Honours even in Dr Harty Cup thriller between St Colman's and Midleton CBS

Cork's great rivals couldn't be separated in the opening group game which produced a grandstand finish
Honours even in Dr Harty Cup thriller between St Colman's and Midleton CBS

Midleton CBS players Tiernan Roche and Sean O'Callaghan breaking between St Colman's College's Gearoid O'Brien and Brendan Lehane during their Dr Harty Cup match at Watergrasshill. Picture Dan Linehan

St Colman’s Fermoy 0-20 Midleton CBS 0-20 

ST COLMAN’S overcame the handicap of playing with 14 men for the second-half as well as a six-point deficit after 42 minutes to earn a deserved share of the spoils following a thrilling Dr Harty Cup tie with old rivals Midleton CBS in Watergrasshill on Wednesday.

It looked bleak for the Fermoy side, trailing by 0-18 to 0-14 with two minutes of regulation time remaining after the second of Timmy Wilk’s impressive brace, but they never gave up the chase and rescued a valuable point in a hectic six minutes’ injury-time.

Substitute Liam Foley restored parity for just the sixth time with an equaliser four minute into added-on time only for Midleton’s star performer, Dungourney’s Jack Leahy, to, twice, edge his side in front again but Cillian Tobin answered in kind with a couple of magnificent long-range efforts.

 Cillian Tobin, St Colman's College, is tackled by Timmy Wilk, Midleton CBS. Picture Dan Linehan
Cillian Tobin, St Colman's College, is tackled by Timmy Wilk, Midleton CBS. Picture Dan Linehan

It was a brilliant conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable opener to Munster’s Second-Level prime hurling championship featuring a spell-binding joust between Leahy and St Colman’s Jamie Magnier, who had an equal share of 0-22 between them.

Forwards certainly earned their scores as the tackling was hard and uncompromising at both ends of the pitch though a draw was the right outcome in a group containing the defending champions, Tulla from Clare.

Midleton played down the slope in the first half with the use of a gentle breeze which helped them lead 0-10 to 0-7 at the break.

A critical moment arrived three minutes into six added on for injuries and stoppages, when St Colman’s lost Brendan Lehane, who was having a right tussle with Daniel Murnane on the 40, to a straight red card for an incident involving Midleton full-back Alex Moloney, who picked up a yellow card.

The east Cork side pressed home their numerical advantage with four points on the trot, including a spectacular effort from Murnane, to jump 0-14 to 0-8 ahead by the 43rd minute.

St Colman’s kept battling, escaping with a timely intervention from keeper Shane Coughlan, who smothered Shane Irwin’s attempt on goal for a 65, which Leahy converted for 0-16 to 0-13, as the excitement levels reached a crescendo in a dramatic finish.

Scorers for St Colman’s: J Magnier 0-11 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), C Tobin, B Lehane, S O’Donoghue 0-2 each, R O’Connell 0-2 (0-1 f), L Foley 0-1.

Midleton CBS: J Leahy 0-11 (0-4 f, 0-2 65), T Wilk 0-2, C O’Callaghan, D Murnane, T O’Regan, J O’Brien, D McCarthy, S Irwin, C Leahy 0-1 each.

ST COLMAN’S: S Coughlan (Fermoy); G O’Brien (St Catherine’s), D Cashman (Bride Rovers), F O’Connell (St Catherine’s); M O’Driscoll (Watergrasshill), J O’Brien (Fermoy), C Hazelwood (Bride Rovers); D Barry (do), O Fitzgerald (St Catherine’s); R O’Connell (Bride Rovers), B Lehane (Watergrasshill), L Roche (Bride Rovers); S O’Donoghue (St Catherine’s), C Tobin (Bride Rovers), J Magnier (Killavullen).

Subs: L Foley (Watergrasshill) for Roche (half-time), J Ahern (Bride Rovers) for Hazelwood (48).

MIDLETON CBS: P O’Sullivan (Fr O’Neill’s, j-c); D Leahy (Castlemartyr), A Moloney (Midleton), S O’Callaghan (Aghada); C O’Callaghan (Dungourney), D Murnane (Carrigtwohill), T O’Regan (Cloyne); T Roche (Midleton), J O’Brien (Cloyne); T Wilk (Cobh), P Walsh (Carrigtwohill), D McCarthy (Killeagh); J Leahy (Dungourney, jc), S Irwin (Erin’s Own), C Leahy (Killeagh).

Subs: K Walsh (Lisgoold) for Irwin (58), S Brennan (Carrigtwohill) for O’Brien (60+2).

Referee: E Coleman (Youghal).

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