O’Shaughnessy’s goal blitz sinks De La Salle

St Colman’s 5-10 De La Salle, Waterford 1-6

It was an awesome display of power and clinical finishing by the defending champions, who must be odds-on favourites to make it three title wins in a row.

The Waterford side were well in touch in the opening half, at the end of which the Fermoy side led by four points, but with the wind to their backs on the changeover, the champions took complete control.

While O’Shaughnessy was undoubtedly the star of the show with his scoring exploits, Colman’s also had excellent players in full-back Brian Lane, centre-back Aidan Kearney, midfielder Séamus Stack and forwards Patrick Kirby and Paul Kearney. DSL, who fielded a very young team with most of their Dean Ryan side on duty, were level twice in the opening quarter, but a brace of goals by O’Shaughnessy in a minute changed the whole complexion of the game and it was a case of damage limitations from there to the final whistle for the Waterford school.

O’Shaughnessy struck for his first goal in the 10th-minute when he blasted home from a penalty after Paul Kearney was fouled going through and the floodgates were expected to open.

That they didn’t was due in no small measure to some excellent defending by Wayne Hutchinson and Paul Hogan and when Pádraig Nevin goaled three minutes later, it tied the game for the second time and it looked as if Colman’s weren’t going to have matters all their own way. However, the game took a decided turn the champions’ way inside a minute when O’Shaughnessy slipped home two goals, and while Tommy Power’s expertise from frees kept his side in touch, there was an air of inevitability about the outcome after Colman’s turned to play with the wind leading 3-3 to 1-5.

Colman’s class and superior stickwork was graphically illustrated in the early minutes of the second half when they hit over five points without reply before Pat Nevin got one back for DSL in the 40th-minute, which was to be their only score of the half.

DSL, who opted to play with only two in the full-forward line, struggled big-time for the remainder of the game as O’Shaughnessy showed his undoubted class with another brace of goals. The first came when he dispossessed the DSL keeper before shooting to the empty net, and he followed that with a cheekier goal when he coolly lobbed the keeper from 20 metres to leave his indelible mark on this contest. Far greater tests lie ahead of the defending champions, but it will take a team of exceptional ability to dethrone them on the evidence of this display.

Scorers - St Colman’s: A. O’Shaughnessy 5-2 (1-1 frees); P. Kirby 0-5 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65); K. O’Mahony, M. Allen (free), M. Cleary 0-1 each.

DSL: T. Power 0-5(frees); P. Nevin 1-1.

ST COLMAN’S: D. Fitzgerald; J. Dorgan, B. Lane, C. Griffin; K. O’Mahony, A. Kearney, J. O’Donnell; S. Stack, E. Condon; P. Kirby, F. Browne, M. Allen; A. O’Shaughnessy, P. Kearney, C. Coakley. Subs. M. Cleary for Browne; S. Barrett for Lane; C. O’Connell for O’Shaughnessy; P. Hyland for Kirby.

DSL: L. Mullaly; D. Russell, W. Hutchinson, M. Doherty; N. Delahunty, P. Hogan, P. Carroll; K. Moran, S. O’Sullivan; P. Nevin, T. Power, A. Ryan; M. Barden, J. Kearney, G. O’Connor. Subs. J. Dooley for Mullaly; D. Heffernan for Carroll; G. Molloy for Kearney; M Giles for Ryan.

Referee, W. Barret (Tipperary).

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