By Seamus Hayes
St. Josephs, Tulla 1-16 CBC, Cork 1-14
(after extra time)
A thirty four year gap was bridged at Ballyagran on Saturday when St. Josephs, Tulla won the Munster colleges senior B hurling title for only the second time in their history.
In difficult conditions the East Clare side put in a tremendous performance to overcome Christian Brothers College from Cork in a tie which required extra time to separate the sides.
The Cork side got off to a great start and were five points clear after just eleven minutes, 1-3 to 0-1 and things didn’t look good for Tulla. However, thanks to the accuracy of freetaker Brian Fahy, they fought back and drew level by the twenty second minute at 0-6 to 1-3 before the Cork side went on to hold a two point advantage, 1-6 to 0-7, at the interval.
Defences dominated in the third quarter which was scoreless. Inside the final quarter Tulla hit three in a row to go a point clear but CBC through their sharpshooter Martin O’Halloran tied up the game for the fourth time.
When Darren Chaplin’s effort from all of 90m dropped over the bar as the game went into ‘injury time’ it looked like the title was on the way to Clare but O’Halloran showed nerves of steel when firing over a 50m free in the third minute of added time to level the game again and send it to extra time.
Three unanswered points in the first five minutes of the extra period gave Tulla an edge and they were still three clear going into the second period. CBC weren’t going to go out without a fight and they hit three in a row to level with just three minutes remaining.
A great break by Martin Daly ended with the Feakle teenager finding the net and while the Cork side threw everything at their opponents in the remaining time, they could only manage one more point and Tulla held on for victory.
Outstanding for the winners were Evan McMahon, Con Smyth, Brian Fahy, Diarmuid O’Brien, Darren Chaplin, and Gary Cooney.
St. Josephs;–Killian Nugent (O’C.Mills); Gavin O’Brien (Crusheen), Evan McMahon (Feakle) captain, Eoin Donnellan (Broadford); Matthew Troy (Broadford) Con Smyth (Feakle), Shane Hunt (Tulla); Brian Fahy (Tulla), 0-9, 7 frees, Enda Noonan (Feakle) 0-1; Diarmuid O’Brien (Broadford) 0-1, Darren Chaplin (Broadford) (0-2), Conor Henry (O’C. Mills); Gary Cooney (O’C. Mills) 0-3, Martin Daly (Feakle) 1-0, Stephen Conway (Feakle);
Subs—Pa Duggan (Newmarket) for Hunt (inj); Matthew Culloo (Tulla) for Troy; ; Tadhg Shanahan (Clooney-Quin) for Conway