Their form ran hot and cold, but St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, were still good enough to burn off the determined challenge of Our Lady’s College, Templemore in this hard fought All-Ireland colleges’ senior hurling championship quarter-final, winning by 4-11 to 2-8, writes John Knox.
In this clash at well appointed Johnstown on Saturday between the sides beaten in provincial finals, St Kieran’s dominated the opening half, and they looked booked for a comfortable win when leading by 3-7 to 0-3 at the break.
After the change of ends Our Lady’s got on top and scored 1-3 without reply. However, they never really looked liking saving the game. The winners don’t know their semi opponents yet, because an open draw system operates, but they will be in action again this weekend.
Kieran’s looked set for a handy enough victory when they dominated the opposition during the opening half. They got into their stride early when top performer, Chris Bolger shot a good goal after only four minutes.
Vincent Teehan hit a second goal in the 13th minute to extend the divide to 2-3 to 0-3, and the Tipp lads looked in trouble. Our Lady’s depended a lot on county minor star, John McGrath, who was far and away their best player, while Brian Kennedy and Thomas Nolan were also top performers.
The third quarter was dominated by the losers as Kieran’s simply fell away. McGrath inspired Our Lady’s to new levels of achievement. He shot three long range points from frees, and with a 39th minute goal from Dean McEntee thrown in, they sliced the arrears to 1-6 to 3-7.
Kieran’s didn’t open their account in this half until the 43rd minute, when Vincent Teehan shot a point that halted, temporarily at least, Our Lady’s charge. They remained under a bit of pressure for a while, but once sub Patrick Mullen cracked home a goal in the 50th minute to swell the divide to 4-9 to 1-7 it was all over.
Scorers - St Kieran’s College: C. Bolger (1-2, 01 free); V. Teehan (1-2); P. Mullen (1-1, 0-1 free); J. Maher (0-3); M. Kenny (1-0); S. Parsons, J. Deasy, S. Farrell (0-1 each). Our Lady’s College – T. Nolan (1-3); J. McGrath (0-5, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65); D. McEntee (1-0).
St Kieran’s College – G. English, S. Morrissey, J. Tyrrell, C. Breen, S. Parsons, E. Gough, E. Walsh, C. Bolger, S. Farrell, L. Blanchfield, J. Maher, P. Hickey, M. Kenny, V. Teehan, J. Deasy. Subs: P. Mullen for Bolger; J. Haines for Hickey; L. Tennyson for Parsons; J. Cleere for Breen; K. Freeman for Mullen (inj).
Our Lady’s College – S. P. Guerins, D. Brereton, J. Ryan, J. Bergin, P. Horan, B. Kennedy, M. Campion, C. O’Riordan, J. McGrath, T. Nolan, D. Carey, D. McEntee, B. O’Connell, J.J. Ryan, T. Maher. Subs: E. Moloney for P. Horan; J. Fogarty for Brereton; K. Ahern for T. Maher; J. Dowling for O’Riordan.
Referee - C McAllister (Cork).