Leinster champions St Kieran’s College completed an historic three-in-a-row Junior All-Ireland Colleges titles against Thurles CBS in The Ragg on Saturday, December 2nd.
A never say die attitude from St Kieran’s saw the Niall McInerney Cup return to the College for a fourth time. The excitement and tension began from the throw in. As both teams settled, Thurles CBS opened the scoring through half forward Chris Munroe in the 4th minute. St Kieran’s replied with a green flag a minute later. Bustling full forward Peter Donohoe lifted a low delivery from Jack Doyle and powered past his man to finish to the net. Thurles responded well with a point from Stephen Ferncombe from a free. For the next twelve minutes, St Kieran’s took control of the game with four points from Eoin Guilfolye, one from play, two frees and one from a 65 after good work from Jack Doyle and Darragh Maher. Maher dissected the posts again in the 20th minute after a strong solo run. Thurles’ short passing game was meeting a brick wall in the form of captain Harry Walsh, David Fogarty, Jim Ryan, Killian Rudkins and the tenacious Andy Hickey. Eventually, Thurles got back on the scoreboard through corner forward, Paddy Creedon in the 23rd minute and free taker, Stephen Ferncombe in the 26th. After a tense and tight first half, the score was St Kieran’s 1-5 Thurles CBS 0-4.
Thurles started the second half with gusto scoring through Paddy Creedon. However, St Kieran’s showed great composure. Darragh Maher continued his good work from the first half bursting through the Thurles rearguard before he was hauled down. Guilfolye converted the free. Maher added his own point from play a minute later. Thurles scored the next three scores from free taker Ferncombe before a Devon Ryan score brought the game to the minimum. St Kieran’s responded like champions with Jack Doyle scoring from the sideline while on the run in the 11th minute. Jack had a great chance to raise a green flag but for heroic Thurles defending. Moving an extra man to midfield enabled Darren Flood to create chances and possession for Thurles. Darragh Maher continued his man of the match performance with a point on the run with 10 minutes remaining. Guilfoyle added a free following a foul on Stephen Barron. St Kieran’s were motoring again and substitute Oisín Egan chipped in with another white flag. St Kieran’s had a five point lead with 7 minutes remaining. Substitute Jack Leamy scored for Thurles. Hayes converted for his second point from play with 2 minutes remaining. It was all or nothing at this stage for Thurles. St Kieran’s were defending for their lives. With time up, referee Alan Kelly pointed to the penalty spot for an innocuous off the ball challenge on Eoin Purcell. Darren Flood had the chance to level the game. The young Thurles attacker struck the ball well but it sneaked over the bar. There was time for no more with Alan Kelly blowing his whistle to conclude a thoroughly entertaining Junior All-Ireland final.
St Kieran’s College celebrated on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-14.
This was an excellent performance by the St Kieran’s lads with star performances all over the field. The College boys delivered a performance worthy of All-Ireland Champions and added another glorious chapter to an illustrious hurling story. Well done to all involved on this great victory and to their teachers Mr Dowling and Mr Ruth.
Eoin Guilfoyle 0-8 (6 frees, 1 65), Peter Donohoe 1-0, Darragh Maher 0-3, Jack Doyle 0-1, Oisin Egan 0-1,
Stephen Ferncombe 0-7 (6 frees), Paddy Creedon 0-2, Kevin Hayes 0-2, Devon Ryan 0-1, Jack Leamy 0-1, Darren Flood 0-1 (Penalty)
St Kieran’s College:
Stephen Keoghan (Graigue-Ballycallan), Andy Hickey (Dunnamaggin), Harry Walsh (Dunnamaggin, Captain), Jim Ryan (James Stephens), David Fogarty (O’Loughlin Gaels), Padraic Moylan (Dicksboro), Killian Rudkins (Barrow Rangers), Jamie Harkin (Bennetsbridge), Peter McDonald (Thomastown), Darragh Maher (St Lachtain’s), Conor Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels), Stephen Barron (Ballyhale Shamrocks), Jack Doyle (Windgap), Peter Donohoe (Danesfort), Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens)
Liam Barron (Ballyhale Shamrocks) H/T for Peter McDonald, Oisin Egan (Graigue-Ballycallan) 49 mins for Jack Doyle, Jack Sheriden (O’Loughlin Gaels) 58 mins for Darragh Maher, Diarmuid Galwey (Thomastown), Padraic Foley (Windgap), Alex Moore (Dunnamaggin), JP Gamble (Conahy Shamrocks), Tomas Leahy (Danesfort), David Conway (Dicksboro), Ciaran Rice (Conahy Shamrocks), Kevin Fitzpatrick (Dicksboro), Eoin Delahunty (Graigue Ballycallan), Denis Walsh (Dunnamaggin), Darren Cuddihy (Conahy Shamrocks), Kieran Buckley (Dunnamaggin), Thomas Nugget (James Stephens), Ronan Lavelle (O’Loughlin Gaels), Ciaran Mullen (Danesfort), Conor Fitzpatrick (Young Irelands).
For more photos from the day please click on the link below: