Fourteen-man St Flannan’s College had to dig deep in Cappamore to qualify for the quarter-final of the Dr Harty Cup.
In testing conditions, they were forced to play three-quarters of this third round a player down after Jarlath Collins received a straight red card for an altercation with an opposing player in the 18th minute.
Even when they were hit with a sucker-punch goal eight minutes from time that yielded the Cork school a one-point lead, they never panicked. The victory sees them top Group B with full points.
Not so good for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG - An Mhainistir Thuaidh, as the other place in this group goes to De La Salle College, Waterford.
A number of players stood out, but Cian Galvin and Connor Hegarty – both Clare minors this year – provided outstanding leadership for the winners.
The scoreboard read 0-3 each after 25 minutes but a scoring surge in stoppage time from Peter Power, Oisin O’Donnell and Hegarty pushed St Flannan’s 0-6 to 0-3 ahead at the interval.
And they started the second half with a Power white flag. Points from Dylan Ó Longáin (2) and Lucás Ó hArgáin reduced the deficit to one before Galvin converted a free, 0-9 to 0-7.
In the 52nd minute Nathan Ó Gabhláin struck a blow when his delivery went all the way to the St Flannan’s net. The Clare side, although wasteful at times, were undaunted, replying through James Doherty, Hegarty and O’Donnell points to lead by two.
Ó hArgáin narrowed the gap once again but in injury time, Galvin notched his fourth free.
Michael Ó Maoláin landed a 65 but St Flannan’s held out and are back in the last eight after an absence of a number of years.
Scorers for St Flannan’s College: C Galvin (0-4 frees), O O’Donnell (0-3), C Hegarty and P Power (0-2 each), D Nagle and J Doherty (0-1 each).
Scorers for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG – An Mhainistir Thuaidh: D Ó Longáin (0-5, 0-4 frees, 0-1 65), N Ó Gabhláin (1-1), L Ó hArgáin (0-2), M Ó Maoláin (0-1, 65).
St Flannan’s College Ennis: C Broderick (Clarecastle); B Longe (Ballyea), D Healy (Clarecastle), E Guilfoyle (Clooney Quin); N Walsh (The Banner), C Galvin (Clarecastle), J Lyons (Ruan); C Hegarty (Inagh Kilnamona), J Collins (Éire Óg, Ennis); K O’Connor (Corofin), O O’Donnell (Crusheen), A Brohan (Ruan); D Nagle (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), D Cahill (Corofin), P Power (Newmakret-on-Fergus).
Subs: J Doherty (Clarecastle) for D Nagle (39), D Cunningham (Clooney Quin) for P Power (56), N Glynn (Inagh Kilnamona) for O O’Donnell (57).
Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG: C Hourigan (Glen Rovers); S Bairéid (Glen Rovers), C Ó Siocháin (Na Piarsaigh), L Quilligan (Glen Rovers); S Ó Mathúna (Na Piarsaigh), A Ó Lordáin (Glen Rovers), D Ó Cochláin (Glen Rovers); R Ó Murchú (Whitechurch), M Ó Maoláin (Whitechurch); D Ó Murchú (Glen Rovers), L Ó hArgáin (Glen Rovers), D Ó Longáin (Glen Rovers); M Ó Rinn (Glen Rovers), C Ó Muineacháin (Na Piarsaigh), N Ó Gabhláin (Glen Rovers).
Referee: Eamonn Stapleton (Limerick).