AIB All-Ireland Club Junior Hurling Championship Final – St. Patrick’s Ballyragget (Kilkenny) 1-13 Charleville (Cork) 1-12

Ballyragget bag title after titanic Charleville tussle

St Patrick’s 1-13 Charleville 1-12

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A magnificent contest between two outstanding teams, a game to grace any venue and any occasion as an ultra-talented St Patrick’s of Ballyragget overcame the powerful challenge of Cork champions Charleville in this All-Ireland club JHC final in Croke Park on Saturday evening.

“Maybe we’ve played better,” said delighted St Patrick’s manager Maurice Aylward, a man who led his native Ballyhale Shamrocks to All-Ireland glory at senior level. “But we haven’t played better opposition. That was a very good Charleville team; they were hurlers, they were strong, they had ball-winners and they knew what to do with the ball when they won it. They did everything we expected and we did everything we could to try to stop them. In the end it was just enough. It must have been a terrific game to watch with great hurling and great scores. A typical Kilkenny Cork game.” And indeed it was terrific to watch with two fit and skilful sides, utterly committed and giving their all without a foul stroke pulled.

St Patrick’s had the better start as Charleville, like so many times in this campaign, were left standing at the starting-gate. The Kilkenny champions led (0-4 to 0-0) after 13 minutes with the lively Joseph Brennan landing two points while half-forwards Kevin Kelly and Seoirse Kenny had one apiece. Eventually, driven on by the O’Flynn brothers (Colm at centre-back, captain Daniel in midfield) along with Alan O’Connor, Charleville clicked into gear. Now it was their turn to dominate and four points — two from flying corner-forward Andrew Cagney — had them on level by the 21st minute. Bill Staunton and Cagney exchanged points to leave them deadlocked at the break on five points apiece.

On the restart, again it was St Patrick’s storming into the lead with two points from the increasingly influential Staunton — now at centre-forward — and one from midfielder and captain Brian Phelan. Again Charleville looked like they were going to be playing second-fiddle. Again, however, they came back with points from youngster Cagney and the veteran Mervyn Gammell who played his first championship game for Charleville in 1994, the year Andrew was born, steadying the ship. Even when Seoirse Kenny goaled for St Pat’s, a kicked finish from close range in the 42nd minute, Charleville didn’t panic. They hit back with three points in two minutes, including one apiece from Daniel O’Flynn and James Casey.

St Patrick’s then went into the ascendancy once more and in the 55th minute they were four points to the good (1-12 to 0-11) and were looking the more likely winners. And again Charleville came back, O’Connor grabbing a high centre on the edge of the square, parting to the in-rushing Gammell for goal. In the 59th minute wing-back Brendan Dennehy benefited from the break of his own sideline ball and pointed from distance to tie them up for the final time in the game (1-12 apiece) heading into the final minute. It was in that fateful minute, however, that this game was won with Staunton winning the puckout and pointing from distance.

“A super result, it means everything to me,” said Aylward. “I think this is every bit as good as Ballyhale, because Ballyhale were expected to win. You had superstars on that team — this was just an ordinary hurling team, no great superstars, but some terrific hurlers. It’s unbelievable what this is going to do for Ballyragget.”

Scorers for Charleville: M Gammell 1-2; A Cagney 0-4; D O’Flynn 0-2; M Kavanagh, B Dennehy, J Casey, J O’Brien, 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Patrick’s: B Staunton 0-5; J Brennan 0-4; S Kenny 1-1; K Kelly, J Gannon, B Phelan, 0-1 each.

CHARLEVILLE: S O’Connor; M O’Flynn, C Fitzgerald, A Dennehy; B McCarthy, C O’Flynn, B Dennehy; J Casey, D O’Flynn; D Murphy, A O’Connor, M Gammell; A Cagney, M Kavanagh, J O’Brien.

Subs: G Kelleher (Murphy 51; blood for D O’Flynn 27/30).

ST PATRICK’S: M Gannon; J Mooney, G Morrissey, S Staunton; P Cahill, G Brennan, S Roberts; B Phelan, J Gannon; J Phelan, S Kenny, K Kelly; M Brennan, B Staunton, J Brennan.

Subs: C Delaney (M Brennan 39); E Bergin (J Gannon 59); C Ruth (C Delaney 60).

Referee: E Hasson (Derry)

Allianz Football League Division 4 – Waterford 0-21 Kilkenny 0-2

Hurneys point way as Waterford whip Cats

Waterford 0-21 Kilkenny 0-02

By John Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Waterford secured their first Allianz League victory of 2012 with a facile victory over Kilkenny at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, on Saturday night. The hosts dominated from the outset, racing five points clear before Brian Byrne opened the Kilkenny account in the 9th minute. But it was one-way traffic from there to the break, with Waterford leading 0-16 to 0-1 at the interval.  A Stephen Duggan free in the 65th minute completed the Kilkenny scoring but the visitors were twice denied goals by the alertness of Waterford keeper Stephen Enright.  Gary Hurney was the star man for Waterford, accounting for eight points, while younger brother Patrick chipped in with four more.

Scorers for Waterford: G. Hurney (0-8,0-2 frees); P. Hurney (0-4); C. McGrath (0-3); S. Fleming (0-3); T. Grey, S., Briggs, J. J. Hutchinson, J. Veale (0-1) each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: B. Byrne and S. Duggan (f), (0-1 each)

WATERFORD: S. Enright; K. Connery, T.O hUallachain, A. Doyle; S. Briggs, T. Grey, C. O’Keeffe; S. O’Hare, S. Dempsey; S. Ahearne, C. McGrath, P. Hurney; S. Fleming, G, Hurney, J. Veale.

Subs: A. Brophy for Dempsey (ht); JJ Hutchinson for Fleming (ht); R, Ahearne for McGrath (ht); W. Hennessy for Briggs (49); J. McGrath for Doyle (67).

KILKENNY: D. Garvey; B. Kehoe, O. Walsh, J. J. Grace; D. Fitzpatrick, R. O’Hara, J. Cullinane; M. Malone, JJ Dunphy; D. Prendergast, B. Byrne, S. Duggan; J. Dollard, R. Shore, K. Bergin.

Subs: J. Fennelly for Kehoe (17); P. Donnelly for Cullinane (ht); C. Tyler for Dollard (52); K. O’Brien for Bergin (52); J. Sherwood for Fennelly (65).

Referee: Jer Lynch (Kerry)

AIB GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final – Loughgiel Shamrocks (Antrim) 0-27 Na Piarsaigh (Limerick) 2-13

Loughgiel a superior force, says Quigley

Loughgiel Shamrocks 0-27 Na Piarsaigh 2-13 aet

By Diarmuid O’Flynn for the Irish Examiner newspaper

“No complaints,” was the reaction of veteran Na Piarsaigh forward Damien Quigley after Saturday’s comprehensive extra-time loss to Loughgiel Shamrocks in this All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final at Parnell Park. “They were the better side for long periods. We did well to come back and draw it in regular time but we’ve been doing that all year, finishing well. There’s no doubt about the character of our lads but Loughgiel were a superior force, you have to take your hat off to them. “It makes it a bit easier to take when you know you’re well beaten and we were. Loughgiel were super.”

If you wanted your match report in just a couple of paragraphs that’s it, right there; if you want a few more details, it goes like this: for the first quarter of an hour, this was a match, Na Piarsaigh leading 0-5 to 0-4. For the remainder of the first half, however, and into the fourth minute of injury-time, it was all Loughgiel, on-fire full-forward Liam Watson pointing the way with a haul of eight as the Antrim champions established a six-point lead (0-11 to 0-5).

And then came a chink of light for Na Piarsaigh. Giant centre-forward David Breen, having just had a blistering shot brilliantly saved by Loughgiel keeper Damien Quinn, burst through once again (after a perfect pass from Kieran Kennedy) and this time he gave Quinn no chance from close range. Now only three points behind as they headed for the dressing-room (0-11 to 1-5), Na Piarsaigh had hope.

But for the first 20 minutes after the restart it was the Shamrocks who again looked supreme with Watson still doing the bulk of their scoring as they again established a six-point lead (0-17 to 1-8). For the remaining 10 minutes of normal time, however, and yet another 3½ minutes of added time, it was the brave men from the Treaty city resurrecting themselves. David Breen and teenage free-taker Shane Dowling brought them close, substitute Rob Sheehan sent a ground shot to the net, and then, in the 63rd minute, against the odds, a fine strike from wide right by full-forward Kevin Downes tied it all up (0-18 to 2-12).

In extra-time, however, there was only one team to talk about. While they had more than one player, (front to back they had outstanding performers — the keeper and all six backs, Joey Scullion, Eddie McCloskey, Declan Laverty up front), Watson stood out again and dominated the scoring.

Afterwards, as the massive Loughgiel travelling bands milled around Parnell Park, savouring the win and the prospect of heading for Croke Park in a few weeks, Liam was again the focal point. “The players said we were going to stand tall today, give it everything from the word go, go the whole way, for ourselves,” he said. “We’ve had a tough six or seven years but we’re all getting our rewards now. Na Piarsaigh are a good team, very physical, but the gym-work we did over Christmas that no-one ever saw or heard of was unreal. We were in the gym at ten on the (Christmas) morning when everyone else was getting ready for their turkey. We’re getting the rewards here now.”

As for his own scoring heroics, those 16 points? “I don’t know, you look at the hassling and the harrying our half-back line did, our wing-forwards, the corner-forwards working their butts off — it’s not just me, you have to give credit to everyone else. I’m a free-taker and a good number of those points were frees. I have to give credit to the rest of the players, the way they performed for the full 75 or 80 minutes was unbelievable — that was an unbelievable display by Martin Scullion. We’ll go and party for a few days now, it will be hot and heavy, but we’re back training on Saturday.”

Scorers for Loughgiel: L Watson 0-16 (0-9f, 0-1 65); J Scullion 0-3; E McCloskey 0-3; B McCarry 0-2; Declan Laverty 0-2; M McFadden 0-1.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: S Dowling 0-6 (0-4f 0-2 65s); D Breen 1-2; R Sheehan 1-0; C King, P Gleeson, S O’Neill, K Downes, A Breen, 0-1 each.

LOUGHGIEL SHAMROCKS: D Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, R McCloskey; James Campbell, M Scullion, Johnny Campbell (c); B McAuley, M McFadden; E McCloskey, D Laverty, J Scullion; B McCarry, S Casey, L Watson.

Subs: D McCloskey (Laverty 48); D Laverty (McFadden 60); T McCloskey (Gillan 62). Extra-time: P Gillan (T McCloskey 60); M McFadden (D McCloskey 60); Damian Laverty (McFadden 60); S Dobbin (McAuley 77).

NA PIARSAIGH: P Kennedy; D Lynch, K Breen, K Bermingham (c); B Hartnett, J O’Brien, A Dempsey; C King, D Breen; S Dowling, P Gleeson, S O’Neill; K Kennedy, K Downes, K Ryan.

Subs: A Breen (K Breen 29); J Madden (King 58); R Sheehan (O’Neill 61). Extra-time: S O’Neill (Sheehan 60).

Referee: A Stapleton (Laois)

 

Massive disappointment as Na Piarsaigh crash out

From the Limerick Leader newspaper

THE pure silence in the Na Piarsaigh dressing room said everything after they were beaten 0-27 to 2-13 by Loughiel Shamrocks in the All Ireland semi-final on Saturday, In a way it demonstrated just how far the Caherdavin club have come in the past 12 months that defeat in an All-Ireland senior club hurling championship semi-final was the cause of such heartbreak. But all knew that they had come within a win of Croke Park and failed to bring their best to the table.

Yes, they lost after extra-time but had the Limerick and Munster champions been eliminated at the end of the 60 minutes they could have had no complaints. The dramatic fight back did demonstrate the huge pride of character that now exists in Sean Stack’s panel but from the opening minutes of this clash in Parnell Park they were playing catch-up. This was another step up in class and for the first time since their remarkable journey started early last summer, Na Piarsaigh were second best.

Loughgiel suffered defeat at this stage last season and from the early exchanges it was evident that the Antrim side were not going to be beaten again. Just like in the stands, they out-numbered Na Piarsaigh in all battles throughout the field – they hunted in packs and their huge intensity saw them dicate in most areas. In a frantic start it was end to end stuff with the sides level on five occasions up to the end of the opening quarter, 0-5 each. Already the sharpness and experience of the Ulster champions was evident but Shane O’Neill, David Breen and midfielders Cathal King and Pat Gleeson all had fine scores from play for the men in light blue. But then Loughgiel upped the tempo and Na Piarsaigh and left gasping for air.

Liam Watson was the ‘go to man’ for the men in red and he answered his side’s call in fine fashion. The marksman was to end with 16-points and while his free-taking was unerring, it was six points from play that proved to be the difference. Na Piarsaigh may look back and wonder if a two-man full forward line was best policy because when they did attack they only appeared to be giving Loughgiel a platform to launch another attack. And, at the other end of the field, Loughgiel were deadly accurate with Watson, Eddie McCloskey and Joey Scullion all razor sharp and a booking for Kieran Breen promted his withdrawal and a defensive reshuffle for the Limerick city men. With half time approaching, Na Piarsaigh were in deep trouble and trailing 0-11 to 0-5.

David Breen almost gave them a lifeline but his goalbound shot was superbly saved at the near post by Damien Quinn. But then in the fourth minute of injury-time Breen did find the net when crashing home a fine goal after he powered through from the centre forward. At 0-11 to 1-5, Na Piarsaigh were still in contention and how relieved they were. But they couldn’t cut that lead in the second half with just frees from Shane Dowling keeping pace with Loughgiel.

Na Piarsaigh almost found a second goal 10-minutes into the half when a flurry of hurleys pulled on a long free from Dowling but again Quinn was quickly down to divert the sliothar around his post. Three successive points midway through the half increased the Antrim lead, 0-17 to 1-8. With the game slipped further away from them David Breen had his side’s first score from play in the half in the 24th minute. It looking like they would need a goal to pull this one from the fire and after a fine solo Kevin Ryan had to shoot one handed to leave Quinn with an easy save.

When Brendan McCarry made it 0-18 to 1-11, the fourth official showed three minutes of added time and the end of a nine game unbeaten run looked to be confirmed. Then with his first touch sub Robert Sheehan somehow found the net to kick-start another late recovery from Na Piarsaigh. After no score earlier in the game, it fell to Kevin Downes to seal the unlikely fight back when he swiveled to fire over for a 2-12 to 0-18 draw after a 60-minutes that saw Na Piarsaigh shoot 10-wides and Loughgiel just five. Na Piarsaigh should have held the edge in confidence for extra time with Loughgiel shell shocked.

But this didn’t materialise and a point from Adrian Breen midway through the opening half was to be their only score. Loughgiel were 0-21 to 2-13 clear heading into the final 10-minute period and then with Na Piarsaigh throwing caution forward, the Antrim men cut loose to advance to the Croke Park final on March 17 against Offaly’s Coolderry.

SCORERS – Na Piarsaigh: Shane Dowling 0-6 (four frees, two ’65s), David Breen 1-2, Robert Sheehan 1-0, Shane O’Neill, Cathal King, Pat Gleeson, Kevin Downes, Adrian Breen 0-1 each. Loughgiel: Liam Watson 0-16 (nine frees, one ‘65), Eddie McCloskey and Joseph Scullion 0-3 each, Declan Laverty and Brendan McCarry 0-2 each, Mark McFadden 0-1.

NA PIARSAIGH – Padraic Kennedy; David Lynch, Kieran Breen, Kieran Bermingham; Alan Dempsey, James O’Brien, Brian Hartnett; Cathal King, Pat Gleeson; Shane Dowling, David Breen, Shane O’Neill; Kieran Kennedy, Kevin Downes, Kevin Ryan. Subs: Adrain Breen for Kieran Breen (28mins), John Madden for Pat Gleeson (57mins), Robert Sheehan for Shane O’Neill (59mins), Shane O’Neill for Robert Sheehan (e-t), Pat Gleeson for John Madden (13mins, e-t).

LOUGHGIEL SHAMROCKS – Damien Quinn; Paul Gillan, Neill McGarry, Ronan Mccloskey; James Campbell, Martin Scullion, Johnny Campbell; Barney McAuley, Mark McFadden; Joseph Scullion, Declan Laverty, Eddie McCloskey; Brendan McCarry, Liam Watson, Shay Casey. Subs: Dan McCloskey for Declan Laverty (47mins), Tony McCloskey for Mark McFadden (59mins), Declan Laverty for Paul Gillan (59mins), Paul Gillan for Dan McCloskey (e-t), Mark McFadden for Tony McCloskey (e-t), Damien Laverty for Shay Casey (4mins, e-t), Seamus Dobbin for Barney McAuley (16mins, e-t), Chris O’Connell for Liam Watson (19mins, e-t).

REFEREE – Anthony Stapleton (Laois)

Allianz Football League Division 1 – Armagh 2-8 Kerry 0-10

O’Connor fumes at Kingdom attitude

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

KERRY were brought crashing back down when Armagh raided fortress Austin Stack Park in one of the surprise results of the weekend. The Orchard men led from the fifth minute when Aidan Forker landed a point and never relinquished that advantage to finish a fine week that has seen Paddy O’Rourke’s side take three points from a possible four after showdowns with Cork and Kerry.

The Kingdom had exacted some measure of revenge on Dublin for their All-Ireland final defeat the previous weekend but looked listless for large parts of Saturday’s clash, with Jack O’Connor conceding afterwards that the visitors were the better side. “There is no other way of putting it; it was disappointing as we did not appear as up for the game as Armagh. That was the big danger after the Dublin game that there would be a come-down. “We spoke about it during the week that it would be a big game for Armagh, especially the way they came back in the second half against Cork, so we needed to treat this game as a big game as well and maybe we didn’t, especially in the first half,” he said.

Dominant

O’Connor and the home supporters could not believe what was unfolding in the opening 20 minutes as Armagh were the dominant force, picking up breaking ball at midfield and forcing Kerry players to turn the ball over. Armagh were 1-3 to 0-0 in front at the end of this opening spell, with Brian Mallon finding the net in the 10th minute after a lovely move involving Anto Duffy and Caolan Rafferty. Kerry managed some response and Armagh were not to score again for 20 minutes, but the hosts could not get going up front and it was the 18th minute before James O’Donoghue opened their account.

Two Bryan Sheehan points followed for the remainder of the half — Armagh defenders Andy Mallon, Declan McKenna and Ciaran McKeever were in top form, while full-back Brendan Donaghy had the better of matters with his Kerry namesake, Kieran. “We learned that our attitude has to be spot on from beginning to end and there is no point in trying to turn it on halfway through a game and expect to win it,” said a crestfallen O’Connor. The introduction of Declan O’Sullivan just before half-time appeared to breathe new life into Kerry, although he was harshly booked after his first touch by Maurice Condon, who was roundly booed by the home fans at half-time and full-time.

Kerry needed to crank it up a gear after trailing 1-4 to 0-3 at the interval, but they were rocked back when a misunderstanding between Marc O Se and ‘keeper Brendan Kealy resulted in a collision and John Kingham found the net to stretch the lead to seven points. It was the goal that gave Armagh the cushion they needed to withstand a 20-minute onslaught by the Kingdom that yielded only four points, three from Sheehan frees — the midfielder was once again impressive — and one superb O’Sullivan point.

Kerry were unlucky not to get the goal they needed as Darran O’Sullivan had the ball in the net only to see it disallowed for a throw ball, while Brendan Donaghy cleared the ball off the line minutes later. Armagh rallied and kicked three unanswered points to go six clear again. Kerry tried hard but Armagh were superb at the back and the red carding of Tomas O Se late on spelled the end of Kerry’s hopes. And even the late dismissal of Finian Moriarty couldn’t prevent the Orchard from taking the points.

And Armagh boss O’Rourke insisted he knew his side could win in Kerry even without the Crossmaglen contingent and Stevie McDonnell. “We knew we could win the game. They (Armagh) are good footballers and sometimes they haven’t belief but they are starting to believe in themselves. They are organised and they are playing well for each other and when they do that they are going to be difficult for lots of teams to play against,” he said.

Man of the Match — B Donaghy (Armagh)

Scorers –Armagh: A Forker 0-4 (0-2f), B Mallon, J Kingham 1-0 each, M Machin 0-2, A Duffy, C Watters 0-1 each. Kerry: B Sheehan 0-6 (0-5f), J O’Donoghue 0-2 (1f), S O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Armagh — P McEvoy; A Mallon 8, B Donaghy 8, D McKenna 8; K Dyas 7, C McKeever 8, F Moriarty 7; C Vernon 7, M Machin 8; A Forker 8, B Mallon 7, A Duffy 6; C Rafferty 6, J Kingham 7, E McVerry 8. Subs: B J Padden 7 for C Rafferty (44), C Watters 7 for B Mallon (54), J Lavery 6 for K Dyas (65), G McPartland 6 for A Forker (68), D Lavery for A Duffy (70).

Kerry — B Kealy 6; S Enright 6, M O Se 7, B McGuire 8; T O Se 8, K Young 7, A O’Mahony 6; A Maher 7, B Sheehan 8; P Galvin 7, Darran O’Sullivan 7, S O’Sullivan 6; J O’Donoghue 7, K Donaghy 6 , B J Keane 6. Subs: Declan O’Sullivan 7 for S O’Sullivan (35), D Bohan 6 for S Enright (45), P Crowley 6 for A O’Mahony (58), P Curtin 6 for B J Keane (60), S Scanlon 6 for A Maher (68).

REF — M Condon (Waterford)

Corn Uí Mhuirí Senior A Football Semi-final – DLS Macroom 1-9 Coláiste Chríost Rí Cork 0-10

Vaughan goal the key for DLS

De La Salle (Macroom) 1-09 Coláiste Chríost Rí 0-10

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

FOR the third time in seven years, De La Salle (Macroom) will participate in the marquee day in Munster Colleges football after staving off Coláiste Chríost Rí in an absorbing Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-final in Cloughduv on Saturday. It was the third time this season the Mid-Cork school had defeated their city opponents, after victories in the group stages of the competition and in the Simcox Cup final as well.

Chiselling a two-point win after enduring a ferocious second-half onslaught from Coláiste Chríost Rí was all the more admirable considering De La Salle’s injury setbacks in the build-up to this game. The previous weekend saw regular full-back Robbie O’Dwyer ruled out for the rest of the campaign after breaking his leg in a club game while first-choice centre-back Sean O’Leary was sidelined with a shoulder injury. O’Leary may be fit in time for the final on March 4, yet in his absence, De La Salle managed to reorganise their rearguard successfully to keep Coláiste Chríost Rí at bay.

“We got bad news during the week about the two lads,” admitted De La Salle manager Eric Graham. “But I think we did just enough to hold on. Our defence was brilliant and I think that’s what won us the game. Críost Rí are a great team and they came at us in the second-half. But we never allowed them to draw level and we got a point here and there to stay ahead. It had been raining but I thought the pitch was fantastic and it was a real battle. We’re absolutely delighted.”

De La Salle’s second quarter display when they outscored Coláiste Chríost Rí by 1-3 to 0-1 was pivotal to their success. The key score in the game arrived in the 20th minute when Daniel Twomey displayed outstanding vision to sweep in a crossfield pass that midfielder Cathal Vaughan bounded onto before finishing clinically to the net.  Vaughan and his midfield colleague Peter Kelleher were dominant in the first-half and that allowed the likes of Pa Lucey and John Murphy to notch some fine points. Indeed De La Salle’s lead could have been greater at the interval only for errant shooting.

Coláiste Chríost Rí had struggled to gain a foothold in the first-half although they nearly received the boost of a goal before the break, only for Ronan Scully’s low shot to bounce off the post.  Despite the deficit they faced, they emerged for the second-half in determined fashion with last year’s Cork minor Paul Fitzgerald the principal architect of their revival at midfield. Stephen Cronin and Enda Dennehy excelled in defence. Gordon Joyce, Conor Horgan and Fitzgerald were to the fore on the scoreboard as they trimmed the gap to a single point by the 43rd minute, 1-6 to 0-8.

However, De La Salle stood firm and never managed to let their opponents draw level. Darren Kelly and Sean Kelleher spearheaded their rearguard who withstood the Críost Rí pressure and a late James Moynihan point proved the insurance score for the Macroom school.  De La Salle’s thoughts now turn to the decider in three weeks’ time when they will seek to emulate the class of 2006 who brought Corn Uí Mhuirí honours back to the school and atone for the disappointment of their narrow defeat in the 2010 final.  “It’s fantastic to be there again,” admits Graham. “We’ve won one and we’ve lost one so we know what it feels like. I was just saying to the lads inside in the dressing-room that there’s no point being in it if you don’t come away with the victory. There’ll be a great buzz around the town and the surrounding clubs now before the final.”

Scorers for De La Salle (Macroom): C Vaughan 1-2, P Lucey 0-3 (0-1f), J Murphy 0-2, J Moynihan, D Twomey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Coláiste Chríost Rí: C Horgan 0-5 (0-1f), P Fitzgerald (0-2f), G Joyce 0-2 each, B Madden 0-1.

DE LA SALLE (MACROOM): D Dineen (Macroom); S Kelleher (Aghinagh), D Kelly (Macroom), K Manning (Iveleary); F Buckley (Kilmichael), S O’Sullivan (Aghabullogue), S Creedon (Macroom); P Kelleher (Kilmichael), C Vaughan (Iveleary); J Murphy (Macroom), J Moynihan (Canovee), P Lucey (Macroom); P Grainger (Kilmurry), D Twomey (Kilmichael), D Horgan (Macroom). Subs: P Berhanu (Kilmurry) for Grainger (inj) (25).

COLÁISTE CHRÍOST RÍ: C Keane (St Finbarr’s); TJ Murphy (Ballymartle), S Cronin (Nemo Rangers), D O’Neill (Nemo Rangers); I Lucey (Douglas), E Dennehy (St Finbarr’s), P Kelleher (St Finbarr’s); A Nolan (St Michael’s), P Fitzgerald (Douglas); R Scully, C Horgan (Nemo Rangers), B Madden (Nemo Rangers); D Scannell (St Finbarr’s), G Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), J Horgan (Nemo Rangers).

Referee: Conor Lane (Lyre)