St Francis College Rochestown annexed their first ever Tom Collum cup with a hard-fought win over Hamilton High School from Bandon. In the end, it was Paul O’Riordan’s goal after sixteen seconds that proved to be the decisive score after the Tracton man capitalised on an excellent run from Blackrock’s Alan Connolly straight from the throw-in.
Try as they might, the Bandon school could never quite get level and while there was only two points between them deep into injury time, a late score from Douglas’s Alan O’Hare secured the victory.
After O’Riordan’s opening goal, Rochestown were the better team in the opening exchanges and two points from Connolly and another from Sean Andrews saw them lead by 1-3 to 0-1 after twelve minutes, Bill Murphy with the point for the Bandon school.
That O’Riordan goal proved to be the difference as the half progressed and the Hammies got to the pace of the game, scoring five of the next six points.
Mark Hickey had two frees, Murphy tagged over his second and two beauties from Darren O’Donovan and Fionn Herlihy saw them trail by 1-4 to 0-6 after twenty minutes, Tracton’s O’Riordan with Roco’s score.
Rochestown had their own purple patch coming up to half time, with Stephen Fenton impressing in midfield and points from Connolly, wing-back Sean Brady and O’Riordan again saw them go four in front.
There was time for one more score from the Hammies’s Adam Kenneally to leave the early goal between them at the break, 1-7 to 0-7.
The Hammies came out firing after the break and points from Cian McCarthy and Fionn Herlihy left the minimum between them with forty played. However, Rochestown never allowed them to get level, and were always able to get the score they needed to keep them at bay.
Connolly proved unerring from frees, Conor Russell chipped in with a ’65 and while Adam Kenneally and Mark Hickey kept The Hammies in touch, they couldn’t get the goal they needed.
Darren O’Donovan went close twice, batting into the side net from a tight angle and forcing a good save from St Finbarr’s Jack McCarthy in the Rochestown goal but St Francis College were not to be denied and as they can now look forward to the All-Ireland series.
St Francis College: A Connolly 0-7 (0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65), P O’Riordan 1-2, C Russell (’65) S Andrews, and A O’Hare and S Brady 0-1 each.
Hamilton High School: M Hickey 0-4 (all frees), B Murphy and F Herlihy 0-3 each, A Kenneally 0-2, A C McCarthy, D O’Donovan 0-1 each.
St Francis College: J McCarthy (St Finbarrs), K McSweeney (Douglas), J O’Connell (Douglas), B O’Neill (Douglas), S Brady (Ballygarvan), C McCarthy (Blackrock), D Murphy (Douglas), S Fenton (Ballygarvan), N O’Connell (Cobh), A Hennessy (Blackrock), P O’Halloran (Ballygarvan), C Russell (Douglas), P O’Riordan (Tracton), A Connolly (Blackrock), S Andrews (Shamrocks).
Subs: S Harrington for McSweeney (43 mins), A O’Hare (Douglas) for Andrews, R O’Halloran, A (Ballygarvan) for Hennessey (both 48 mins), K McSweeney (Douglas) for Murphy (55 mins, inj), A Sheehy (Douglas) for O’Connell (61 mins).
Hamilton High School: O Walsh (Newcestown), J Kenneally (Valley Rovers), T Twohig (Bandon), BDonegan (Bandon), D O’Shea (Valley Rovers), S Sexton (Kilbrittain), E Collins (Newcestown), A Kenneally (Valley Rovers), M Hickey (Kilbrittain), E Kenneally (Newcestown), B Murphy (Dohenys), D O’Donovan (St Mary’s), C McCarthy (St Oliver Plunketts), M O’Leary (Valley Rovers), F Herlihy (Dohenys).
Subs: E McSweeney (Bandon) for O’Leary (35 mins), A O’Leary (Valley Rovers) for E Kenneally (55 mins)
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Port Láirge).