Harty Cup Round Three: St Flannan’s 0-13 Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG – An Mhainistir Thuaidh (Cork) 1-9
A battling performance from St Flannan’s saw them cement their place in a first Harty Cup quarter-final since 2011 as they maintained their unbeaten record in this year’s competition.
They sealed their spot as group winners with a third consecutive group victory as strong finishes to both halves saw them over the line in a rain-soaked Cappamore.
The dismissal of Jarlath Collins to a straight red card midway through the opening period had threatened to derail their challenge, with the heavy conditions making for a physical contest throughout. St Flannan’s had to go to the well to find the reserves to hold out, and suffered what could have been a fatal blow inside the last ten minutes when Nathan O’Gabhláin’s shot from distance went all the way to net as a wet sliotar evaded an otherwise rock-solid Cian Broderick. It saw the Rebel men go in front by the minimum but the lead did not last long as St Flannan’s fired four of the last six scores to take the win. Cian Galvin and Conner Hegarty were outstanding for the winners, with the work-rate of a willing half-forward line also crucial.
The Ennis school recovered from being reduced to 14 men in impressive fashion as they landed the last three scores of the opening period to lead by 0-6 to 0-3 at the break. It was a congested middle third with both sides having spare men at the back. Cian Galvin was offering the extra cover for St Flannan’s but Micheál O’Maolain was doing likewise for the Cork outfit and had plenty possession in the opening period. A deep lying St Flannan’s half-forward line meant that delivering quality ball to the danger zone was difficult with amount of covering sitting in front of the inside line, with only goal chance of note coming their way. That came at the end of the opening quarter when Conner Hegarty’s shot from distance hit the post, but Peter Power was unlucky to see his whipped effort from the rebound held up in a waterlogged goalmouth.
The sides were level on three different occasions in the first 23 minutes, with St Flannan’s opening the scoring through Oisin O’Donnell and a Cian Galvin free. The Cork side drew level with the next two scores, but Dara Nagle edged St Flannan’s back in front as he snapped up a break to fire over. Collins was then dismissed soon after with the game becoming scrappy until a free from Dylan O’Longáin restored parity. St Flannan’s dug deep and saw a trio unanswered from Peter Power, Oisín O’Donnell and Conner Hegarty seeing them take a double scores lead into the dressing rooms.
The perfect start to the second-half arrived when Power lashed over from a tight angle, but a period of dominance for the Cork outfit saw them narrow the gap to one at the end of the third quarter. Cian Galvin was outstanding throughout and while he had been struggling from placed balls, he nailed two crucial efforts either side of one from Lucas Ó hArgáin to see St Flannan’s lead 0-9 to 0-7 with ten minutes to go.
A goal against the run of play saw the Cork school hit the front for the first and only time in the contest, but Conner Hegarty turned the tide as he created a point for James Doherty before lashing over a brilliant score himself to put his side back into the lead. Diarmaid Cahill teed up O’Donnell for his third of the contest as the game entered injury time as St Flannan’s capitalised on their momentum.
Galvin and Ó hArgáin traded scores while a late scramble saw Ó’Maoilin fire a 65m free goalwards but it was overhit as it went over the bar and saw St Flannan’s hold on for a well deserved win.
St Flannan’s: Cian Broderick (Clarecastle); Brian Longe (Ballyea), Darragh Healy (Clarecastle), Eoin Guilfoyle (Clooney-Quin); Niall Walsh (Banner), Cian Galvin (Clarecastle), Jack Lyons (Ruan); Conner Hegarty (Inagh-Kilnamona), Jarlath Collins (Eire Óg); Killian O’Connor (Corofin), Oisín O’Donnell (Crusheen), Ashley Brohan (Ruan); Dara Nagle (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), Diarmaid Cahill (Corofin), Peter Power (Newmarket on Fergus).
Subs: James Doherty (Clarecastle) for Brohan, Dylan Cunningham (Clooney-Quin) for Power, Niall Glynn (Inagh-Kilnamona) for O’Donnell.
Scorers: Cian Galvin (0-4, 4f), Oisín O’Donnell (0-3), Peter Power and Conner Hegarty (0-2 each), Dara Nagle and James Doherty (0-1 each).