Colman’s soak up pressure to retain title

ST COLMAN’S COLLEGE, Fermoy retained their Dr O’Callaghan Cup, Cork colleges senior hurling championship title in splendid fashion at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, as Dr Harty Cup winners Midleton CBS failed to complete the double.

A lightning start and a tremendous surge midway through the second half proved decisive in Colman’s win.

Midleton, without star forward Robert White, struggled in the opening sequences as Colman’s — spurred by two early 65 conversions from captain Adrian Mannix — served up some delightful stuff.

Colman’s opened up a four-point lead before Paudie O’Sullivan’s free got Midleton off the mark and they were level in the 20th minute.

Midleton’s Evan O’Keeffe then went for goal instead of tapping over a free. His attempt was saved and after St Colman’s had a goal from Mannix disallowed, the Fermoy full-forward edged his side into a 0-5 to 0-4 lead with a fine strike seconds from the break.

Shane Kearney stretched Colman’s lead to two points immediately after the resumption but Midleton, heartened by the introduction of White, hit their best patch of the game. White fired over two points from frees, and when Finbarr Day knocked over another in the 37th minute, Midleton were in the lead.

Colman’s had to soak up the pressure and, spearheaded by man of the match Adrian Mannix, upped their tempo.

First he equalised with a point from a 60-metre free and then he soloed through before rifling over two exquisite points.

Colman’s clinched victory when corner-forward Mark O’Callaghan raced on to a long ball from Shane Cotter before billowing the Midleton net in the 44th minute. Mannix then pointed a free and Colman’s had scorched into a 1-10 to 0-7 lead.

Midleton’s only reply was a Robert White point from a free 12 minutes from time.

Scorers for St Colman’s: M. O’Callaghan 1-1; A. Mannix 0-7 (0-2 from frees: 0-2 from 65s); S. Kearney 0-2.

Midleton CBS scorers: R. White (0-3 (0-3 from frees); F. Day 0-2 (0-1 from free); E. Walsh, B. Lawton and P. O’Sullivan (free) 0-1 each.

ST COLMAN’S: J. Condon; J. Ahern, K. Kearney, B. Hoare; S. Howard, J. O’Sullivan, L. Coleman; S. Cotter, R. O’Callaghan; S. Walsh, E. Barrett, S. Kearney; M. O’Callaghan, A. Mannix, B. O’Sullivan.

Substitutes: J. Barry for O’Sullivan; P. McLoughin for Howard; L. McCarthy for S. Kearney; F. Ryan for Barrett.

MIDLETON CBS: C. Cronin; A. Walsh, A. Kearney, C. Fogarty; S. Murphy, P. O’Sullivan, P. O’Shea; J. Kenae, J. O’Donnell; E. O’Keeffe, B. Lawton, E. Walsh; D. Ahern, F. Day, L. O’Farrell. Substitutes. R. White for Ahern; P. Houghney for O’Shea; S. Donnolly for Day.

Referee: M. Corcoran (Delanys).

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