St Colman’s College, Fermoy 0-20 Christian Brothers College 0-10
ST Colman’s College came out on top in the Cork PPS U16A hurling championship final at Watergrasshill.
The scoreline might suggest it was one-sided but they only pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring CBC nine points to one.
With 10 of the victorious Dean Ryan team (Munster U16 ½), they held firm when they needed to. CBC brought the difference to one early in the second half, but St Colman’s upped the ante.
The winners, who last claimed this title in 2015-2016, were recent Munster U15 champions, and that experience counted.
Despite the heavy conditions, neither side refused to yield. St Colman’s were 0-10 to 0-6 up at half time and in general play were that bit more effective.
Credit to CBC, who were without three of their starting 15 due to rugby commitments, they stayed in the contest for long periods, but had no answer to St Colman’s fourth-quarter flourish.
St Colman’s built up a lead from the off. Brendan Lehane and their captain Ben Nyhan getting them off the mark in the first minute. It took CBC until the seventh minute to open their account from free-taker Eoin O’Leary.
The Cork city side found themselves four points down midway through the half, 0-6 to 0-2, the Fermoy team thankful to an array of scorers including Roan O’Riordan, Cillian Fitzpatrick and Michael O’Driscoll.
O’Leary kept CBC in touch and there was a great point from Michael Finn to cut the deficit to three points in the 23rd minute. Fitzpatrick’s fifth point and one from Cillian Tobin put St Colman’s four points clear at the break.
After the restart, Adam Walsh had the sliotar in the CBC net but the goal didn’t stand as it came from an indirect free. Spurred on, CBC added points on the trot from O’Leary (2) and David Cremin to leave the score, 0-10 to 0-9 by the 40th minute.
They couldn’t get on level terms. St Colman’s settled into the game once more, and their top-scores Fitzpatrick and Tobin added some fine points.
James Dwyer was the sole reply for CBC. St Colman’s, who had that bit more pace in their forward line, closed out with white flags from Tobin, substitute Josh Ahern, O’Riordan and Walsh.
That CBC kept themselves in the game for so long was largely due to their dogged defending headed up by Dwyer. At midfield they were well served by joint captain Finn while joint captain Cremin and O’Leary tried hard up front.
But this is a good St Colman’s outfit. Their solid rear-guard is built around centre-back Adam Walsh and at midfield Fitzpatrick and Gearóid O’Brien were not found wanting.
They work the ball well through the lines in attack, and in Nyhan, Tobin and O’Riordan they have the players who can finish.
Of course, these two schools will lock horns again in the Dr Harty Cup quarter-final on January 8, so plenty to look forward to.
Scorers for St Colman’s: C Fitzpatrick 0-8 (0-4 f, 0-1 65), C Tobin 0-4, R O’Riordan 0-3, A Walsh (f), B Lehane, B Nyhan, M O’Driscoll and J Ahern 0-1 each.
Scorers for CBC: E O’Leary 0-6 (0-4 f), M Finn 0-2, J Dwyer and D Cremin 0-1 each.
ST COLMAN'S: C Cronin O’Neill (Watergrasshill); J O’Brien (Fermoy), C Hazlewood (Bride Rovers), D Barry (Bride Rovers); B Shanahan (Fermoy), A Walsh (Bride Rovers), K Wallace (St Catherine’s); G O’Brien (St Catherine’s), C Fitzpatrick (Fermoy); M O’Driscoll (Watergrasshill), C Tobin (Bride Rovers), B Nyhan (Clyda Rovers, Capt); B Lehane (Watergrasshill), R O’Riordan (Kilworth), S O’Donoghue (St Catherine’s).
Subs: F O’Connell (St Catherine’s) for B Shanahan (55), J Ahern (Bride Rovers) for S O’Donoghue (57), R O’Connell (Bride Rovers) for B Lehane (59).
CBC: F Heffernan (Mallow); P O’Shea (Erin’s Own), D Wall (Glen Rovers), J Casey (Erin’s Own); R Hurley (Sarsfields), J Dwyer (Ballincollig), D Browne (Blackrock); M Finn (Midleton, Joint-Capt), T Buckley (Blarney); R Dunne (Glen Rovers), E O’Leary (Glen Rovers), P Mayer (Ballinora); J Leddy (Sarsfields), D Cremin (Midleton, Joint-Capt), D Murray (Bishopstown).
Sub: C Dunphy (Erin’s Own) for D Murray (57).
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease).