Robbie Donnelly turned on the style as St Kieran’s College grabbed their second win in the Leinster colleges senior hurling league.
The corner-forward helped himself to 3-2, a haul which included two volleyed goals, as the Saints charged past local rivals Castlecomer Community School.
Kieran’s were in charge for most of Wednesday’s clash in ’Comer, moving through the gears as they wrapped up a 3-19 to 2-9 victory - their second big win in the competition.
The city school - who missed out on last year’s league semi-finals by scoring difference - have played at a relentless pace this term, rattling off 6-37 in their two outings.
After a close start Kieran’s held a narrow lead (0-3 to 0-2) but Castlecomer’s stride was checked when Robbie Donnelly netted his first goal on nine minutes, doubling on the sliotar after Ray Lahart had gone on a weaving solo and lofted the ball goalwards.
Further scores from Maher and Blanchfield stretched the lead to six points (1-5 to 0-2) by the quarter hour, but Castlecomer hit back. Helped by full-forward Ollie Feehan (0-3) they enjoyed a purple patch when rattling off four points in five minutes, the fourth coming from netminder Jason Shore’s mammoth free.
However, that would be as good as it got for the North Kilkenny school. A Donnelly point put three between the sides once more before he dealt Comer another hammer blow, volleying a Brian Cody hand-pass past Shore. One more Maher point followed, giving Kieran’s a strong lead at the break (2-7 to 0-6).
Six second half points stretched the city side’s advantage before Donnelly completed his hat-trick in the 41st minute. There were consolation goals for ’Comer, thanks to Shane Dowling and Ollie Feehan but Kieran’s, who scored 1-12 in the second half, were never troubled.
Castlecomer CS - Jason Shore (0-1 free), Griffin Carroll, Niall McMahon, Stephen Walsh, Liam Cass, Philly Cass, Donal Cass, Jamie Holohan, Conor Delaney (0-1 free), Niall Brophy, Billy Morrissey (0-2), Murt Walsh, David O’Neill, Ollie Feehan (1-5, 0-2 frees), Shane Dowling (1-0). Subs: Eoin Walsh, Conor Dowling, Sean Buggy.
St Kieran’s College - Gavin Costigan, Shane Walsh (0-1), Eoin Walsh, Paul White, Bill Carrigan, Jason Cleere, Jack Keoghan, Jason Byrne (0-1), Kevin Blanchfield (0-1), Liam Blanchfield (0-2), James Maher (0-5), Conor Murphy, Ray Lahart (0-1), Brian Cody (0-1), Robbie Donnelly (3-2). Subs: Billy Hanlon (0-2), Billy Ryan (0-1), Conor O’Carroll (0-1), Tadhg Phelan (0-1), Gary Tynan.
Referee - Pat Horan (Laois).