Castlecomer Community Schools put in a determined finish during which they scored 1-2 in a two minute blast but it wasn’t enough to save them from defeat against a class St Raphael’s, Loughrea team in the All-Ireland colleges senior hurling Roinn B final in Tullamore today.
When Mark O’Regan pointed for the winners in the 55th minute they were sailing when 1-17 to 0-12 clear, and they looked like easing to victory.
However, Castlecomer produced their best hurling in the minutes that followed. Jack Buggy shot a pair of points. Billy Dowling nabbing a goal with an assist from Ciarán Cooney to cut the gap to 1-17 to 1-14 as the losers really took the game to the opposition.
St Raphael’s finished with a point from the excellent Adrian Prendergast two minutes into lost time to wrap up victory.
Castlecomer got off to a great start when Jack Morrissey shot a point after only 15 seconds. They weren’t headed until St Raphael’s had a wonderful point from a sideline cut in the 20th minute by Sean Connaughton (0-6 to 0-5).
By this time the Connacht champions were flying, with centre-back Evan Cox absolutely magnificent in the way he moved the ball from the defence, while Alex Connaire, Connaughton and Adrian Prendergast were also playing very well.
St Raphael’s grabbed a goal in the 23rd minute. Mark Regan got to the end of the cross from the left by Conor Slattery to touch the ball home from the edge of the square.
The score was only allowed stand after the referee consulted with his umpires, but it left Castlecomer 0-5 to 1-7 behind.
The Cats battled for points afterwards from James Brennan, Jack Buggy and Jack Morrissey, but they still trailed by 0-8 to 1-10 at the break.
It was never easy for Castlecomer during the second period, but when they came with a strong late drive they certainly ruffled the feathers of the opposition.
SCORERS: St raphael’s - A. Prendergast (0-7); S. Connaughton (0-5); M. O’Regan (1-2); A. Connaire (0-2); E. Cox, D. Shaughnessy (0-1 each). Castlecomer CS - J. Buggy (0-9); B. Dowling (1-0); J. Morrissey (0-2); J. Brennan, E. Cahill, C. Cooney (0-1 each).
Castlecomer CS - Karl Downey; Dara Delaney, Colm Kealy, Conor McMahon; Dan Coogan, James Brennan (capt), Chris Korff; Dean Bray, Declan Buggy; Eoin Cahill, Thomas Brennan, Jack Buggy; Ciarán Cooney, Jack Morrissey, Michael Doyle. Subs - Bill Dowling for M. Doyle; . Liam Brennan for T. Brennan
St Raphael’s College - Cian Warde; Shane Morgan, Adam Nolan, Dean Moran; Ryan Kelegan, Evan Cox, Keith Dervan; Conor Slattery, Alex Connaire; Sean Connaughton, Adrian Prendrgast, Tiernan Killeen; Mark O’Regan, Aidan Fahy, Darren Shaughnessy. Subs - John Cooney for A. Fahy; Ciaran Connaughton for R. Keleghan
Referee - Sean Stack.
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