KILKENNY CBS didn’t expect anything ease, and they were thrilled in the end even if they did have to dig out a win. And better again; the victors went home comfortable in the belief that they have much more to offer.
That was the story from a bright and pleasant, and overall good hurling day in Clonad on Saturday when beaten All-Ireland finalists of last season, Kilkenny CBS edged past a physically strong and good hurling Coláiste Eoin (Dublin) in this Leinster colleges senior championship quarter-final, winning by 0-14 to 2-6 writes John Knox..
“That was tough,” admitted CBS team official, Niall Tyrrell afterwards. “The players had to dig out the win. They showed tremendous character to do so in a tight finish. We knew what we were in for. The players knew they had to give everything, and they did.”
Kilkenny panellist, Matt Ruth, is another team official – the third is Ger Morrissey – and he was sure the CBS can play better.
“We are all still learning about our squad,” he said. “We feel we have a strong panel. The players are working hard and well, and we feel they have more to offer. Hopefully we will continue to progress as a team and squad.”
Next up will be Good Counsel in the semi-final on February 16. Passage through to that match was courtesy of points from Paddy Cahill and Luke Scanlon in time added onThose scores in the 61st and 62nd minutes respectively came at the end of a fiercely contested bout of play during which the scores were level and both sides has missed chances to take the lead. It was a time for all out effort from everyone, on all sides. It was a time when character was tested.
Eventually Cahill broke the deadlock, hitting the target from a tight angle on the right inside the 20-metre line after a huge delivery from J.P. Treacy had been knocked away from the goal area. As the play rolled on, Scanlon won possession on the right wing near midfield, and after bouncing off two tackles, jinked inside before shooting a lovely point off his left.
The grass on the Clonad pitch was too high, which ruled out ground hurling completely, and led to a lot of ‘rucks’ when the sliotar was on the ground. Breeze assisted Coláiste Eoin generated a lot of power, but they scored in fits and starts.
Early on Paddy Cahill, following a foul on Kevin Kenny, and Dara O Gallchobhair (CE), after Ryan Mac Giolla Bhride had his jersey pulled, swopped points. The winners boosted their take with strikes from J.P. Treacy (free), Kenny and Treacy again to lead by 0-4 to 0-1 after 12 minutes.
In a rare raid, and virtually out of nothing, the gifted Oisin O Ruairc created a goal scoring opportunity for Colm O Neill, who was left all alone in front of goal, before hitting the net (1-1 to 0-4).
The CBS won back the led again through Cahill, but on 17 minutes they conceded a second goal. This time Dara O Gallchobhair fielded a high ball from Cian Mac Gahain before shooting home from the right edge of the square (2-1 to 0-5).
Again the CBS bounced back. They drew level at 0-7 to 2-1 in the 23rd minute, and just as it looked like they might hit half-time on equal terms, they conceded again. A 32nd minute point from O’ Ruairc, after showing lovely skill on the ball, divided the teams at the break when Coláiste Eoin led by 2-2 to 0-7.
Immediately after the turn, and for 12 minutes or so, the CBS swamped the opposition. The points flowed from frees by Cahill (4), following fouls on Scanlon, sub Paul Delahunty and Matthew McWey, before Kevin Kenny weighed in with an effort from play to leave the Noresiders 0-12 to 2-2 clear.
Suddenly the brakes were put on their charge. The Dubs roared back, inspired by Oisin O Ruairc, Fionn O Rian Broin, Cian Mac Gahann, Dara O Gallchobhair and Cillian O Seanáin. Colm O Neill pointed. O Ruairc snapped a beauty on the turn before a brace of frees from O Gallchobhair tied up the game at 2-6 to 0-12.
The game was 10 minutes from the finish. The effort all round was terrific. Luke Scanlon got a run at the Dublin goal and let fly. Keeper Sean Brennan was equal to the task. Cahill hit a long range free wide.
At the other end Colm O Croinin pierced the CBS defence but put his shot wide. O Gallchobhair went close too.
Then with only seconds remaining on the clock, Paddy Cahill won the lead for the Kilkenny lads with a fine strike from a very challenging position.
No more than seconds after young Scanlon doubled the divide, the final whistle sounded.
The CBS, who had seven of last year’s All-Ireland team in action, didn’t lack hearted when it was needed.
They put in a massive finish, with J.P. Treacy a star man, along with Niall Mullins, Luke Scanlon, Paddy Deegan, Kevin Kenny, Shane Cuddihy and Paddy Cahill.
Scorers: Kilkenny CBS – Paddy Cahill (0-8, seven frees); J.P. Treacy (0-3, two frees, one 65); Kevin Kenny (0-2); Luke Scanlon (0-1). Coláiste Eoin – D. O Gallchobhauir (1-3, points frees); C. O Neill (1-1); O. O Ruairc (0-2).
Kilkenny CBS – Darragh Holohan (Dicksboro), Cathal McGrath (John Lockes), Evan Cody (Dicksboro), Dylan Scott (Dicksboro), Gary Bryan (O’Loughlin Gaels), J.P. Treacy (Young Irelands), Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels), Robbie Fitzpatrick (Dicksboro), Niall Mullins (James Stephens), Luke Scanlon (James Stephens), Danny Bolger (O’Loughlin Gaels), Matthew McWey (James Stephens), Kevin Kenny (Dicksboro), Shane Cuddihy (Tullaroan), Paddy Cahill (Dicksboro). Sub – Paul Delahunty (Young Irelands) for Bolger; Robbie Buckley (O’Loughlin Gaels) for McWey.
Coláiste Eoin – S O Braonain, O. O Siochriu, D. O Murchu, J. O Maoileoin, C. O Seanain, C. MacGahann, C. O Rian Broin, F. O Rian Broin, E O Naoire, C Croinin, R. Mac Giolla Bhride, O. O’ Ruairc, D. O Gallchobhair, C. O Neill, C. O Ceallachain. Sub - D O Cahhain for C O Ceallachain.
Referee – Pat Moran (Laois).