The right result for both sides, in fact. Glanmire’s interest in the competition before this game was academic; only a massive win, with results going right for them elsewhere, would see them have any chance of going through to the quarter-finals. In the circumstances then, they were playing for pride. Thanks mainly to the fabulous marksmanship of free-taker Rob O’Driscoll from the local Sars club (1-10 from 12 shots at goal), they got that. For the Limerick side, it was all about ensuring qualification for the play-offs, something they’ve never managed; with a massive scoring-difference advantage over St Colman’s, all they had to do was avoid a big defeat, and they joined De La Salle of Waterford as qualifiers from this group.
For long periods they looked as though they were going to do better than that, leading into the final minute of normal time, but they fell to a late goaled 30m free from O’Driscoll (with help from full-forward Cian Harrington), a long-range point by impressive Glanmire centre-back Craig Leahy.
Though playing into the breeze, Glanmire looked the more impressive outfit in the opening minutes and led 0-3 to 0-1 early on thanks to the free-taking of O’Driscoll and midfielder Gary O’Kelly-Lynch. However, Árd Scoil Rís worked their way into the game, and helped by two points from talented midfielder Nickey O’Connell, who drilled over two 65’s in that first-half, another brace from magnificent full-forward Tom O’Brien, they led 0-10 to 0-6 at the break.
It could have been much more. Keeper Barry Hennessey was in fine form, well protected by a David Lynch-inspired defence, well anchored by full-back Niall Moloney, all of which made scoring difficult for the Cork side, who relied heavily on the accuracy from placed balls of O’Driscoll. Árd Scoil Rís, on the other hand, threatened from several angles, Glanmire keeper Shane Collins with several stops, including a point-blank block of an O’Brien shot in the 30th minutes, an overworked full-back line saving at least two certain goals with body-blocks (Eoin Whooley was truly heroic), giant corner-forward Darragh Honan rattling the upright on another occasion.
It didn’t look good then for Glanmire at the break, and it looked even worse shortly afterwards when O’Brien goaled superbly, putting Rís 1-10 to 0-7 ahead.
Full credit to them then, to their forwards particularly, back they came.
Twins William and Daniel Kearney ran themselves ragged, wing-forward Mossy O’Carroll likewise, frees were won, pointed by O’Driscoll, so that they trailed by just two points in the 23rd minute, 1-14 to 0-15. With the clock winding down and the temperature starting to fall with the rain, the game began to heat up and Árd Scoil Rís midfielder Mike McCormack saw red after a second yellow, walked. Taking full advantage, Glanmire lifted their game and a 1-2 finish without reply saw them take the spoils.
Scorers – Glanmire: R. O’Driscoll 1-10 (1-9 frees 0-1 65); G. O’Kelly-Lynch 0-2(0-1 free); D. Kearney, M. O’Carroll, D. Roche, C. Leahy, 0-1 each.
Árd Scoil Rís: T. O’Brien 1-6 (0-5 frees); N. O’Connell 0-3 (0-2 65’s); C. Quinn, K. Kennedy, J. Keogh, D. Honan, C. McInerney, 0-1 each.
GLANMIRE COMMUNITY COLLEGE: S. Collins; S. Crowley, B. McHugh, E. Whooley; S. Landers, C. Leahy, C. Brosnan; G. O’Kelly-Lynch, C. O’Sullivan; D. Roche, W. Kearney, M. O’Carroll; R. O’Driscoll, C. Harrington, D. Kearney.
Sub: S. Colbert (Crowley 30).
ÁRD SCOIL RÍS: B. Hennessey; I. O’Donoghue, N. Moloney, E. Mulvihill; C. Allis, C. Quinn, D. Lynch (c); N. O’Connell, M. McCormack; K. Kennedy, J. Keogh, K. Brennan; D. Honan, T. O’Brien, O. Ó Dálaigh.
Sub: C. McInerney (Quinn inj. 34).
Referee: N. Cosgrave (Marlfield).