returned to the ascendancy.
Shine, whose absence from the Leinster final against Offaly Combined Schools was a significant blow to St. Kieran’s hopes in that contest, earned and converted a number of frees, with Anthony Ireland Wall their only other scorer.
Given their complete defensive control at the other end, with Cashel restricted to just four scores in total in the second half, that was more than enough.
Scorers for St. Kieran’s: H Shine 1-6 (0-5f), T Dunne 1-2, D Murphy 1-0, Jeff Neary 0-1, Pádraig Naddy 0-1, A McEvoy 0-1, K Corcoran 0-1, A Ireland Wall 0-1.
Scorers for Cashel CS: R Connolly 1-6 (0-4f), B Power 1-3.
St. Kierans: S Manogue (James Stephens); B Murphy (The Harps, Laois), B Hughes (Bennettsbridge), J Neary (Graigue Ballycallan); P Naddy (Young Irelands), K Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks), T Kelly (Bennettsbridge); T McPhillips (Dicksboro), A McEvoy (Graigue Ballycallan); T Dunne (Graiguenamanagh), A Ireland Wall (Danesfort), K Doyle (Emeralds); N Shortall (Ballyhale Shamrocks), H Shine (Dicksboro), D Murphy (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow).
Subs: B Whitty (Danesfort) for Shortall (half-time), R Glynn (Clara) for Murphy (47), S Hunt (St. Martin’s) for Ireland Wall (56), S Keenan (Dicksboro) for Doyle (59)
Cashel CS: T Breen (Boherlahan-Dualla); D Spillane (Fethard), C Byrne (Golden-Kilfeacle), C Ryan (Golden-Kilfeacle); J Quinlan (Fethard), G O’Dwyer (Boherlahan-Dualla), D Fogarty (Boherlahan-Dualla); S Buckley (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), A Daly (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams); B Currivan (Golden-Kilfeacle), O O’Donoghue (Cashel King Cormacs), É Ormond (Golden-Kilfeacle); B Power (Boherlahan-Dualla), D McGrath (Cashel King Cormacs), R Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs).
Subs: P Dalton (Golden-Kilfeacle) for Ormond (43), A Walsh (Cashel King Cormacs) for McGrath (50), R Darcy (Boherlahan-Dualla) for Ryan (60+1), J Dalton (Golden-Kilfeacle) for Quinlan (60+4), R Darcy (Boherlahan-Dualla) for Power (60+4).
Referee: N Malone (Clare)
— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 4, 2023
Live Coverage of the game via Spórt TG4 YouTube
Students / OAP’s – €5.00 (Valid ID must be presented when entering the venue)