Purcell goal gives Fergal’s the honours

St Fergal’s 1-12

St Fergal’s 1-12

Abbey CC 0-11

Abbey Community School (Ferrybank) fought the good fight well, but they were caught by a sucker punch less than two minutes from the end and bang went their chance of landing what would have been their first title in the Leinster vocational schols junior hurling final in Thomastown today.

St Fergal’s (Rathdowney) took the honours thanks to a 58th minute from from sub Michael Purcell, who gathered a cross from the left by Stephen Phelan before making space to shoot to the net from 12-metres.

That was the last score of the match, and it finished a game fightback by Abbey that saw them slice one time second half arrears to the minimum. The victory was St Fergal’s first since 2000 and sixth in all.

They will face the Connacht champions in the All-Ireland semi-final.

The winners opened backed by the wind, and although they eventually put together an interval lead of 0-8 to 0-5, they made hard work of it. The main reason was they conceded scores from frees. The hugely impressive Eoin Kenny grabbed all the losers first half scores, four from frees.

After the change the deadly Aidan Corby took hold of the game for the winners, and with Colin Fitzpatrick, Colm Stapleton and Jack Kelly lending strong support, they retained control. They got five points clear before Abbey put in a strong burst, which included a point from a penalty, but Purcell decided it all with time almost up.

Scorers: St Fergal’s: M. Kavanagh 0-5 (3f), A. Corby 0-4 (4f), M. Purcell 1-0, C. Fitzpatrick 0-2, S. Phelan 0-1. Abbey CC: E. Kenny 0-9 (8f), M.J. Sutton 0-1 (f), M. Costello 0-1.

St Fergal’s: D. Brennan; R. Phelan, C. Stapleton, C. Quinlan; C. Kilbane, L. O’Connell, J. Kelly; S. Bergin, E. Fitzpatrick; A. Corby, C. Fitzpatrick, L. Cleere; M. Kavanagh, P. Phelan, S. Phelan. Sub: M. Purcell for P. Phelan.

Abbey CC: J. Brown; D. Irish, S. Harney, D. Griffin; L. O’Donovan, M.J. Sutton, R. O’Hanlon; D. O’Dwyer, M. Costello; R. Carew, E. Kenny, J. Lawless; J. Ahearn, M. Cooke, E. McKenna. Sub - J. O’Brien for J. Lawless.

Ref: P. Kehoe (Carlow).