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4th March 2023

Presentation Athenry defeated Thurles CBS by 0-15 to 0-14 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.

Heartbreak for Thurles as Athenry clinch Croke classic by a point

Masita All-Ireland Schools Croke Cup semi-final

Presentation College, Athenry 0-15 Thurles CBS 0-14

Report by Kevin Egan for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Presentation College Athenry will get the chance to finally lift the Croke Cup and make up for final defeats in 1976, 2018 and 2019 on St. Patrick’s Day, after they condemned Thurles CBS to a second-consecutive heart-breaking one-point defeat at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr this afternoon.

A series of second-half frees from Aaron Niland were enough to give the Galway school a minimum-margin victory, but the real star of the show was midfielder and team captain Tiernán Leen, whose four points from play provided an oasis of attacking flair on an otherwise barren afternoon for scoring forwards.

This contest between the Connacht champions and the Harty Cup finalists was predicted to be incredibly tight and at no stage in the tie could the winner be called with confidence, as with the exception of a 60-second window in the first half when Presentation College led by 0-7 to 0-4, there was never more than a couple of points between the sides.

Both sides were very strong defensively, aided by the presence of a sweeper at either end of the field. Cian Donoghue lined out at corner forward for Presentation College when Johnny Murphy threw the ball in, but he dropped back to play as an extra defender, leaving Liam Doyle to step up to the centre back slot and allow Jim Ryan to play a free role at the other end. As a result, neither team was able to gain a lot of traction up front, particularly in the opening ten minutes, after which the score was tied at a single point each.

Thurles CBS in particular were very strong at the back, conceding just two points from play to Athenry forwards during the tie, but Cathal Moore’s men had a trump card in the form of team captain Leen, who was the team’s only scorer from play in the second half.

There was a bit more of a threat at the other end, where four starting forwards as well as the midfield duo of James Doyle and Tommy Maher all found the target from play in the first half, and the Tipperary school also had the better of things in the opening five minutes of the second half, when a run of points from Maher, Joe Egan and Robbie Ryan gave them their only lead of the game.

Excellent defensive displays from Aaron McDonagh and Seán Murphy ensured that Presentation College stayed well in touch during this phase, and gradually they worked their way back into the ascendancy, largely on the back of Aaron Niland’s freetaking.

Leen continued to offer a touch of class in the middle third and he struck an inspirational score in the 52nd minute, hot on the heels of a similarly fantastic score from Liam Doyle at the other end.

And in general, that was how it went – Thurles CBS coming up with a point, followed by Presentation finding a way to edge themselves back into the lead by the bare minimum. Which in the end, was all they needed.

Scorers for Presentation College: A Niland 0-9 (0-8f), T Leen 0-4, M Fallon 0-1, M Tarpey 0-1.

Scorers for Thurles CBS: R Ryan 0-4 (0-2f), T Maher 0-3 (0-2f), D Kelly 0-2, J Doyle 0-1, J Maher 0-1, R Stapleton 0-1, J Egan 0-1, L Doyle 0-1.

Presentation College: D Walsh (Turloughmore); C Lawless (Athenry), S Murphy (Clarinbridge), A Shannon (Clarinbridge); D Counihan (Clarinbridge) , M Fallon (Clarinbridge), A McDonagh (Killimordaly); D McCartin (Turloughmore), T Leen (Turloughmore); G Fahy (Turloughmore), M Tarpey (Turloughmore), O Burke (Pádraig Pearses); A Niland (Clarinbridge), E Byrne (Craughwell), C Donoghue (Clarinbridge).
Subs: N Kelly (Craughwell) for Byrne (48), S Monaghan (Killimordaly) for McCartin (60+1)

Thurles CBS: E Horgan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams); L Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill), E Morris (Holycross-Ballycahill), P O’Dywer (Killenaule); S Walsh (Moycarkey Borris), J Ryan (Holycross-Ballycahill), E O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney); J Doyle (Holycross-Ballycahill), T Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); J Maher (Moycarkey Borris), J Egan (Moycarkey Borris), B Flanagan (Moycarkey Borris); D Kelly (Éire Óg Annacarty), R Ryan (Holycross-Ballycahill), R Stapleton (Thurles Sarsfields).
Subs: D Fitzpatrick (Drom-Inch) for O’Connell (30, temp), A Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for Flanagan (42), J Lahart (Holycross-Ballycahill for Stapleton (47), D Rossiter (Durlas Óg) for J Doyle (53), D Fitzpatrick (Drom-Inch) for R Ryan (59), K Purcell (Durlas Óg) for O’Dwyer (60+1)

Referee: J Murphy (Limerick)

Live Coverage of the game via Spórt TG4 YouTube

Ticket Information

Adults €10.00
Students / OAP’s – €5.00 (Valid ID must be presented when entering the venue)

Click here to buy tickets in advance

Posted in: News

Date: 04th March 2023