A comprehensive 22-point win (2-22 to 0-6) over Castletroy College at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh on Wednesday afternoon got Thurles CBS off to a terrific start in this season’s Dr Harty Cup (Munster post-primary schools under-19A hurling championship). And, on an encouraging afternoon for Tipperary hurling it was encouraging to note that both Nenagh CBS and Our Lady’s Templemore also registered eye-catching victories over Árdscoil Rís, Limerick (2-23 to 3-12) and Blackwater Community School, Lismore (2-20 to 2-8) respectively.
On Wednesday, November 7th Thurles CBS made a winning debut in group D - Thurles CBS face Christian Brothers College (Cork) on Wednesday, November 21st, but with the top two in this three-team group assured of a place in the knock-out stage of the competition Thurles CBS have already secured a quarter-final spot (Christian Brothers College beat Castletroy College 6-19 to 0-10 on October 17th).
In group A on Wednesday, October 17th Nenagh CBS suffered a heavy defeat against St Colman’s Fermoy (1-11 to 3-18) at Leahy Park in Cashel, but Nenagh CBS stormed back into contention thanks to their superb eight-point win over Árdscoil Rís at Newport. In the final round of group games Nenagh CBS will take on Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (Cork) on November 21st. In the first round Árdscoil Rís, Limerick came from behind to beat Gaelcholáiste Mhuire (0-18 to 1-9). So, Nenagh CBS are now in with a real shout of progressing to the knock-out stage of the competition.
In the opening round of games in group C (three teams) Our Lady’s Templemore suffered a twelve-point defeat (1-13 to 2-22) at the hands of John The Baptist Community School (Hospital, Limerick) at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on October 17th. Templemore’s twelve-point win (2-20 to 2-8) over Blackwater Community School, however, has given Our Lady’s a real fighting chance of making the knock-out stage of the competition. Blackwater Community School now require a huge win over Hospital on November 21st.
Midleton CBS (Cork), De La Salle (Waterford) and St Flannan’s Ennis (Clare) contest group B of the competition.
This season the tournament features a group stage with the winning team and the runners-up in each respective group progressing to the seeded quarter-finals.
Thurles CBS have won eight Dr Harty Cup titles with their last Munster crown materializing in 2015. Our Lady's Templemore have won the title twice and collected the cup famously in 2017 while Nenagh CBS have appeared in four finals, but, unfortunately, lost them all. Limerick’s Árdscoil Rís are the defending champions and have won five of the last nine provincial titles.
THURLES CBS V CASTLETROY COLLEGE
Although Castletroy College represented physically large and powerful opponents the Thurles CBS lads made light of the challenge and utterly dominated the contest with their Limerick counterparts at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh.
Thurles CBS led 1-12 to 0-3 at the interval and cruised through long stages of this fixture. That said Thurles CBS did get through some eye-catching work and the determination of the side to use the ball smartly and support the man in possession was particularly noteworthy.
Kevin Hayes was excellent at right wing-back, Jack Ryan terrific at corner-back, Luke Cashin notched some smashing scores up front and while Darren Flood, Jack Morrissey, Eoin Morris and Jack Hickey got through a mountain of work Max Hackett represented the absolute star of the show. Max Hackett’s support play, composed use of the ball and his striking set the Moycarkey-Borris youngster apart. This guy could be something special.
Castletroy College struggled from the off and didn’t register their first shot at the Thurles CBS goal until the 15th minute. Meanwhile Devon Ryan, Luke Cashin (two frees), Eoin Morris (two, one free) and Max Hackett worked Thurles CBS into a 0-6 to no-score lead.
Thurles CBS were playing some eye-catching hurling at times, but they illustrated their determination to win the battle in the 16th minute when Darren Flood turned over a Castletroy College defender and found Max Hackett; the Moycarkey-Borris man worked the ball into the hand of Luke Cashin and he finished off his left (1-6 to 0-1).
Hackett landed a superb point soon after while Luke Cashin (three, one free) and Devon Ryan helped Thurles CBS into a thirteen-point lead (1-11 to 0-1) with twenty-five minutes played. The Cashin strike in the 25th minute was particularly noteworthy for the quality of the approach play - Kieran Larkin and Darren Flood combined before the corner-forward brought a terrific move to an emphatic conclusion.
Castletroy College notched two late points (one free), but still found themselves cut twelve points adrift at the break (1-12 to 0-3).
Darren Flood and Eoin Morris cracked over scores during the opening five minutes of the second half and although Castletroy College responded with a brace of their own the Limerick lads struggled to make any real impression on this contest despite their obvious desire to do so. Indeed, Thurles CBS would fire a further eight points without reply before Castletroy College would add a sixth and final point to their tally right on the hour mark.
A Devon Ryan ’65 got Thurles CBS moving in the right direction before Max Hackett (two), Luke Cashin (three, two frees), Eoin Purcell and Jack Morrissey notched further scores for the Mid Tipperary secondary school.
Thurles CBS’ second goal materialised in second half injury time when Paddy Creedon ploughed through the Castletroy College defence before burying a three-pointer.
Thurles CBS: Kevin Bracken, Jack Ryan, Kieran Moloney, Jack Taylor, Kevin Hayes, Frank Hanafin, Kieran Larkin, Max Hackett (0-4), Jack Hickey, Devon Ryan (0-3, 0-1 ‘65s), Eoin Morris (0-3, 0-1 frees), Jack Morrissey (0-1), Luke Cashin (1-9, 0-5 frees), Darren Flood (0-1), James Synott. Subs: (41st) Eoin Purcell (0-1) for Devon Ryan, (41st) Paddy Creedon (1-0) for James Synott, (46th) Éanna Ryan for Eoin Morris, (52nd) Bill Meagher for Darren Flood, (56th) Paddy McGrath for Max Hackett.
Castletroy College, Limerick: Joe Fitzgerald, Aidan Carroll, Pádraig Harnett, Evan Power, Luke O’Sullivan, Paul Power, Peter O’Grady, Ronan Fox, Dónal O’Mahoney, Diarmuid Hegarty (0-1, 0-1 free), Andrew Shanahan, Kevin Morrissey, Ronan Lyons, Andy Rowsome (0-2), Ronan Reale (0-3, 0-3 frees). Subs: (46th) Donnacha Ó Dálaigh for Ronan Reale, (46th) Caolan Madden for Evan Power, (55th) Nicky O’Dwyer for Luke O’Sullivan, (57th) Mark Donnellan for Ronan Lyons.
Referee: Tommy Ryan (Kiladangan, Tipperary).
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