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Flannan’s wides costly in Harty Cup clash

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Thurles CBS  0-17   St Flannan’s  2-10

Shane O’Connor of St Flannan’s attempts a shot under pressure.  Photographs by Declan Monaghan

HARTY Cup holders Thurles CBS are still in line to retain a title they won after a lapse of 53 years last March following a one-point win over St Flannan’s at Claughaun on Wednesday. However, the Ennis side have every reason to be disappointed with this result as they certainly had the chances to at least have drawn if not won the game.

The roll-of-honour leaders shot a total of 14 wides in what was quite an entertaining game with some fine hurling and some very good individual displays. At the end of the day, however, the failure of St Flannan’s forward line to capitalise on good possession proved costly and was a major contributory factor to their defeat.
They were level for the first of four times after eight minutes before Brian Hehir put St Flannan’s ahead in the 11th minute. A minute later, they struck for the game’s first goal when Niall Arthur first-timed the ball to the net after a fine delivery from Stephen O’Halloran who had an excellent game at wing-back. Arthur added a point from a free and St Flannan’s were five clear at the end of the first quarter.
The Ennis side failed to build on this, however, and they only managed one further point before half-time and this came from an Arthur free.
Shortly before the half-time break, Thurles switched Mike O’Brien from left to right corner-forward and the speedy Clonmel Óg player went on to cause huge problems for the Clare school. He scored the last two points of the half to leave the teams level, 1-6 to 0-9, at the break.
St Flannan’s had eight wides in the first half and three of these came from Arthur frees. The normally very accurate Inagh-Kilnamona man may have been put off by the jeering of the Thurles supporters while he was preparing to take the frees.
Thurles made a bright start to the second half and opened a three-point lead inside five minutes before St Flannan’s struck for a fortunate goal when Shane O’Connor applied the finish. From here to the finish, there was little between the sides. They were level at 0-13 to 2-7 with 10 minutes to go. Thurles edged two in front but Flannan’s had it back to one with five minutes remaining. Try as they did in the remaining time (there was just over four minutes of injury time) St Flannan’s could not get back on terms. In the closing minutes, they had a couple of great chances but David O’Halloran and Michael O’Neill were wide of the target with their efforts.
Stephen O’Halloran, Paul Flanagan, Gearóid O’Connell all did well in defence for St Flannan’s but they struggled up front where Niall Arthur and Tony Kelly offered the greatest threat to Thurles.

St Flannan’s:
Niall Woods (Newmarket); Damian Lafferty (Inagh-Kilnamona), Gearóid O’Connell (Ballyea), Conor O’Loughlin (Crusheen); Conor O’Gorman (Clarecastle), Paul Flanagan (Ballyea, captain, 0-1), Stephen O’Halloran (Clarecastle); Brian Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona, 0-1), John Guilfoyle (Wolfe Tones, 0-1); Niall Arthur (Inagh-Kilnamona, 1-3); Shane O’Connor (Doora-Barefield, 1-1), Eamonn Malone (Corofin); Tony Kelly (Ballyea, 0-1), Aaron Considine (Clarecastle), David O’Halloran (Éire Óg, 0-1).
Subs: Michael O’Neill (Kilmaley, 0-1) for Malone, 40 minutes; Cathal Doohan (Lissycasey) for O’Gorman 42 minutes; Cathal Malone (Ennistymon) for Considine 55 minutes.

St Caimin’s move forward

St Caimin’s 2-12   Midleton CBS  1-13
BEATEN finalists last year, St Caimin’s from Shannon moved to within a step of a second successive final appearance when they overcame Midleton CBS in a cracking tie played at Bruff on Wednesday.
A goal towards the end of each half played a big part in the Shannon school’s victory over a Cork side that travelled to Bruff with high hopes of progressing.
Midleton took an early lead but a great goal from Shane Liddy shortly before the half-time whistle left the sides level at 1-6 each at the break. Liddy won possession near the corner flag, rounded his marker and raced towards the goal along the endline before finding the net from a tight angle.
The early exchanges in the second half were even but when St Caimin’s missed a couple of chances, Midleton countered and scored two points to go two clear with 10 minutes remaining.
A long-range free from St Caimin’s caused problems in the Midleton defence and when the ball broke to Alan Mulready, he made no mistake and the Shannon side were ahead. They held on for a merited win and a semi-final date with neighbours Ard Scoil Rís.
Cratloe’s Enda Boyce was outstanding at wing-back for the winners but he is now a major doubt for the semi-final having picked up a hamstring injury. Kevin Lynch at centre-back, Frank Melody and Cathal O’Connor at midfield also did well on a day when the scoring honours were shared by Donagh Keoth, Aaron Cunningham, Alan Mulready, Shane Liddy, Pa Sheehan and Frank Melody.

St Caimin’s:
Tommy Griffin (Newmarket), Eanna Byrnes (Sixmilebridge), Noel  Purcell (Sixmilebridge), Niall O’Connor (Newmarket), Enda Boyce (Cratloe), Kevin Lynch (Sixmilebridge), Darren O’Connor (Newmarket); Frank Melody (Newmarket, 0-1), Cathal O’Connor (Sixmielbridge), Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones, 0-3), Paudge Collins (Cratloe), Donagh Keogh (Newmarket, 0-3); Alan Mulready (Sixmilebridge, 1-1), Pa Sheehan (Sixmilebridge, 0-3), Shane Liddy (Newmarket, 1-1).

Ard Scoil progress

Ard Scoil Rís  2-10   Our Lady’s  1-9
A FANCIED Ard Scoil Rís team had to pull out all the stops to overcome Our Lady’s Templemore in this quarter-final. Indeed, the Tipperary side will rue a number of missed chances on the day.
Cratloe’s Cathal McInerney captained the winning side from wing-back while Sixmilebridge player Jamie Shanahan contributed a point from corner-forward. Martin Moroney (Parteen) played at corner-back.
Seán O’Connor (Meelick) and Shane Crehan (O’Callaghan’s Mills) were also members of the Ard Scoil panel but weren’t used on this occasion.

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