DLS, Waterford 2-7 St Flannans 0-11
DE LA SALLE, Waterford, created history in Cashel yesterday by winning the Dr Harty Cup title for the first time, and they had Stephen Power to thank for it.
Power scored his side’s entire tally in a keenly contested final played in dreadful conditions.
Power showed a maturity beyond his years by scoring 2-6 from frees and while the Ballygunner youngster was undoubtedly the hero, there were several other players on the DLS team who contributed handsomely.
The half-back line of Philip Mahony, David O’Sullivan and Stephen Daniels were magnificent, particularly in the second half when Flannan’s came storming back from a goal down at half-time to take a three point lead.
In the face of enormous pressure O’Sullivan was a colossus at centre-back, while 15 year-old Philip Mahony drove Flannan’s back time and time again.
De La Salle had the perfect start with four points by Power after just eight minutes, but Flannan’s hit hack strongly to be just one down at the end of the first quarter.
However, Power gave his side a massive boost when he drilled home a goal from a 20 metre free, and they just about deserved their 1-5 to 0-5 half time lead.
Flannan’s upped the ante considerably on the changeover and, with Eamon Glynn majestic, they hit over six points in-a-row – four by the impressive John Conlon — and the Waterford college were in dire need of inspiration.
It came in the 49th minute when Power again shook the Flannan’s net from another 20 metre free. The youngster added two more points to keep his side in front for a famous victory.
This was a very special result for DLS coach Derek McGrath — in the eight years he has been teaching at the college he’d lost six Munster finals in the various grades.
"From the very outset of the championship, I felt we had a crop of players that, if they gave the commitment and we all put in the work, could win the Harty," said McGrath. "But having done so now, it’s very difficult to comprehend that we have pulled it off.
"Waterford hurling has been starved of underage success over the years, and I sincerely hope this is the start of something big. Those lads out there today gave everything for the cause and I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for the school and the county.
"I said to the lads at half time that Flannans are bound to hit a purple patch and that they would have to stand up and be counted when it came.
"I cannot speak highly enough of the heart and commitment our lads showed in that second half when Flannan’s threatened to break our hearts again."
There were incredible scenes of jubilation as the famed Harty Cup was presented to the joint captains, Craig Moloney and David O’Sullivan.
Scorer for DLS: S. Power 2-7 (2-6 frees).
Scorers for St. Flannan’s: J. Conlon 0-8 (0-7 frees); K. Heagney 0-2; D. Stack 0-1.
DLS: S. O’Keeffe; P. Kennedy, A. O’Neill, N. Connors; P. Mahony, D. O’Sullivan, S. Daniels; M. Grace, F. McGrath; T. Connors, N. Kelly, W. Walsh; S. Power, C. Moloney, P. McCarthy.
Subs: A. Brophy for McCarthy; E. Morrissey for Walsh.
ST FLANNAN’S: D. Tuohy; N. White, B. Glynn., N. Casey; S. Og Linnane, E. Glynn, I. White; K. Heagney, O. Madden; D. Moloney, D. Stack, K. Moynihan; E. Lyons, J. Conlon, E. Callanan.
Subs: M. Barry for Callanan; F. Kennedy for Lyons; M., McInerney for Madden.
Referee: S. Roche (Tipperary).