HEARTBREAK for St Colman's after a pulsating Dr Harty Cup quarter-final in tough conditions as Thurles plundered 1-1 in injury time to snatch a win.
The Fermoy side, who were hoping this season to end a 20-year wait since their ninth title, hurled superbly for long spells, with Bride Rovers' Ronan O'Connell and David Barry, Watergrasshill's Michael O'Driscoll and Brendan Lehane their standout performers.
They were 0-17 to 0-15 in front with time running out after Jamie Magner iced a free following a foul on the lively Liam Óg Hegarty until disaster struck on the next possession. A breaking ball skidded in behind the rearguard and they were forced to concede a free. Tommy Maher opted to go for goal and blasted through the cover on the line to stun Colman's.
That gave Thurles a one-point advantage and when they forced a turnover on the puck-out which skillful forward Robbie Ryan slammed between the posts much to the delight of their supporters. There was time for Colman's to try and engineer a goal but the sliotar was scrambled clear and the final whistle sounded.
Colman's had utilised the wind well in the first half to lead 0-10 to 0-6, when Lehane fired over three lovely points in a row, with O'Driscoll and Liam Foley winning crucial puck-out possession down the flanks and O'Connell giving an all-action display from midfield. It was particularly commendable given they couldn't start marquee man Cillian Tobin, an All-Ireland winner with Cork in 2021.
Thurles did settle coming up to the break, with Tipp minor star Joe Egan causing huge problems with his athleticism and direct running from midfield.
CBS resumed with the strong breeze to their backs and nabbed three points in a row. However, Colman's settled, with Óisín Fitzgerald and Denis Cashman clearing their lines well. They were able to maintain the two-point advantage until the Tipp school pounced in injury time.
A great game but that won't be much consolation to the Colman's faithful.
T Maher 1-4 (1-2 f, 0-1 65), R Ryan 0-6 (0-3 f), R Stapleton, S Walsh 0-2 each, J Egan, D Rossiter 0-1 each.
J Magner 0-5 (0-3 f, 0-1 65), R O'Connell, B Lehane 0-3 each, L Foley, L Óg Hegarty 0-2 each, E Flynn, M O'Driscoll 0-1 each.
S Coughlan (Fermoy); D Barry (Bride Rovers), D Cashman (Bride Rovers), F O’Connell (St Catherine’s); O Fitzgerald (St Catherine's), J O’Brien (Fermoy), C Hazelwood (Bride Rovers); G O'Brien (St Catherine's), R O’Connell (Bride Rovers); L Foley (Watergrasshill), J Magner (Killavullen), M O'Driscoll (Watergrasshill); S O’Donoghue (St Catherine’s), L Óg Hegarty (Kilworth), B Lehane (Watergrasshill).
E Flynn (Kilworth) for G O'Brien (40), C Tobin (Bride Rovers) for O'Donoghue (44), A Hickey (Ballyduff) for Hazelwood (48).
E Horgan (Knockavilla Kickhams); L Doyle (Holycross Ballycahill), E Morriss (do), P O’Dwyer (Killenaule); E O’Connell (Loughmore Castleiney), J Ryan (Holycross Ballycahill), S Walsh (Moycarkey Borris); J Egan (do), T Maher (Thurles Sarsfields); J Egan (Moycarkey Borris), D Rossiter (Durlas Óg), A Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields); R Ryan (Holycross Ballycahill), J Lahart (do), R Stapleton (Thurles Sarsfields).
B Flanagan (Moycarkery Borris) for Lahart (50), K Purcell (Durlas Óg) for Doyle (inj 55), E Ralf (Durlas Óg) for J Maher (59).
Cathal McAllister (Aghada).