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Tough quarter-finals ahead for Flannan’s and Caimin’s

THE senior hurlers and footballers of St Flannan’s College have been handed very difficult assignments in the quarter-finals of their respective provincial senior championships.
At a meeting of the Munster colleges committee in Mallow on Saturday last, St Flannan’s were drawn to meet title holders Thurles CBS in the quarter-final of the Dr Harty Cup while the school’s footballers will face St Brendan’s from Killarney in the quarter-final of the Corn Uí Mhuirí title race, in which they are the only Clare representatives.
St Caimin’s from Shannon, last year’s beaten Harty Cup finalists, will take on Midleton CBS in the quarter-finals while Ard Scoil Rís Limerick, a team with a strong Clare representation, will take on Our Lady’s Templemore for a place in the semi-finals. The remaining quarter-final will see De La Salle from Waterford take on Nenagh CBS.
The quarter-finals are scheduled for Wednesday next, January 20, and, weather permitting, the games will go ahead but venues won’t be finalised until the weekend.
Should St Flannan’s manage to upset the title holders, they will go on to play either De La Salle or Nenagh while a repeat of last year’s semi-final clash between St Caimin’s and Ard Scoil Ris will materialise if both manage to win their quarter-final games.
It’s now five years since the roll of honour leaders St Flannan’s last won this title and if they are to edge closer to ending that wait, they will have to produce a top class performance to oust the holders Thurles CBS who ended a 53-year wait last season when they defeated St Caimin’s in the final at Nenagh.
The Jamesie O’Connor and Con Woods trained Ennis side will be calling on such as team captain Paul Flanagan who will be joined in the team by his Ballyea clubmates Gearoid O’Connell, Tony Kelly and Cathal Doohan, Clarecastle’s Aaron Considine and Stephen O’Halloran, Eire Og’s David O’Halloran, Inagh-Kilnamona’s Niall Arthur and Wolfe Tones player John Guilfoyle who played in last year’s final as a member of the St Caimin’s outfit.
The Ennis side has shown steady improvement over the past two seasons but they face a huge task against the champions who will carry the favourites’ tag.
With a lot of last year’s squad available, St Caimin’s will be hoping to go that step further this year and win the title for the first time. Unbeaten in this year’s campaign, they will be wary of Midleton’s challenge. The Cork school last won this title in 2006 and are reported to have a strong side this year.
St Caimin’s whose players come from Newmarket, Sixmilebridge, Cratloe and Wolfe Tones, will be looking to the likes of Noel Purcell, Kevin Lynch, Enda Boyce, Pa Sheehan, Paudge Collins, and Alan Mulready. At the end of what is expected to be a tight contest, they will be hoping to be ahead.
There was huge disappointment amongst Ard Scoil Ris supporters when they lost out in a cracking semi-final last year to St Caimin’s. Many followers have already installed the Limerick side as favourites to win the title for the first time this season.
Cratloe’s Cathal McInerney is joint captain of a side that also includes Jamie Shanahan from Sixmilebridge, Martin Moroney from Parteen, Sean O’Connor from Meelick and Shane Crehan from O’Callaghans Mills. They will start as favourites to account for Templemore but its likely to be a very close affair as the Tipperary side has impressed on their way to this stage of the championship.

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