All Ireland Colleges Quarter Final
Kilkenny CBS 3-15 Thurles CBS 2-8
By Cathal Ryan
Kilkenny CBS booked their place in the All Ireland Semi Final with a convincing ten point victory over a jaded Thurles CBS side on a glorious Monday afternoon in Freshford. Two goals just over a minute apart five minutes into the second half from full forward Stephen Farrell and Brian Kennedy killed off a spirited Thurles who only lost out in a savage trilogy in the Harty Cup Final to Ard Scoil Ris last Thursday and never reached their potential in this encounter. Full forward Stephen Farrell pounced for the Kilkenny men when a long delivery broke in the square and he finished to the net with a crisp pull off his left hand side five minutes into the second period. Just a minute later after more good work from Farrell corner forward Philip Vickery glided between corner back and keeper to snap an angled delivery. The impish forward rounded the keeper and dispatched to the empty net off his left hand side to leave five points between the teams. Try as they might Thurles CBS attempted to retrieve the situation but the game was put to bed in the final moments as Brian Kennedy soared highest to catch 14 yards from goal. The corner forward then evaded the defenders attentions to drive home a third goal for Kilkenny CBS.
This victory will no doubt boost the confidence of this Kilkenny side as they looked to bounce back from their defeat to fellow Kilkenny city rivals St Kieran’s. The form of the spine of their team will please them particularly that of full forward Stephen Farrell who was a constant threat. Thurles CBS should be very proud of their efforts as the accumulative effort of four heavy contests in just over three weeks took their toll in the second half. They have competed in a sporting and honest manner on each occasion and are credit to their school. The game opened with the Tipp men looking sharp against a mild breeze as star corner forward Michael O Brien popped over the opening point in the first minute. This was followed a minute later by a classy effort from Aidan McCormack to give Thurles an early lead.
But soon the Kilkenny boys found their feet and by the 8th minute they had taken the lead through points from Peter Vickery, Ollie Walsh and free from Stephen Farrell. Aidan Stakelum got a hurley to a long delivery from the gritty midfielder Cathal Barrett to deflect the ball to the net in the 11th minute for Thurles CBS but Kilkenny responded well and dominated the rest of the half. Farrell converted a free in the 17th minute to begin a seven point haul without reply the most notable a fantastic solo and strike from wing forward Mason Clifford to leave Kilkenny CBS leading 0-10 to 1-5 at the interval. Thurles took the lead in the third minute of the second half through an attempted strike for a point from Tommy Doyle that deceived Eddie Burke in the Kilkenny goal and looped to the net. However moments later the two crucial goals came for the Kilkenny boys and this drained the fight from their Tipperary opposition. From this point the game became fractured and Kilkenny eased their way to the All Ireland Semi Final.
Kilkenny CBS: Eddie Burke; Jamie Lynch, Anthony Forrestal, Philip Moore; Eoin McGrath, Richie Doyle (0-2, 1F,1,65), Gary Gaul; Matthew Houlihan, Conor Kenny; Ollie Walsh (0-1), Cathal Kenny (0-4), Mason Clifford (0-1); Peter Vickery (1-1), Stephen Farrell (1-6,6F), Brian Kennedy (1-0).
Thurles CBS: Jimmy Maher; Stephen Maher, Cathal Carroll, James Bourke; Pa Dunne, Denis Maher, John Meagher; Cathal Barrett, Gary O Connell; Philip Looby, Aidan McCormack (0-3,2F), Tommy Doyle (1-0); Michael O Brien (0-4,3F), Aidan Stakelum (1-0), Pat Ralph. Subs: Conor Hammersley
(0-1) for G. O Connell (h/t), Ailbe Power for A. McCormack (60), Niall O Brien for P. Looby (60), John Bergin for P. Ralph (60).
Referee: Brian Galvin (Offaly)