Three Cork schools chase glory as Dr Harty Cup resumes

CBC, Midleton and St Colman's in quarter-final action
Three Cork schools chase glory as Dr Harty Cup resumes

Brendan Lehane of St Colman's College breaking the tackle of Midleton CBS's Tiernan Roche during their TUS Dr Harty Cup match at Watergrasshill. Picture: Dan Linehan

THREE Cork schools will bid for places in the semi-finals of the TUS Dr Harty Cup as the competition resumes today.

Christian Brothers College, Midleton CBS and St Colman’s College are all in the hunt as the knockout stages begin. The tally of three teams remaining is matched by Tipperary (Cashel Community School, Our Lady’s Secondary School from Templemore and Thurles CBS) while Limerick (Ardscoil Rís) and Waterford (De La Salle) have one each. Despite the competition’s record winners St Flannan’s College and holders St Joseph’s Secondary School of Tulla hailing from Clare, the Banner County has no representation in the quarter-finals.

All four games are down for decision at 1.30pm today. Kilmallock in Limerick is the venue as Christians take on Cashel.

The northside school, beaten finalists in 2019 (to Midleton, the last Cork winners) and 2020, looked to be set for victory at the quarter-final stage last year only to fall to a late Tulla goal. This time around, they were impressive as they topped their group with victories over Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mainistir Thuaidh and Nenagh CBS before a final-game draw with Waterford’s De la Salle.

Mike Finn, Eoin O’Sullivan, David Cremin and Mark O’Dwyer are likely to be among those contributing scores for CBC while James Casey, James O’Callaghan Maher and Peter O’Shea are other integral players.

 Mikey Finn of Christian Brothers College about to gather the sliothar ahead of De La Salle players Colm Hartley and Aaron O'Neill during the Dr Harty Cup group game in Ardmore. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Mikey Finn of Christian Brothers College about to gather the sliothar ahead of De La Salle players Colm Hartley and Aaron O'Neill during the Dr Harty Cup group game in Ardmore. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Cashel were in a three-team group before Christmas. They opened their campaign with a good win over St Flannan’s before defeat to Ardscoil Rís. In the final round, Ardscoil’s win over Flannan’s ensured second place for Cashel.

The other quarter-final on that side of the draw, between Ardscoil Rís and Templemore, is the only one without any Cork involvement.

Midleton and De La Salle will meet each other in Fethard (the game had originally been set for Fraher Field). Midleton topped Group 4, which comprised three schools, on the toss of a coin after they and St Colman’s finished with identical records and drew with each other.

After that tied match – which finished 0-20 each – Colman’s overcame Tulla by 4-16 to 0-16 and then Midleton matched the 12-point winning margin by triumphing by 1-25 to 1-13 against the holders, who were eliminated.

It meant that Colman’s had a total scoring tally of 4-36 (48 points) and 36 conceded, while Midleton’s was the same, 1-45 against 1-33. While both were assured of qualification, Munster Post-Primary GAA had to determine one as group winners and one as runners-up for the purposes of the quarter-final draw. Luckily for Midleton, they came out on the right side of the coin toss.

Jack Leahy, one of the stars of Cork’s All-Ireland minor win of 2021, is one of Midleton’s scorers-in-chief – he scored 1-12 against Tulla – and they can also call upon another key member of that Rebels side, the versatile Timmy Wilk. Patrick Walsh and Daniel Murnane are also likely to be central if the East Cork side are to make it to the semi-finals of the competition.

De La Salle drew two of their three matches. Their opening game was against Nenagh CBS and that finished level before a nine-point win over Gaelcholáiste Mhuire. While Christians led for most of the final match against the Waterford city school, a late goal by sub Robbie Doherty earned De La Salle the draw and a place in the quarter-finals.

FORTUNE

Midleton’s good fortune in winning the coin toss meant that St Colman’s drew the short straw of a last-eight meeting with Group 2 winners Thurles CBS, despite a win and a draw in their two games.

Nevertheless, the Fermoy school – winners of the Harty on nine occasions – can draw upon good form in the autumn, not least the hat-trick of goals by Jamie Magner, a Cork minor panellist in 2021 and a senior hurler with Avondhu last year, in the win over Tulla. Seán O’Donoghue is also capable of making an impact on the scoreboard and they are likely to have influential performances from Brendan Lehane and Cillian Tobin.

Nevertheless, Thurles will be tough opponents. Eight times winners, they opened with a 14-point win against St Francis College, Rochestown and then saw off Templemore and Youghal’s Pobalscoil na Tríonóide to ensure maximum points and top spot in the group.

The semi-finals are scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 21, with the winners of the CBC-Cashel game taking on either Ardscoil Rís or Templemore, while Midleton or De La Salle will clash with Thurles or Fermoy. The final will be played on Saturday, February 4.

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