FINGERS are crossed that the red weather alert that forced the postponement of the All-Ireland Colleges C SHC semi-final between Kanturk's Coláiste Treasa and Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew in Galway, is past tense when the sides convene at Rathkeale on Saturday.
Coláiste Treasa showed themselves to be a hard working, resilient, skilful and clinical outfit, never was this more in evidence than against both Patrician Academy, Mallow and Scoil Pól, Kilfinane when their sheer hunger and desire overwhelmed strong opposition. There is a solid balance to a Coláiste Treasa side with players from Kanturk, Banteer, Dromtariffe, Newmarket, Castlemagner, Kilbrin and Kilshannig involved.
A look at the side indicates strength in depth, capable ’keeper Grantis Bucinskas fronted by Cian O’Sullivan, Mickey Browne and Eamon Hayes.
Freetaker Brian O’Sullivan took a time to settle in the Munster Final but along with Hugh O’Connor, the pair can influence matters at midfield. And in attack, the Walsh brothers, Colin and Alan along with cousin Tommy are capable of making use of a rich feed of possession.
Oponents HRC, Mountbellew will provide Kanturk with a stiff test, all of their players are involved with the renowned hurling clubs in East Galway. Mountbellew dominated the preliminary series in Connacht and secured a place in the decider thanks to a convincing win over St Mary’s College in the penultimate hurdle.
That secured a meeting against neighbours St Killian's of New Inn where the wind blew strongly before Mountbellew produced a second half rally to win by four points.
Mountbellew parade exciting talent, none more so than 2019 Minor Hurler of the Year Seán McDonagh who emerged a key figure in Galway’s run to a three in-a-row of All-Ireland titles last summer.
McDonagh registered 4-36 in the campaign with a 2-8 tally return in a man of the match performance in the decider against Kilkenny. Obviously, McDonagh is a key figure for his school and Kanturk will need to limit his impact from a centre forward berth.
Far from a one man operation, team captain Niall Moran from Pádraig Pearses is full back with Dara Newell and Brian Noone also figuring, At midfield, Brian Hogan is a grafter while Shane Fallon, Cian Murphy and Oisín Lohan will compliment McDonagh in attack.
What lies in store is a contest that promises wholehearted endeavour and good hurling thrown in. No quarter will be asked or given, if Coláiste Treasa can muster up another supreme effort, they can keep the show on the road to book a place in the All-Ireland Final.
Patrons attending Rathkeale are reminded that the venue will host three All Ireland College games on Saturday with Kanturk and Mountbellew completing a long programme at 3.30pm.
All-Ireland Colleges SHC semi-final: Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk v Holly Rosary College, Mountbellew, Rathkeale 1.45pm.