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28th February 2024

St Kierans Kilkenny defeated Ardscoil Rís by 1-19 to 0-14 in the Masita All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Croke Cup Hurling Semi-Final on Saturday March 2nd at Bansha.

Heartbreak for Ardscoil Rís in All-Ireland Croke Cup semi-final

Report by Siadbh Redmond for the Limerick Leader newspaper

ARDSCOIL Rís’ hopes or reaching the final of the Masita All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Senior ‘A’ Hurling Croke Cup were dashed after a 1-19 to 0-14 semi-final defeat to St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny on Saturday afternoon in Bansha.

The Limerick school’s flat first-half performance left them with a lot to do in the final 30 minutes of play as Leinster champions St Kieran’s had established a strong lead at the break.

St Kieran’s College, will face St Raphaels, of Galway, in the Croke Cup final following the Connacht side’s dramatic victory over Dr Harty Cup holders Nenagh CBS.

It was St Kieran’s College that struck first in the opening minutes in Bansha with an Aaron McEvoy free after two minutes. It took a further three minutes for Ardscoil Ris to level the scoreboard through Michael Collins.

The Limerick’s team only goal chance was saved by keeper Stephen Manogue after 10 minutes of play spurring the Kilkenny team onwards scoring 1-6 in matter of minutes.

After only 12 minutes of play they found a free Sean Hunt in the full forward line, who got around is marker with ease and finished his play with the sliothar finishing in the back of the net, leaving St Kieran’s ahead 1-2 to 0-3 points ahead.

Ardscoil played a sweeper in the opening-half leaving Kieran’s backs wide open on every puck-out leaving them up the field easily and finding their forwards inside.

Things did not improve for Ardscoil Rís who struggled to gather their own puck-outs as the Kilkenny school motored on with fabulous scores from Rory Glynn, Aaron McEvoy and Tomas Roche to put them well ahead.

A number of Marc O’Brien frees aided Ardscoil’s side of the scoreboard but Kieran’s continued to lead at half-time, 1-11 to 0-7.

Ardscoil came out firing after the break with quick scores from Marc O’Brien and Michael Collins to give them some much needed confidence but Kieran’s continued to plough on.

Aaron McEvoy was foot perfect during every free and slotted over 0-2 frees in the second-half. Despite the deficit Ardscoil trundled on with possibly some of the referee’s call not going in their favour.

With at least five missed goal opportunities at the end in a panic to try and even up the scoreboard Ardscoil left some of the Kieran’s players free with points coming from Rory Glynn and Tom Brennan before an incredible 65 from their goalie Stephen Manogue put the final nail in the coffin.

This Croke Cup semi-final finished on a scoreline of 1-19 to 0-14 with St Kieran’s advancing.

ARDSCOIL RÍS SCORERS: Marc O’Brien 0-6 (0-1 65, 0-4 frees), Michael Collins 0-3, Fintan Fitzgerald 0-2, Cathal Lohan, Eoin Begley and Daniel Chaplin 0-1 each.

ST KIERAN’S COLLEGE SCORERS: Aaron McEvoy 0-6 (0-6 frees),Sean Hunt 1-2, Rory Glynn 0-4, Stephen Manogue 0-1 (0-1 65), Tomas Roche, Ed Lauhoff, James Hughes, Tom McPhillips and Tom Brennan 0-1 each.

ARDSCOIL RÍS: Fionn O’Brienn (Bruree), John O’Keefe (Na Piarsaigh), Seán McMahon (Smith O’Brien’s), Seán Morrissey (Dromin Athlacca),Cathal Lohan (Cratloe) , Jamie Moylan (Cratloe), Daniel Scully (Dromin Athlacca), Rianin McNamara (Cratloe), Matthew O’Halloran (Sixmilebridge), Jack Cosgrove (Ahane), Fintan Fitzgerald (Mungret St Paul’s), Michael Collins (Clonlara),Patrick Kearney (Adare), Marc O’Brien (Cratloe), Eoin Begley (Clonlara)
SUBS: Seán Arthur (Newmarket on Fergus) for S Morrissey (40 minutes), Darragh Gleeson (Adare) for J Cosgrove (42 minutes), Daniel Chaplin (Sixmilebridge) for P Kearney (51 mintues), James Coughlan (Ballybrown) for C Lohan (58 minutes).

ST KIERAN’S COLLEGE: Stephen Manogue, Seán Bergin, Evan Murphy, Timmy Kelly, Cathal Hickey, Jeff Neary, Tom McPhillips, Tomas Roche, Ed Lauhoff, Seán Deely, Rory Connellan, Aaron McEvoy, Ed McDermott, Rory Glynn, Seán Hunt
SUBS: James Hughes for E McDermott (28 minutes), Tom Brennan for S Deely (46 minutes), Oisín Bateman for T Roche (53 minutes), James O’Neill for R Glynn (58 minutes), Bobby Murphy for E Lauhoff (60 minutes).

REFEREE: Alan Tierney (Tipperary)

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Date: 28th February 2024