Dr Harty Cup Quarter-Final
St Joseph’s Tulla 1-17
Christian Brothers College Cork 1-15
ON a historic day in Kilmallock, St Joseph’s Tulla reached their maiden Dr Harty Cup semi-final after an incredible comeback victory over Christian Brothers College, reports Jamesy McConigley.
A dramatic late goal from corner-back Dara Ryan broke the hearts of the Cork school and sent Tulla fans into raptures. In typical January weather, a sizeable crowd travelled from East Clare for the tie. The opening action was evenly balanced with Seán Withycombe (3) and Eoin O’Leary (2) converting frees for their respective sides with Fionn Hickey raising a white flag in between two Christian Brothers College points.
For the next five minutes, the game ebbed and flowed with free takers on both sides finding their range. However, the Cork team controlled the second quarter, outscoring St Joseph’s Tulla 1-5 to 0-1. The sucker puncher came deep into added time with Daire Burke grabbing the first goal of the game, concluding the opening half 1-9 to 0-5 in favour of CBC.
With the resumption of action, the intensity levels increased with St Joseph’s ringing the positional changes in the hope of a rally. Withycombe (2) persisted to be a thorn in the side of CBC with his accuracy from frees. Daire Burke replied before O’Leary and Withycombe traded three points each, leaving six points between the sides approaching the final quarter.
As the weather began to brighten up, so did the prospects of a Tulla fightback. With little over 10 minutes remaining, it was back to one score. Seán Withycombe continued his flawless form from placed ball with the maximum score left between the two. The wind in their sails, Mikey McMahon capped off a lung-busting run with an inspirational score.
Back came Christian Brothers through the hurl of the impressive Eoin O’Leary. His two points were rapidly answered by Daragh Keogh and Withycombe. The Clare school had their net-minder Aaron Shanahan to thank moments later. His bravery halted Burke from scoring his second goal of the afternoon.
The action ticked into added time and up stepped an unlikely hero for St Joseph’s Tulla, Dara Ryan. From an acute angle, the corner-back’s late effort floated into the right top corner, sparking scenes of delirium. It was fitting that the final score of the fixture was presented to Withycombe to ensure his side a famous victory.
The heart and desire displayed by St Joseph’s was the main reason for their resurgence. Tony Leyden, Seán Withycombe, Ronan O’Connor and Mikey McMahon all led by example. While Eoin O’Leary was outstanding for CBC. He, along with Brian Keating, James Dwyer, Daire Burke and Rhys Dunne, were best for the Cork side.
St Joseph’s Tulla: Aaron Shanahan; Dara Ryan, Adam Hogan, Fionn Ryan; Mikey McMahon, Tony Leyden, Oisin Clune; Ronan O’Connor,Daragh Keogh; Oisin O’Connor, Seán Withycombe, Fionn Hickey; Colm Cleary, Aron Curtis, Eoghan McMahon. Subs: Conor O’Donnell for Curtis (40 mins), Gearóid Vaughan for Dara Ryan (inj)(63 mins).
St Joseph’s Tulla Scorers: Seán Withycombe (0-14, (12f) 1(65), Dara Ryan (1-00), Fionn Hickey, Dara Ryan, Mikey McMahon (0-01 each).
CBC: Eoin O’Neill; Darragh Murphy, Shane Kingston, Louis Casey; James Dwyer, Cormac McDonnell, Eoin Downey; Rhys Dunne, Brian Keating; Cillian Egan, Eoghan Kirby, Michael Finn; Daire Burke, Eoin O’Leary, David Cremin. Subs: Peter Linehan for Rhys Dunne (48 mins), Jeremy Kingston for Cillian Egan (58 mins).
CBC Scorers: Eoin O’Leary (0-11 (10f), Daire Burke (1-02), David Cremin, Eoghan Kirby (0-01 each).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)