St Kieran’s College 3-13
Cashel Community School 2-09
St Kieran’s College have advanced to yet another Masita Post-Primary Schools Croke Cup final after a hard-fought victory over Cashel Community School in Birr on Saturday afternoon.
Three first half goals from Donagh Murphy, Ted Dunne and Harry Shine proved crucial as the Kilkenny school clawed back a five-point deficit to secure a deserved win.
Cashel Community School, roared on by their supporters, started with energy and intent that Kieran’s struggled to match as Ronan Connolly led the charge with 1-03 to give his side a 1-04 to 0-02 advantage that would have concerned most teams.
Kieran’s are not most teams, however, and they moved through the gears when Mount Leinster Rangers clubman Murphy got a crucial goal which added to points from free-taker Shine, Padraig Nally and Ted Dunne.
Graiguenamanagh’s Dunne gave his side the lead with a well-taken goal but Connolly equalised with two more frees before Kieran’s powered on for the remainder of the half to make it 2-06 to 1-06 right before half-time.
A key moment in the game came with the last piece of action in the first half as a long ball was brilliantly flicked into the net by Dicksboro forward Shine to extend the gap to six points at the break.
Cashel needed a response and got it when Bobby Power found the back of the net and immediately followed that up with a point to engage the crowd once more.
It took 15 minutes, but Brian Dowling’s team grabbed their first score of the second half when Ballyhale Shamrocks’ Killian Corcoran split the posts with a long-range effort and that settled their nerves as they gained a foothold in the last quarter.
A cluster of Shine frees and an excellent point from Young Irelands’ Anthony Ireland Wall sealed the victory as they progressed to another decider on St Patrick’s Day with either Presentation Athenry or Thurles CBS the opposition in Croke Park.