Masita GAA All-Ireland Colleges Senior Hurling ‘A’ Semi- Final – Dungarvan Colleges 5-8 St.Kieran’s Colleges 1-10

Lyons leads Dungarvan into decider

Report from the Irish Independent newspaper

Dungarvan Colleges 5-8 St Kieran’s College 1-10

All-Ireland Cols SH ‘A’ semi-final

Dungarvan Colleges set up a maiden final appearance against Kilkenny CBS as they stormed past St Kieran’s in a refixed semi-final at a bitterly cold WIT sports complex. Darragh Lyons was the star of the show – the lethal corner-forward helped himself to 3-1 by half-time, when his side led 4-3 to 0-6. And Lyons was equally impressive in the second half as he dropped back as an extra man in defence to help repel a wind-assisted St Kieran’s.

Patrick Curran hit the other first-half goal for Dungarvan – fittingly, Lyons was the provider. Curran claimed the assist for Dungarvan’s fifth goal in the second minute of the second half, which was scored by two-goal Harty Cup final hero Ryan Donnelly. Chris Bolger scored a consolation goal for St Kieran’s in stoppage time and the Clara man was one of the few players to do himself justice on the day. Bolger scored 1-6, including six pointed frees, as St Kieran’s managed just 1-3 from play during the entire game.

Scorers – Dungarvan Colleges: D Lyons 3-1 (1f), P Curran 1-2 (1f, 1 ’65’), R Donnelly 1-1, C Breathnach 0-2, T Devine, S Keating 0-1 each. St Kieran’s: C Bolger 1-6 (6fs), S Farrell, L Blanchfield, V Teehan, P Mullen (f) 0-1 each.

DUNGARVAN COLLEGES – L Power; M Cronin, B Looby, K Looby; T Burke, K Daly, T Devine; C Curran, C Dunford; C Breathnach, M Harney, S Keating; D Lyons, R Donnelly, P Curran.

Subs: D Gartland for Harney (56), J Mullaney for K Looby (57), S Daly for Donnelly (58), E Crotty for Keating (60+2).

ST KIERAN’S – G English; S Morrissey, J Tyrell, C Breen; S Parsons, E Gough, E Walsh; C Bolger, S Farrell; L Blanchfield, J Maher, P Hickey; M Kenny, V Teehan, J Deasy. Subs: P Mullen for Deasy (29), J Haines for Hickey (53), R Drennan for Blanchfield (58), L Tennyson for Parsons (60).

Ref – F Horgan (Tipperary)

Match Preview

By half-time in their Masita All-Ireland Colleges Senior Hurling quarter-final, the famed St Kieran’s college side looked home and hosed against Our Lady’s, Templemore. In fact they had dominated the opening 30 minutes to such an extent that they led by an enormous 3-7 to 0-3 after the first period in what was expected to be a rip-roaring battle. They obviously took their foot off the pedal in the second half, however, because they allowed the Tipperary side to shoot 1-3 without reply. Alarm bells rung loud until they eventually soothed their supporters’ nerves and regained their composure to win by 4-11 to 2-8. Still, a similar lapse in focus against Dungarvan Colleges this Tuesday will surely cost them dearly in the last four of the prestigious Hogan Cup.

Without doubt, it’s the colleges ‘A’ semi-finals that take pride of place on the post primary calendar this week.  St Kieran’s and Dungarvan Colleges lock horns at the WIT campus at 2pm on Tuesday. Last time out the class of Vincent Teehan and Chris Bolger was enough to see St Kieran’s reach the last four but they’ll really be up against it this weekend in a fixture that should attract plenty of neutrals, never mind hundreds of supporters from each camp. Although St Kieran’s came through with a bit to spare against Templemore, they now face a massive test today against the back to back Harty Cup champions.

Indeed, all the momentum looks to lie in the Waterford set up these days as various Deise Colleges have won four Harty Cups in the last six years. The amalgamation of St Augustine’s and Dungarvan CBS will probably only last for this season with the joint venture unlikely to see light next season, so the stakes are even higher for this bunch of players.

One of their mentors, Darragh Duggan, says his players don’t worry about public perception of their involvement in this competition. “Those guys didn’t make the rules and they are great lads to deal with,” he says. “Many of them play football for St Augustine’s too, so they’ve had a real balancing act these past few weeks. It’s a massive commitment to play both codes at a high level but they have done everything we asked of them and we are very proud of them.” “They have enjoyed serious achievements in the past two seasons and people might object because of that but there were very few objectors when we struggled in tight games to get results. ”Still, there’s enough to worry about – we’re playing the giants of colleges hurling in the semi-final and that’s enough to be getting on with.”

The Colleges’ team has played in the region of 18 hurling matches this season and they reach this juncture in cracking form. With an equally high-scoring ‘Kieran’s outfit improving all the time, this game has all the makings of a cracker.