Coláistí na nDéise 2-14 (20) Nenagh CBS 1-10 (13) – Giveitfong’s view

(originally posted by Giveitfong on boards.ie)

Coláistí na nDéise (CnD) made history when seeing off a strong Nenagh CBS challenge to capture the Harty Cup for the first time in Cashel today. A combination of Dungarvan CBS and St. Augustine’s of Abbeyside, CnD are a very talented and well-balanced team which was full value for their win in front of a very large attendance.

The game was played on a reasonable (if slightly short) pitch, in overcast but otherwise good conditions, with a strongish diagonal wind which favoured CnD in the first half. CnD got off to a super start when corner forward finished to the net at the end of a good passing movement in the opening minutes, and five minutes later, his older brother and man-of-the-match Cathal confidently smashed a 20-metre free to the back of the net to put CnD very much in the driving seat.

With Colin Dunford in midfield and Michael Harney at centre forward winning possession time and again, CnD began piling on the points, mainly via Cathal Curran frees as the pressurised Nenagh defence committed foul after foul. After about 20 minutes Nenagh managed to lift the siege and gain territorial dominance for a period, but they found it very difficult to make any impression on a watertight CnD defence in which left half back Tadhg Burke was magnificent from start to finish. On the one occasion Nenagh did get through for a shot on goal, CnD goalie Eoin Kearns brought off a super save. CnD regained the initiative in the closing minutes of the half, and a flurry of points saw them going in at half time leading 2-10 to 0-5.

With wind assistance, Nenagh enjoyed the bulk of second half possession but were ill-advised in seeking to score goals right from the restart, sending a stream of balls, many from scorable frees, into the CnD goal area without fruit. Meanwhile, CnD continued to look dangerous on the break, and actually outscored Nenagh in the third quarter. Cathal Curran was desperately unlucky not to put the game out of Nenagh’s reach when he got on the end of a long delivery but his flick past the goalkeeper agonisingly went the wrong side of the goalpost.

Nenagh finally got some points on the board in the final quarter, but their search for a goal was repeatedly frustrated by the CnD defence’s combination of skill and resilience. When they finally got the ball into the net in the dying moments, it was little more than a consolation score.

CnD now go on to an All-Ireland semi-final against the Leinster final losers (St Kieran’s College or Kilkenny CBS) on March 17. They will have long-term injury victim Kevin Sheehan (who made a brief appearance as a late substitute today) and Kevin Daly (out today due to suspension) available for that fixture. Nenagh CBS remain in the All-Ireland competition in which they play the Ulster champions in a qualifying game.

Coláistí na nDéise: Eoin Kearns (St Mary’s); Kealon Looby (St Oliver’s); Tom Tobin (St Mary’s); Seán O’Donovan (Modeligo); Evan Collins (Abbeyside); Tom Devine (Modeligo); Tadhg Burke (Clashmore); Colin Dunford (Colligan) (0-1); Cormac Curran (Brickeys) (0-2, one free); Cathal Curran (Dungarvan) (1-9, 1-6 frees); Michael Harney (Bunmahon); Ryan Donnelly (Dungarvan); Michael Kiely (St. Mary’s); Kieran Power (Kilrossanty); Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) (1-2). Substitutes: Kevin Sheehan (St Mary’s), Eamon Crotty (Abbeyside).[/Quote]

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