CHRISTIAN Brothers College booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Dr Harty Cup as a fine all-round performance saw them past Midleton CBS at Clonmult Memorial Park in Midleton on Wednesday afternoon.
While most of the first half was evenly contested, the city school - beaten in the 2019 and 2020 finals - looked to be getting the upper hand as half-time approached and a 0-9 to 0-8 interval lead was buttressed as an Eoin O’Leary free was followed by a goal from Eoghan Kirby.
Though three points in a row from Jack Leahy brought Midleton back into contention, CBC replied with five on the trot between the 39th and 50th minutes to put them eight points ahead and not even a Timmy Wilk goal for Midleton could spark a revival.
The result means that CBC are safely through to the quarter-finals in January, while Midleton will have another chance to reach the last eight when they face the losers of the clash between St Colman’s College and Blackwater CS, which was scheduled for Wednesday but had to be postponed.
Christians had fine performers all over the field, not least captain Eoin Downey in the half-back line, showing the calm assuredness that has made him a starter at senior level for Glen Rovers already. In attack, Midleton native David Cremin scored six points from play and had four different markers for company while Eoin O’Leary was a good foil for him and goalscorer Kirby impressed in finishing moves and in terms of build-up play.
Midleton did lead by 0-3 to 0-1 after nine minutes, with scores from Darragh Joyce, Leahy and Darragh McCarthy but overall they were too reliant on Leahy – one of nine members of the Cork All-Ireland minor-winning side that started – for scores.
CBC hit the front as Cremin found his groove, scoring four points before the water break and drawing a foul that led to an O’Leary free. While Leahy did have a goal attempt that needed a good Downey intervention, CBC were good value for the 0-6 to 0-4 water-break advantage.
Midleton came back strongly with two from Leahy and a fine George Walsh Wallace point but CBC pushed on again as half-time approached with each of their full-forward line of David Burke, O’Leary and Cremin registering.
When O’Leary landed a free from halfway in the early stages of the second half, it was 0-10 to 0-8 and then Downey won the puckout before picking out Kirby with a lovely pass, allowing him to run at the Midleton defence before crashing a shot home.
The lead was back to two as Leahy scored three on the trot, but Christians were always dangerous and Midleton goalkeeper Paudie O’Sullivan, steady throughout, had to be alert to deny Brian Keating a goal on 38.
Even without that, CBC continued to build their lead with Peter Linehan and James Dwyer getting on the scoresheet, though Midleton’s Darragh Joyce did go close to a goal in the midst of the five-point burst, with Eoin O’Neill touching his shot on to the post.
It was 1-15 to 0-11 at the water break and, after O’Sullivan made another good block, this time denying Burke, Cremin’s sixth left eight points in it. There was a brief moment of hope for Midleton as Wilk netted, profiting from a good Diarmaid Healy delivery, but CBC were never going to allow a fightback.
Their defence remained resolute as a unit in the closing stages, with O’Neill keeping out an effort from Midleton sub Michael Wall, while Kirby and O’Leary ensured the tally kept growing at the other end.
E Kirby 1-4, D Cremin, E O’Leary (0-4f) 0-6 each, D Burke 0-2, P Linehan, J Dwyer 0-1 each.
J Leahy 0-10 (0-5f, 0-1 65), T Wilk 1-0, D Joyce, D McCarthy, G Walsh Wallace, D Healy (0-1f) 0-1 each.
E O’Neill (Blarney); D Murphy (Blarney), S Kingston (Ballinora), L Casey (Sarsfields); E Downey (Glen Rovers), C McDonnell (Erin’s Own), J Dwyer (Ballincollig); M Finn (Midleton), B Keating (Ballincollig); P Linehan (Blackrock), E Kirby (Blarney), R Dunne (Glen Rovers); D Burke (Douglas), E O’Leary (Glen Rovers), D Cremin (Midleton).
C Egan (Whitechurch) for Finn (56), B Kingston (Mallow) for Downey, C Barrett (Blarney) for Burke, J Kingston (Sarsfields) for Kirby, D Murray (Sarsfields) for Murphy (all 60).
P O’Sullivan (Fr O’Neills); D Joseph (Carrigtwohill), C Smyth (Midleton), D Murnane (Carrigtwohill); G Walsh Wallace (Killeagh), J Ahern (Kiltha Óg), T Wilk (Cobh); J Fogarty (Killeagh), E Lane (Killeagh); Darragh McCarthy (Midleton), D Healy (Lisgoold), D Joyce (Kiltha Óg); C O’Leary (Fr O’Neills), J Leahy (Kiltha Óg), T Roche (Midleton).
C Leahy (Killeagh) for O’Leary (28, injured), A Rooney (Carrigtwohill) for Lane (half-time), Dylan McCarthy (Killeagh) for Darragh McCarthy (47), D Collins (Aghada) for Walsh Wallace (50), M Wall (Fr O’Neills) for Joyce (58).
S Stokes (Tullylease).