The final round in the group stage of this year's Dr Harty Cup (Munster post-primary schools under-19A hurling championship) will take place on Wednesday, November 21st with only Thurles CBS assured of their place in the knock-out stage of the competition while Our Lady's Templemore and Nenagh CBS are still in with a fighting chance of progressing. Kilfinane will host the crucial clash between Nenagh CBS and Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaigh (1.30pm) while Thurles CBS and Christian Brothers College, Cork will collide at Bansha (1.30pm).
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 feature in group D (three teams) and following their 2-22 to 0-6 win over Castletroy College on November 7th the Mid Tipperary outfit will take on Christian Brothers College (Cork) this week with top spot up for grabs; Christian Brothers College also beat Castletroy College comfortably in the opening round of games.
Although Castletroy College represented a physically large and powerful opponent the Thurles CBS lads made light of the challenge and 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 the 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.
The Thurles CBS team which beat Castletroy College with twenty-two points to spare read as follows: 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 used: (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.
Besides Thurles CBS' terrific 22-point win over Castletroy College at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Wednesday, November 7th Nenagh CBS and Our Lady’s Templemore got back on track with eye-catching victories over Árdscoil Rís, Limerick (2-23 to 3-12) and Blackwater Community School, Lismore (2-20 to 2-8) respectively.
Our Lady’s Templemore recorded their twelve-point group C win over Blackwater Community School at Littleton.
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 comprehensive win 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 Wednesday, November 21st. Right now in this three-team group St John The Baptist are top on two points (+12), Our Lady's are second on two points (level score difference) and Blackwater Community School are bottom on zero points (-12 scoring difference).
In their contest on November 7th Templemore led 0-10 to 0-5 when Blackwater struck for the opening goal of the game. However, Our Lady’s closed out the half with 1-5 without reply to lead 1-15 to 1-5 at the break with James Devaney notching the Templemore goal.
A second Blackwater goal dragged the Lismore school back into contention, but a Conor Ryan three-pointer forced Templemore into a ten-point lead in the 38th minute and there was no way back for Blackwater Community School (2-16 to 2-6).
The Our Lady’s Templemore team read as follows: Ciarán McCormack, Shane Lowe, Seán Hayes, Henry Fogarty, Dean Lawlor, Kevin Maher, Lorcan Roche, John Campion, Kenny Ryan (0-4), Tony Cahill, Gearóid O’Connor (0-11, 0-8 frees), Conor Ryan (1-2), James Devaney (1-2), Stephen Maher, Conor McGrath (0-1). Subs used: Eddie Ryan, Michael Ryan.
Meanwhile in group A of the competition the Nenagh CBS lads registered a hugely-encouraging eight-point win over Árdscoil Rís, the defending Dr Harty Cup champions, at Newport on November 7th. On Wednesday, October 17th Nenagh 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 Limerick's Árdscoil Rís.
So, following a 1-12 to 0-9 St Colman's victory over Gaelcholáiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaigh on Thursday, November 15th the Fermoy lads now top the group on four points (+19), Árdscoil Rís are second on two (-2), Nenagh CBS are third on two (-5) and Gaelcholáiste Mhuire are bottom on zero (-12).
On Wednesday, November 21st Nenagh CBS take on Gaelcholáiste Mhuire while Árdscoil Rís face St Colman's. Nenagh CBS are in with a great shout of progressing here, but they will require a significant win over Gaelcholáiste Mhuire.
During the contest on November 7th Árdscoil Rís opened a four-point lead thanks to an early goal, but Nenagh CBS responded to the challenge posed in brilliant style. Indeed, Nenagh CBS edged themselves into a narrow advantage before a Conor O’Brien goal propelled the North Tipperary lads toward a 1-11 to 2-6 interval lead.
Despite playing against the breeze in the second half Nenagh CBS hit 1-5 without reply with Bryan McLoughney belting home the three-pointer. The Kiladangan star shipped a straight red card late in the game, but Nenagh CBS still clung on for a terrific win.
The Nenagh CBS team against Árdscoil Rís read as follows: Rory Brislane, Brian Keating, Conor O’Brien (1-0), Darragh Spillane, Conor Bourke, Darragh McKelvey, Seán Phelan, Oisín Murphy, Darragh Nolan, Conal Moran (0-1), Seán Spillane, Seán Hayes (0-2), Bryan McLoughney (1-13, 0-10 frees), Kevin McCarthy (0-4, 0-3 frees), Kian O’Kelly (0-2). Subs used: Conor Hennessy (0-1), Ben Cooney.
Midleton CBS (Cork), De La Salle (Waterford) and St Flannan’s Ennis (Clare) contest group B of the competition.
ROLL OF HONOUR
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.
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