Christians strike early as they beat Gaelcholáiste Mhuire in Dr Harty Cup opener

Mikey Finn scored 1-8 for the beaten finalists of 2019 and 2020, who led all through
Christians strike early as they beat Gaelcholáiste Mhuire in Dr Harty Cup opener

Fionn Heffernan of Christian Brothers College celebrates his early goal against Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaidh at Church Road. Picture: Larry Cummins

Christian Brothers College 2-19

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaidh 0-16

A pair of early goals provided a cushion as Christian Brothers College led all the way through their TUS Dr Harty Cup opener against Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaidh at Church Road in Blackrock on Wednesday afternoon.

After Fionán Barry opened the scoring in this northside derby within 15 seconds of the start, Christians had a goal as Ruairí Cummins’ pass allowed Fionn Heffernan to fire home. While Ross Ó Súilleabháin, a star with Cork minors this year, got Gaelcholáiste Mhuire off the mark with a free in the wake of that goal, another green flag came as Christians’ captain Mikey Finn sent a ball goalwards, deceiving Micheál Gayfer. When Finn, who would finish with 1-8, added a good point, it was 2-2 to 0-1 for the Sidney Hill outfit and the portents for a competitive game did not look promising.

Credit to Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, they battled back well, with Ó Súilleabháin more involved after a switch to centre-forward while corner-forward Seán Pól Cúc had a good impact as a third midfielder and number 12 Ciarán Mac Uidhir dropped to centre-back to good effect.

However, ‘the AG’ rarely looked like threatening a goal in the opening half and, though they came to within five points more than once, Christians always looked to have enough scoring power to keep them at arm’s length.

Finn’s Midleton clubmate and fellow All-Ireland minor medallist David Cremin was a constant threat, finishing the first half with three opints from play and five in all, with a 2-11 to 0-11 half-time scoreline a fair reflection of proceedings.

On the restart, Eoghan Ó Súilleabháin set up Cúc for an excellent Gaelcholáiste Mhuire point but once again the five-point buffer couldn’t be eroded, despite the best efforts of Lucas Ó Síocháin in midfield and a superb Micheál Ó Síocháin point where he took a handpass from Colm Ó Riagáin and controlled the sliothar without catching it before firing over.

Strong at the back where James O’Callaghan Maher and James Casey led the defensive effort, Christians didn’t score any game-clinching goal but they didn’t need to as Finn’s fine free-taking allowed them to move clear of their opponents’ challenge point by point. Barry and Cremin also added scores as they enjoyed a nine-point winning margin.

Next up for them is a meeting in a fortnight with Nenagh CBS. The Tipperary school drew with Waterford’s De La Salle, who provide Gaelcholáiste Mhuire’s opposition next time out.

Scorers for Christian Brothers College: M Finn 1-8 (0-5f), D Cremin 0-5, F Barry 0-4 (0-1f), F Heffernan 1-1, R Cummins 0-1.

Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaidh: R Ó Súilleabháin 0-10 (0-6f, 0-1 65), M Ó Síocháin 0-3, L Ó Síocháin, C Mac Uidhir, SP Cúc 0-1 each.

CHRISTIAN BROTHERS COLLEGE: E Coughlan (Blackrock); C Dunphy (Erin’s Own), J O’Callaghan Maher (Douglas), D Browne (Blackrock); T Buckley (Blarney), J Casey (Erin’s Own), P O’Shea (Erin’s Own); M Finn (Midleton), M O’Dwyer (Russell Rovers); G O’Shea (Douglas), E O’Sullivan (Mayfield), D Cremin (Midleton); R Cummins (Russell Rovers), F Heffernan (Mallow), F Barry (Douglas).

Subs: D Wall (Glen Rovers) for Buckley, C McCarthy for O’Dwyer (both 41), B McCarthy (Bishopstown) for Heffernan (47), D O’Connor (Sarsfields) for O’Sullivan (55), J Hartnett (Douglas) for O’Shea (58).

GAELCHOLÁISTE MHUIRE AN MHAINISTIR THUAIDH: M Gayfer (Glen Rovers); P Hosford (Na Piarsaigh), J Ó Ciarubháin (Glen Rovers); K Ó Gealbháin (Na Piarsaigh); E Ó Súilleabháin (Glen Rovers), L Ó Drisceoil (Na Piarsaigh), L Ó Maoileoin (Mayfield); S Ó Scannláin (Na Piarsaigh), L Ó Síocháin (Na Piarsaigh); C Ó Maonaigh (Na Piarsaigh), C Ó Riagáin (Watergrasshill), C Mac Uidhir (Glen Rovers); M Ó Síocháin (Na Piarsaigh), R Ó Súilleabháin (Na Piarsaigh), SP Cúc (Na Piarsaigh).

Subs: J Ó hÉigeartaigh (Whitechurch) for Ó Drisceoil (45), C Ó Néill (St Vincent’s) for Ó Maoileoin (55).

Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).

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