The famed Ennis college go into their 10th final in-a-row and on this evidence will have no fear of DLS Waterford in the decider on March 11, possibly in Cashel.
There was never any doubt about the outcome with Flannan’s just two points down at the break after playing into the strong wind and while it took them until the 50th minute to lead for the first time, they rattled over seven points without replay.
Eight Flannan’s players got on the scoresheet while only two from Waterford managed to raise a flag; seven of the winners’ points came from play, while all but one of the Waterford scores came from frees, and it took them 35 minutes to register that score.
Flannan’s also owe much to their defence for this victory. Under enormous pressure in the first half, they thwarted the Waterford attack time and time again with a never say die attitude their opponents didn’t possess.
The Glynn brothers, Brian and Eamon, Sylvie Óg Linnane (son of former Galway star of the same name) and Ivor White were never beaten in the heart of the Flannan’s defence; the superb Kevin Heagney ensured Flannan’s won the midfield battle, while in attack Donagh Stack, Eamon Callinan (son of former Clare great Johnny) and John Conlon gave the Waterford defence a torrid time.
Waterford Colleges played with the elements in the first half and couldn’t have asked for a better start. When Cormac Curran pointed a 65 in the second minute before goalkeeper Stephen Enright blasted home a penalty seven minutes later.
However, with the Flannan’s defence completely on top, the scores dried up and in the remaining 21 minutes to half time could only add two further points, both from frees. St Flannan’s stick-work was far better and they eventually got on the scoreboard when John Conlon pointed a free in the 12th minute.
Flannan’s added three further points before the interval and at the break, Waterford could only manage a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.
On the turnover, Flannan’s took 15 minutes to draw level, mainly due to some great defending by Derek Barry, Jerome Maher and Kieran Geary in the Waterford defence. However, at the other end their forwards could make no headway against a hard-tackling Flannan’s defence and when Darragh Moloney scored a great point after a tremendous run to give his side the lead for the first time, there was only going to be one result.
With the scent of victory now, Flannan’s applied enormous pressure and with Waterford conceding needless frees, John Conlon’s accuracy ensured his side a comfortable victory.
St. Flannan’s: J. Conlon 0-6 (frees); E. Heagney, D. Moloney 0-2 each; M. Barry, D. Stack (free), E. Callinan, I. White (free), K. Moynihan 0-1 each. Waterford Colleges: C. Curran 0-6 (0-5 frees, 0-1 65); S. O’Keeffe 1-0 (pen.)
D. Tuohy; N. Casey, B. Glynn, N. White; S. Óg Linnane, E. Glynn, I. White; K. Heagney, K. Moynihan; D. Moloney, D. Stack, E. Callinan; M. Barry, J. Conlon, F. Kennedy.
E. Madden for Kennedy; E. Lyons for Barry.
S. Enright; S. Leahy, D. Barry, S. O’Rourke; K. Duggan, J. Maher, K. Geary; D. Phelan, M., Shalloe; S. O’Keeffe, M. Landers, S. Fives; M. Shanahan, C. Curran, S. Kearney.
C. O’Gorman for Landers.
N. Cosgrave (Clonmel).