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St Caimin’s are tops going into play-offs

St Caimin’s Pa Sheehan has a close encounter with Bobby Bergin’s hurley.  Photographs by John Kelly

St Caimin’s    2-7        Our Lady’s Templemore   0-10

The pitch was in remarkably good condition but weather conditions were difficult with the players having to contend with biting cold and driving rain.
Templemore played with the aid of the wind in the opening half and they took an early lead with points from Dan McCormack (free) and Shane Hassett before Pa Sheehan opened the winners’ account in the 10th minute when he converted a 50m free.
McCormack (from a 65’) and Hassett replied for the Tipperary school to leave them three clear at the end of the opening quarter. The loss of McCormack with a leg injury was a blow to Templemore, whose forwards found it difficult to make any impact against a well-organised St Caimin’s defence in which central defenders Noel Purcell and Kevin Lynch were strong throughout.
There was quite a lengthy hold up due to McCormack’s injury and this resulted in almost five minutes of injury time at the end of the half. In the third minute of added time, St Caimin’s struck a major blow when Pa Sheehan collected a delivery from Frank Melody and raced through to score the game’s opening goal. The score tied up the game at 1-3 to 0-6 and with the assistance of the wind to come, it was a strong position for the winners to be in.
Less than 20 seconds into the second half, St Caimin’s hit the front for the first time, thanks to a fine point from full-forward Alan Mulready. The Shannon outfit dominated the third quarter and after Pa Sheehan stretched their lead with a pointed free, Shane Liddy struck for their second goal which came after the Templemore defence had failed to deal with a Donagh Keogh delivery. A Paudge Collins point left St Caimin’s six points clear on a score of 2-6 to 0-6, entering the final quarter.
To their credit, Templemore fought back strongly and a brace of points from John McGrath and one from Jason Bergin saw them cut the margin to three with nine minutes to go.
St Caimin’s had a great goal chance two minutes later but substitute Seán Lynch saw his first time effort go wide of the target.
In the remaining time, the St Caimin’s defence held firm and when the final whistle sounded they were fully deserving of their three-point advantage.
This result means that St Caimin’s now join St Flannan’s in the quarter-finals and it is possible for the Clare sides to meet at this stage as St Caimin’s have qualified as group winners with St Flannan’s going through as runners-up in their group.
The quarter-finals are scheduled for January 20.

St Caimin’s: Tommy Griffin (Newmarket); Eanna Burns (Sixmilebridge) Noel Purcell (Sixmilebridge), Niall O’Connor (Newmarket); Darren O’Connor (Newmarket), Kevin Lynch (Sixmilebridge), Enda Boyce (Cratloe); Cathal O’Connor (Sixmilebridge), Frank Melody (Newmarket); Pa Sheehan (Sixmilebridge), Paudge Collins (Cratloe), Donagh Keogh (Newmarket); Aaron Cunningham (Wolfe Tones), Alan Mulready (Sixmilebridge), Shane Liddy (Newmarket).
Sub: Seán Lynch (Sixmilebridge) for Cunningham (50 minutes).
Scorers:Pa Sheehan (1-4), Shane Liddy (1-0), Alan Mulready (0-2), Paudge Collins (0-1).

Templemore: Martin Kelly; John Keane, Damian Dunne, Tomas McGrath; Keith Kennedy, Dan McCormack, Bobby Bergin; Liam Treacy, Michael J Carroll; Liam McGrath, Shane Hassett, Jason Bergin; Pat Lupton, Benny Harkins, John McGrath.
Subs: Tony Meade for McCormack (inj 24 minutes); Pierce Meade for Hassett (half-time), Tomas Hassett for Carroll (42 minutes).
Scorers: Dan McCormack (frees), Shane Hassett, Jason Bergin, John McGrath (0-2) each. Liam Treacy, Pierce Meade (0-1) each.
Referee: Shane Hourigan, Limerick.


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