The Cork college had dominated possession and always looked that little bit slicker on a heavy pitch. But two first-half goals from a physically stronger Nenagh outfit looked like being enough to take them into the semi-final. Credit to Colman’s however, they stayed patient, stuck to their task, got their just reward.
The first of those goals, which came in the 14th minute, with Nenagh trailing 0-4 to 0-2, had a touch of good fortune about it. Free-taker David Nolan failed to lift a 25m free yet the ground stroke, fell to perfectly placed centre-forward David Gleeson to ram home from point blank range.
Colman’s regained the lead, but in the 29th minute, Nenagh struck again. This time, a well-placed centre from Nolan, was superbly first-timed by the in-running Paddy Murphy, giving Jason Condon no chance in the Colman’s goal leaving the score 2-3 to 0-7 at the break.
The first ten minutes of the second half was Nenagh’s best period, at the end of which they led by four points, 2-6 to 0-8, courtesy of points from their two corner-men, Donagh Maher and Nolan while wing-forward Robert Duff also chipped in with a fine strike.
At the other end Colman’s were struggling. This was due to a combination of factors, the steady keeping of John Sheedy, the tenacity of a defence well anchored by Timmy Gleeson and Ronan Sherlock, but most of all, the over-reliance on Mannix for scores.
Centre-forward Eoin Barry did notch two fine points in the opening half, but didn’t have a shot thereafter, corner-forward Mark O’Callaghan was also on target with a first-half beauty, but spoiled good approach work in the latter part of the second half with two particularly poor shots. Nenagh, on the other hand, had a far more balanced look about them, five of their six starting forwards were on the scoresheet, all from play while the sixth, Tony Dunne, was probably the most impressive of them all.
Credit, though, to Colman’s, to the likes of Kenneth Kearney, magnificent at centre-back, midfielder Shane Cotter who never gave up, and captain Mannix eventually did the needful.
So close are these sides, only a fool would call the replay.
: St. Colman’s: A. Mannix 0-10 (0-8 frees 0-1 65); E. Barry 0-2; M. O’Callaghan 0-1. Nenagh: D. Gleeson 1-1 (0-1 free); P. Murphy 1-0; D. Nolan 0-2; D. Maher 0-2; R. Duff 0-1; J. Conroy 0-1.
: J. Condon; J. Ahern, D. O’Connell, S. Howard; J. O’Sullivan, K. Kearney, L. Coleman; S. Cotter, R. O’Callaghan; S. Walsh, E. Barry, S. Kearney; M. O’Callaghan, A. Mannix, F. Ryan.
: L. Sexton (R. O’Callaghan 30); J. Barry (Walsh 52, in error); S. Walsh (Ryan 53).
: J. Sheedy; L. O’Meara, T. Gleeson, P. Kelly; M. Flannery, R. Sherlock (c), S. Healy; G. McAvinchey, J. Conroy; T. Dunne, D. Gleeson, R. Duff; D. Maher, P. Murphy, D. Nolan.
: B. Maxwell (Conroy 46); T. Williams (Duff 60).
: J. Ryan (Cashel).