No matter what way things turn out now, both Leinster colleges’ senior hurling titles, the League and the Championship will end up in Kilkenny.
The CBS set up a shot at what would be a massive double when they scored a comfortable enough victory over Good Counsel (New Ross) in this championship semi-final cum League final in cold Thomastown on Saturday.
Victory for the James Street lads set up a juicy Leinster championship final clash with defending champions, St Kieran’s College, possibly next weekend.
“That is a great game to be looking forward to,” insisted CBS team official, Ger Morrissey. “There is a wonderful rivalry between the schools. There is rarely much between us, and I am sure it will be the same this time.
“That was a good win,” he said of the effort against Good Counsel. “We were expecting a good battle, and we got it. The boys were set up nicely for it. Once we got in front in the second half we held control well. We got a grip on things and we didn’t let Good Counsel back into it.
Kieran’s game is it
“We were strong in the second half. The team was set up a bit differently this time, but the players are versatile and they take on any challenge you put in front of them. The Kieran’s game is all that matters now.”
The victory also guaranteed the CBS a place in the All-Ireland series, either in the quarter or semi-finals, depending on the result in the Leinster final. The winners go straight through to the semis, while the losers qualify for the quarter-finals.
In some ways this was a Kilkenny versus Kilkenny affair, seeing that 10 of the Good Counsel players were from Noreside clubs.
The losers were guilty of some poor shooting early in the second half, which cost them dear. At one stage they shot three wides in-a-row. As well, they were guilty of some poor decision making and bad handling errors, all of which hurt them.
The CBS turned into the closing half leading by 1-6 to 0-6; the 23rd minute goal by Luke Scanlon being the main difference between the teams.
Good Counsel shaved a point off the deficit early in the closing half when free taker, John Walsh punished a foul on Liam Hennessy (1-6 to 0-7). Within seconds Scanlon got to the end of a well placed delivery out of defence by Robbie Fitzpatrick before shooting a point.
The losers missed the target from play and a free afterwards before Kevin Kenny made them pay a price when he landed a very good point from 50 metres (1-8 to 0-7). Again Good Counsel missed the target, this time from a free.
The CBS charged up the field, and Shane Cuddihy was provider for Niall Mullins to clip the ball over the bar from the right edge of the square at the country end. Again the ’Counsel posted a wide.
The good times rolled on for the CBS when sub, Matty McWey created a point scoring opportunity for Kevin Kenny, which was gobbled up. The difference was now 1-10 to 0-7 (45 minutes).
The CBS were motoring. Good Counsel were struggling. The latter’s chances died a death when a defender was shown a yellow card, followed by a red, and they were reduced to 14 men.
Efficiency more than brilliance won the day for the CBS, but there was a definite improvement in the performance from the previous victory over Colaiste Eoin. Evan Cody was wonderful at full-back, reading the game ever so well and reacting promptly and efficiently to snuff out danger; Robbie Fitzpatrick was very good too, as were Paddy Deegan, J.P. Treacy, Paddy Cahill and Niall Mullins. The touch play of Luke Scanlon and Kevin Kenny - the art of controlling and using the ball quickly – excited too.
The losers went toe-to-toe with the opposition during most of the opening half. Three times the scores were level during the opening 18 minutes. The CBS struck for home in the 19th minute when Cory Cahill flashed a fast hands pass to Robbie Fitzpatrick, who hit the target from beyond midfield (0-5 to 0-4).
Paddy Cahill added a minor from a free before the only goal of the game arrived. Midfielder J.P. Treacy lashed a free in the direction of the posts – breaking his caman in the process - from the right half back position. Luke Scanlon took possession well before sending a bullet like rising shot to the net (1-6 to 0-4).
Good Counsel claimed back some ground when they reduced the deficit to 0-6 to 1-6 at the break. A failure to drive on after the turn, when they had chances, cost them.
Scorers: Kilkenny CBS: Paddy Cahill (0-4, frees); Luke Scanlon (1-1); Kevin Kenny (0-3); J.P. Treacy (0-2, one free, one 65); Robbie Fitzpatrick (0-2); Niall Mullins, Gary Kelly (0-1 each). Good Counsel – John Walsh (0-5, four frees); Paudie Barden, James Doyle, Michael Cody (0-1 each); Michael Redmond (0-1, free).
Kilkenny CBS – Daragh Holohan (Dicksboro); Cathal McGrath (John Lockes), Evan Cody (Dicksboro), Dylan Scott (Dicksboro); Corey Cahill (Dicksboro), Robbie Fitzpatrick (Dicksboro), Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels); J.P. Treacy (Young Irelands), Niall Mullins (James Stephens); Danny Bolger (O’Loughlin Gaels), Kevin Kenny (Dicksboro), Paul Delahunty (Young Irelands); Luke Scanlon (James Stephens), Shane Cuddihy (Tullaroan), Paddy Cahill (Dicksboro). Subs: Gary Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels) for D. Bolger Matty McWey (James Stephens) for P. Delahunty; Huw Lawlor (O’Loughlin Gaels) for D. Scott; Gary Bryan (O’Loughlin Gaels) for P. Deegan; Robbie Buckley (O’Loughlin Gaels) for P. Cahill.
Good Counsel – J. Dunne; P. Doyle, Donncha O’Connor (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Dylan Kehoe (Rower-Inistioge); P. Barden, Ciaran Ryan (Rower-Inistioge), Darragh Joyce (Rower-Inistioge); Colm Doherty (Glenmore), J. Doyle; M. Redmond, Liam Hennessy (Glenmore), Cathal Bolger (Rower-Inistioge); Cian O’Donoghue (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Michael Cody (Rower-Inistioge), John Walsh (Mullinavat). Subs: P. Doyle for C. O’Donoghue, J. Murphy for J. Walsh.
Referee – A. Stapleton (Laois).