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Dramatic Late Finish Sees St Joseph’s Tulla Into Harty Cup Quarter Finals

Harty Cup Round Three: St Joseph’s Tulla 0-14 Árdscoil Uí Urmaltaigh Bandon 1-11

They got there in the end and a late dramatic Sean Withycombe point was enough as St Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla booked their place in the Harty Cup quarter-finals in a cold and windy Mallow on Wednesday afternoon.

The hard-fought draw at the hands of Árdscoil Uí Urmaltaigh Bandon looked out of reach of Tulla’s hands when a Mark Hickey goal 12 minutes from time blasted the Cork school into a three-point lead.

They huffed and they puffed and it certainly looked like it wasn’t to be for the East Clare hurlers when Bandon restored their three-point cushion with just three minutes remaining but three late Tulla scores without response drew the sides’ level in the final moments.

Two minutes from time Bandon had still maintained a two-point lead but late scores from Daragh Keogh (free) and Withycombe sent Tulla into the quarter finals on score difference, having been defeated by just one less against Group D table-toppers CBS Midleton.

Heading into the game, St Joseph’s knew that a draw result would be enough due to the narrowest of better points difference following both school’s games with last season’s defeated finalists CBS Midleton.

Having been defeated by six points by Midleton in their opening group game Bandon got off to the better start and were the livelier of the two sides in the opening thirty minutes.

In difficult wet conditions, Bandon opened the scoring as Mark Hickey slotted over a well-taken free from out wide, a sign of things to come.

Moments later Hickey doubled his sides’ lead with a free from the halfway line with the wind behind his back.

Credit to St Joseph’s, the East Clare side fought back almost immediately and a superb team effort saw Crusheen corner forward Murrough McMcMahon lay off the ball to the lively Sean Withycombe who slotted over for Tulla’s first point of the afternoon.

With ten minutes on the clock, an excellent Darragh O’Shea free against a very strong breeze brought the scores level at 0-2 apiece.

St Jospeh’s continued to pay the price for ill-discipline and two further frees from the flawless Hickey opened up a two point advantage for Bandon midway through the opening half.

Tulla responded well yet again and two O’Shea scores from the dead ball ensured that both sides were level with twenty minutes on the clock.

Happy to limit Bandon’s point scoring opportunities to chances from set-pieces in such conditions, it took Tulla’s Cork opponents until five minutes before the interval to secure their first effort from open play.

It stemmed from a mix up at the back before Eddie Kenneally somehow found space to edge Bandon ahead yet again.

Hickey restored Bandon’s two point lead before both sides exchanged points as Bandon looked to take a 0-7 to 0-5 lead into half-time.

On the verge of half-time Sean Withycombe did well to beat his marker Brian McCarthy but the Tulla GAA Club corner forward dragged his effort on goal wide of the target as Bandon maintained their two point cushion heading into the break.

Coming out of the traps fighting, Tulla drew level two minutes after the restart as two Darragh O’Shea frees without reply gave the East Clare a much-needed boost.

Mark Hickey edged Bandon ahead with a close-range free, his sixth of the afternoon, to put a temporary halt to the momentum built up by St Joseph’s.

The wind began to die down as the half went on but this didn’t stop Tulla from taking full advantage of Darragh Keogh’s impressive free taking skills.

Eight minutes into the second half, an Keogh free had Tulla in front for the first time of the afternoon, 0-9 to 0-8 in favour of the visiting Clare side.

A Mark Hickey goal looked to have secured the win for Bandon but St Jospeh’s had other ideas.

Three Keogh frees ensured an exciting finish before a superb Sean Withycombe point drew the sides level as the final whistle fast approached.

The result sees St Joseph’s finish second place in Group D, enough to propel the Tulla-based school into the last eight of this year’s Dr Harty Cup.

St Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla: Aaron Shanahan; Dara Ryan, Adam Hogan, Liam McInerney; Cian Mulqueen, Paddy Donnellan, Evan Maxted; Oisin Clune, Daragh Keogh; Andrew Conheady, Jimmy O’Gorman, Cormac Murphy; Sean Withycombe, Murrough McMahon, Daniel Withycombe

Subs: Ronan O’Connor for Dara Ryan (48).

Scorers: Daragh Keogh (0-11, 11f), Sean Withycombe (0-3)

Hamilton High School Bandon: Olan Walsh; Colm Sheehan, Tim Twohig, Brian McCarthy; Jonathan Kenneally, Sean Sexton, Eoghan Collins; Adam Kenneally, Darragh O’Shea; Mark Hickey, Darren O’Donovan, Conor Taheny; Aaron O’Leary, Colm O’Donovan, Eddie Kenneally.

Scorers: Mark Hickey (1-7, 7f), Eddie Kenneally (0-2), Darren O’Donovan (0-1), Colm O’Donovan (0-1)

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