Key players deliver as Christians reach their first Harty Cup final in 101 years

Key players deliver as Christians reach their first Harty Cup final in 101 years
Picture: Larry Cummins

CBC Cork 2-12

Thurles CBS 0-13

CHRISTIAN Brothers College survived a strong test of their character in Kilfinane on Saturday to qualify for their first Dr Harty Cup final in 101 years. 

They came out on top following victory over a dogged Thurles CBS, a run of five unanswered points proving crucial in the fourth quarter. They set-up a mouth-watering clash with Midleton CBS in an all-Cork showdown on Saturday February 16.

The Tipperary school led by two points after a wind-assisted first-half and the sides were level mid-way through the second half. With the game crying out for either side to take it by the scruff of the neck, Christians rose to the challenge with the Blarney trio of Padraig Power, Declan Hanlon and captain Shane Barrett supplying the all-important scores.

Midfielder Declan Hanlon. Picture: Larry Cummins
Midfielder Declan Hanlon. Picture: Larry Cummins

“Conditions were difficult for both sides,” CBC manager Tony Wall commented afterwards. “There was a strong breeze blowing down the centre of the pitch. We were lucky in the first half, we went in two points down. The benefit of an early goal stood to us. Thurles left a couple of scores behind them and to be fair they were dominating around the middle third of the field.

“We regrouped at half-time. The lads upped the work-rate. We were fairly clinical in front of goal today, we scored 2 goals and 12 points. I don’t think we had too many wides, which is a sign of a good team. We are thrilled with the character they showed because we know traditionally Thurles are a very strong team.

“It was very difficult having played them already (CBC won). You learn more in defeat than victory and they got their match-ups right and they made us battle for every ball. We deserved to win but at the same time we rode our luck at times. There are areas where we need to improve on.”

Goalscorer Jack Cahalane. Picture: Larry Cummins
Goalscorer Jack Cahalane. Picture: Larry Cummins

Jack Cahalane scored a brilliant solo goal after just three minutes. Thurles CBS recovered well with free-taker Devon Ryan arrowing over some excellent points to go 0-6 to 1-1 ahead. Twice CBC cut the arrears to a point. 

The Tipperary team pushed on again through Paddy Creedon and Keith Ryan to lead 0-9 to 1-4 at the break. The margin should have been bigger though, had they been more ruthless with their shooting.

CBC restarted making a vital breakthrough. Their second goal finished to the net following Barrett’s incisive run down the centre. Parity was achieved. Two more times level, 2-6 to 0-12, before the Cork side manged to up the gears. Five points without reply between the 49th and 55th minute and matters turned in their favour.

Devon Ryan pulled a point back, his team now behind by four. There was still time for some late drama as Thurles came close go goaling nearing full-time. Kieran Moloney’s effort came off the woodwork and when Eoin Purcell followed up from the rebound, goalkeeper Cian Long had to be at his best to deny him.

Power rifled over his eighth point in the second minute of stoppage time. The CBC journey continues.

Picture: Larry Cummins
Picture: Larry Cummins

Scorers for CBC: P Power (0-8, 0-7 f), S Barrett (1-2), J Cahalane (1-0), D Hanlon (0-2).

Thurles CBS: D Ryan (0-9, 0-8 f), L Cashin (0-2), P Creedon and K Ryan (0-1 each).

CBC: C Long (Glen Rovers); C Murphy (Sarsfields), D Barry (Sarsfields), P Hennessy (Mallow); G Mulcahy (Glen Rovers), I Daly (Lismore), C O’Donovan (Douglas); D Hanlon (Blarney), K Finn (Midleton); S Barrett (Blarney, c), N Hartnett (Douglas), P Power (Blarney); O McCarthy (Inniscarra), P McBarron (Carrigaline), J Cahalane (St Finbarr’s).

Subs: J O’Kelly (St Finbarr’s) for P McBarron (40), C Daly (Lismore) for C O’Donovan (49), J Scally (Bishopstown) for J O’Kelly (62).

THURLES CBS: K Bracken (Thurles Sarsfields); P Melbourne (Moycarkey Borris), J Kirwan (Moycarkey Borris), J Hickey (Emeralds, Urlingford); E Morris (Holycross Ballycahill), K Hayes (Moycarkey Borris, c), J Ryan (Holycross Ballycahill); M Hackett (Moycarkey Borris), K Moloney (Thurles Sarsfields); K Ryan (Upperchurch Drombane), D Ryan (Knockavilla Kickhams), E Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields); P Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields), D Flood (Moycarkey Borris), L Cashin (Roscrea).

Subs: J Leamy (Golden) for D Flood (45), E Ryan (Holycross Ballycahill) for L Cashin (53), J Synott (Roscrea) for P Melbourne (55), J Taylor (Moyne Templetuohy) for P Creedon (57).

Referee: Mike Sexton (Limerick).

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