2007 hurler of the year Dan Shanahan helped St Mary’s to their maiden Munster championship win on Saturday afternoon at Fraher Field in his first year as team coach.
First half strikes from Eoin Kearns, Mike Kearns and Jason Sheehan fired them to a famous quarter final victory over Limerick runners-up Castletown/Ballyagran.
“You can’t beat that winning feeling,” said Shanahan afterwards.
“They created history today, the first St Mary’s team to win a Munster club championship game. Two weeks ago, they created history again when they won a first county title in thirty years. It’s down to the players and the effort they’ve put in. To see the supporters on the field again today was unbelievable; that’s what club is about. For me to be helping the boys to do this; it’s an honour.”
The former Déise selector remains as energetic as ever along the sideline.
“I’m having more arguments on the line with the fourth official, I never lost it! When you’re involved with a group of players for the last twelve months, you’re very passionate.”
St Mary’s led 3-5 to 0-9 at half time in front of 483 fans.
Eoin Kearns buried a penalty in the tenth minute before his brother Mike flicked home a second less than sixty seconds later. Jason Sheehan struck a third on twenty minutes after collecting a knock-down from Mike Kearns. Six Harry Dore points (four frees) reduced the deficit to five at the break.
Cork referee Simon Stokes issued ten yellow cards and three reds. Castletown/Ballyagran full back Paul Hourigan was first to walk on a second yellow five minutes into the second half. Darragh Cotter followed on a straight red while St Mary’s midfielder Sean Fitzpatrick received two yellows.
Three points was as close as the visitors got. The black and amber squandered four scoreable frees. Eoin Kearns shot 1-6 for the winners while Kevin Sheehan and Cian Geary also hit vital second half points.
They will be away to Carrick Davins in the last four.
Scorers for St Mary’s: E Kearns 1-6 (1-0 pen, 3fs, 1 s-l, 1 65), M Kearns 1-1, J Sheehan 1-0, K Sheehan 0-2, C Geary 0-1.
Scorers for Castletown/Ballyagran: H Dore 0-7 (4fs), D Riordan (2fs), J Dillon 0-3 each, John Walsh 0-1.
St Mary’s: JP Fitzpatrick; R Gleeson, D Coffey, C Tobin; A Kearney, B McGourty, D Tobin; S Fitzpatrick, K Sheehan; E Kearns, J O’Shea, J Power; J Skehan, M Kearns, J Sheehan.
Subs: C Geary for O’Shea (36), S Coffey for Power (56), G Hallinan for J Sheehan (60), W Power for D Tobin (64).
Castletown/Ballyagran: A Roche; J McDermott, P Hourigan, B Herlihy; W Enright, A McAuliffe, D Cotter; C Dillon, J Dillon; D Riordan, S Hourigan, Jack Walsh; H Dore, G Barry, E O’Donnell.
Subs: B Walsh for C Dillon (26), C McElligott for O’Donnell (45), John Walsh for Barry (54), D O’Donnell for Riordan (59).
Referee: S Stokes (Cork)