ONE of the oldest rivalries in schools sports will have another chapter added to it at Nowlan Park on Saturday (2pm) when defending champions, St Kieran’s College and neighbours Kilkenny CBS do battle in what should be a colourful Leinster colleges senior hurling championship final.
Kieran’s, like Kilkenny on the inter-county scene, are the dominant force at the moment having won the All-Ireland title during the past two seasons. Before Christmas they won the Leinster League, beating St Brendan’s of Birr in the decider.
Kieran’s looked flat and listless when seeing off Colaiste Eoin (Dublin) in the semi-final two weeks ago, winning by 0-15 to 1-8. They tagged on four unanswered points during the closing eight minutes to down the Dubs, whose physical strength, pace and tight game plan - they used 7 defenders - seriously troubled the champions.
Kilkenny CBS are a young and lighter team, but they are blessed with great individual talent, enthusiasm and discipline. They don’t offer opponents cheap shots at goal, but they know they are up against it because their opponents have a huge edged in terms of experience.
The CBS used the league well, and come championship time they burst out of the traps. They opened the campaign with an all action display on a wet and miserable day in Thomastown against Good Counsel (Wexford).
They won by 1-10 to 0-7 and followed up by travelling to Wexford for the semi-final in which they beat St Peter’s College by 1-6 to 0-6. While the CBS have improved during the campaign, it is hard to see them matching Kieran’s overall power.
Remember, they haven’t beaten Kieran’s in the final since 1983.
A 51st Leinster title looks on the cards for table toppers, St Kieran’s. The CBS are looking for what would be a seventh title.
St Kieran’s College - Noel Keogh (Clara), David Hennessy (James Stephens), Robert Lennon (Bennettsbridge), William Allen (Rower-Inistioge), Cormac Wafer (Bennettsbridge), Aidan Cleere (Bennettsbridge), Emmet Byrne (Young Irelands), Michael Donnelly (Thomsatown), Peter Keneally (Dubbamaggin), Chris Bolger (Clara), Emda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge), Jack McGrath (James Stephens), Cillian Treacy (Danesfort), Ciaran Prendergast (Clara), David Burke (O’Loughlin Gaels), Paddy Mullen (Shamrocks), Robert O’Hanrahan (Thoamstown), Shane Parsons (O’Loughlin Gaels), William Murphy (Bennettsbridge), Robert Hayes (James Stephens), Thomas Talbot (Piltown), Eoin Gough (Dicksboro), Vincent Teehan (Graigue-Ballycallan), Billy Leydon (O’Loughlin Gaels), Stephen Farrell (Dicksboro), James Maher (St Lachtain’s), James Tyrrell (James Stephens), James Deasy (Shamrocks), Ciaran Breen (Barrow Rangers), Jack Bruton (Danesfort), Paul O’Neill (Bennettsbridge), Peter Walsh (Tullaroan), Ben Lahart (James Stephens), Thomas O’Hanrahan (Thomastown), Diarmuid Cody (James Stephens).
Kilkenny CBS - Jack Langton (Clara), Owen McGrath (John Lockes), Darragh Holohan (Dicksboro), Cathal McGrath (John Lockes), Evan Cody (Dicksboro), Darragh Sheehan (Danesfort), J.P. Treacy (Young Irelands), Danny Bolger (O’Loughlin Gaels), Ciaran Doyle (Barrow Rangers), Kevin Kenny (Dicksboro), Philly Campion (St Lachtain’s), Robbie Fitzpatrick (Dicksboro), Stephen Tynan (Dicksboro), Shane Cassin (Clara), Mason Clifford (Dicksboro), Michael Power (Bennettsbridge), James Gittens (Dicksboro), Caoimthean Bergin (St Lachtain’s), Eoin Cantwell (Dicksboro), Paul Delahanty (Young Irelands), Jack Boland (St Lachtain’s), Shane Cuddihy (Tullaroan), Eoin Fennelly (Dicksboro), Enda O’Donoghue (Dicksboro), Niall Mullins (James Stephens), Luke Scanlon (James Stephens), Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels), Dylan Scott (Dicksboro).