Our Lady's Templemore captain Paddy Cadell pictured lifting the Harty Cup in 2017.
Our Lady’s Templemore must improve before the defending champions face Midleton CBS in a Dr Harty Cup semi-final (Munster Under-18.5A Colleges Hurling Championship) on Saturday, January 27th in Clonmel (throw-in 1.30pm). In the quarter-finals Our Lady’s stumbled past John the Baptist Community College, Hospital (1-14 to 0-16), but you can be sure and certain that a similar performance will not be nearly good enough against Midleton CBS next weekend.
Indeed, in their respective quarter-final Midleton CBS saw off a talented Thurles CBS team (0-15 to 1-11). Team captain and ace free taker Liam Gosnell starred on that occasion while Midleton CBS can also call on outstanding players like Ger Millerick, Kian Farmer, Liam O’Shea and Seán O’Leary-Hayes.
The Our Lady’s Templemore team is jointly-managed by Noel Fogarty and Tom Byrnes - the duo which guided the Tipperary school to Harty Cup and Croke Cup honours in 2017. And, Noel Fogarty knows all too well that the performance of the Our Lady’s team must improve from the recent clash with Hospital.
“In fairness Hospital played very well and, I suppose, they were under-estimated by everyone. And, it was a long time since we had a really tough game. But we are hoping now that game will stand to us,” Noel Fogarty explained to the Tipperary Star this week.
“After the game the over-riding emotion was one of relief and, I suppose, there was a realization there as well that if we put in that kind of performance against Midleton we are going to be out - it’s as simple as that.”
Templemore entered their quarter-final against John the Baptist Community College, Hospital as raging hot favourites, but the Limerick outfit threw everything at Our Lady’s and the defending champions escaped by the skin of their teeth (1-14 to 0-16).
During the group stage of the competition Our Lady’s Templemore beat Castletroy College (6-27 to 1-9), Christian Brothers College, Cork (1-15 to 2-11) and St Flannan's, Ennis (2-20 to 1-13), but despite such encouraging form only a Gearóid O’Connor free three minutes into injury time edged the quarter-final contest for the Tipperary lads.
Indeed, John the Baptist Community College surged four points clear early on and only a fortunate break in the 38th minute led to an Andrew Ormonde goal which tied the game (1-8 to 0-11) and brought Our Lady’s roaring back into contention.
Templemore have recovered well from that fright, however, and Noel Fogarty believes that his squad of players is in a good place.
“The mood is good in the camp and the players realise that how they played the last day won’t be good enough against Midleton - I would say that there are determined that it doesn’t happen again,” Noel Fogarty insisted.
The Templemore team features a handful of notable performers like Eoin Collins, Seán Ryan, Kevin Maher, Éanna McBride, Andrew Ormonde and Gearóid O’Connor, but the Our Lady’s team will have to be at their collective best to beat Midleton CBS on Saturday next.
During the group stage of the competition Midleton CBS beat Charleville CBS (5-19 to 2-11) and De La Salle, Waterford (1-21 to 0-12) before losing out by a single point to an outstanding Árdscoil Rís, Limerick team (1-18 to 2-16).
“We have seen Midleton play and we know they are very, very strong with some outstanding players,” Noel Fogarty said.
“(Seán) O’Leary-Hayes at centre-back is a fine player, Liam Gosnell is very good and they have Liam O’Shea at centre-forward, but the thing about it is that they are strong in every area. We can’t focus on just a few players. Any time that we have played Midleton, whether it has been in the Dean Ryan or the Harty Cup, there has not been an awful lot in it to be honest with you,” the Our Lady’s Templemore joint-manager explained.
Our Lady’s Templemore enjoyed an extraordinary journey during the 2016-17 campaign before beating St Colman’s College, Fermoy (2-22 to 1-6) in the Dr Harty Cup final at Páirc na nGael, Limerick and duly ended a 39-year wait to win back the coveted trophy. And, now the mission for the Templemore lads is to emulate such success.
“There is a huge turn around in the team from last year, but a lot of them would have been involved last year as subs and a lot of them did see game time. I think that experience just helped to get them over the line the last day. They didn’t play well, but they just had enough about them to get themselves over the line,” Noel Fogarty said.
“There is a determination there - it took us a long time to get our hands on the cup so they don’t want to give it up too easy,” Noel Fogarty added.
Meanwhile on the other side of the draw Árdscoil Rís, Limerick face Christian Brothers College, Cork in their respective semi-final on Saturday in Mallow at 1.30pm - the final is penciled in for February 17th. The All-Ireland colleges A hurling quarter-finals are fixed for March 3rd, semi-finals for March 19th and the Croke Cup final for March 31st.
OUR LADY’S TEMPLEMORE PANEL
The 2017-18 Our Lady’s Templemore Dr Harty Cup panel reads as follows: Eoin Collins (Drom & Inch), Fintan Purcell (Drom & Inch), Aaron Ryan (Drom & Inch), Rory O’Dwyer (Drom & Inch), Gearóid O’Connor (Moyne-Templetuohy), Shane Lowe (Moyne-Templetuohy), Dean Lawlor (Moyne-Templetuohy), Seán Hayes (Moyne-Templetuohy), Éanna McBride (JK Bracken’s), Darragh Doyle (JK Bracken’s), Nick Keane (JK Bracken’s), Shane Doyle (JK Bracken’s), Michael Egan-O’Brien (JK Bracken’s), Andrew Ormond (JK Bracken’s), Denis Russell (JK Bracken’s), Jack Prout (JK Bracken’s), Tadhg Nolan (JK Bracken’s), Ciarán Byrne (JK Bracken’s), Lorcan Roche (JK Bracken’s), Jack Ryan (Toomevara), Stephen Frend (Toomevara), Thomas Farrell (Toomevara), Seán Ryan (Templederry), Kevin Maher (Borris-Ileigh), James Devaney (Borris-Ileigh), Lorcan Campion (Drom & Inch), John Ryan (Drom & Inch), John Campion (Drom & Inch), Jimmy Mullen (Drom & Inch), Jamie Ryan (Drom & Inch), Paul Glasheen (Drom & Inch), Jack Shanahan (Drom & Inch), Ben Stapleton (Drom & Inch), Conor McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Michael O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney) and Darragh Nolan (Loughmore-Castleiney).
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