With 15 minutes to go the Killorglin side were still nine points adrift and looked to be heading for a heavy defeat, but inspired by the brilliance of their intercounty minor John Buckley and a couple of well timed substitutions, they eventually drew level with a goal by Ciaran Doyle just before full time to share the spoils.
It was a result that didn’t look remotely possible for three quarters of the game as the Capwell School went on a scoring spree after a shaky start. It took good defending by Dean Twomey and Keith Punch to prevent ISK from taking an early lead, but once Críost Rí settled, the Killorglin side had no answer to the excellence of Brian Coughlan, Ian Leahy and Greg Browne.
With Leahy using his height to great effect and Greg Browne a livewire at corner forward, the Cork college struck for two goals in a minute, one each by both players.
It took ISK 18 minutes to register their first score, a point by John Buckley, and he had their second from a 45 three minutes later, his side’s only scores from play in that opening half. At the break Críost Rí led 2-6 to 0-2.
ISK rang the changes for the second half, bringing in three subs and also made a couple of astute switches. Full back Jeremy O’Callaghan went to centre back with Peter Crowley moving out to partner Marty Lynch at midfield. But the big change was placing John Buckley in at full forward where he caused endless problems for Dean Twomey who had ruled the roost for Críost Rí at full back.
However, there was still no hint of ISK’s dramatic recovery as the Cork side tacked on two further points to give them a third quarter lead of 2-10 to 0-6. Críost Rí must have surely thought they had the game in safe keeping and took their foot off the pedal, but the remaining 15 minutes were hugely exciting as ISK, given a strong grip on midfield by Marty Lynch and Peter Crowley, began to whittle down the massive deficit.
As Críost Rí opted to defend their lead, ISK kicked over seven points without reply. The Capwell side got one back, awarded by the referee even though the umpire had signalled wide.
ISK refused to be ruffled by the decision, and with John Buckley, now back out at centre forward, inspirational for them, they struck for the equalising goal when Buckley and Crowley linked to put Ciaran Doyle through and his powerful shot found the corner of the net to complete a remarkable recovery for his school.
J. Buckley 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-2 45s); K. Doyle 1-0; E. O’Sullivan, A. Sweeney 0-2 each; R. Sayers, J. Hoare, B. O’Mahony 0-1 each.
I. Leahy 1-4 (0-1 free); G. Browne 1-2; A. Cronin 0-2 (0-1 free, 0-1 45); D. Sweeney (45), K. Punch 0-1 each.
L. Walsh; N. Reilly, J. O’Callaghan, L. Clifford; J. O’Shea, P. Crowley, J. Hoare; M. Lynch, A. Sweeney; R. Sayers, J. Buckley, P. Joy; M. O’Shaughnessy, E. Casey, C. O’Shea.
E. O’Sullivan for O’Shaughnessy; TJ Cronin for Casey; B. Doyle for O’Shea; K. Doyle for Joy; B. O’Mahony for Sayers.
D. Farry; S. Sheehan, D. Twomey, T. Hayes; D. Ward, J. Holland, K. Punch; D. Sweeney, B. Coughlan; A. Cronin, P. O’Sullivan, S. Martin; D. McCarthy, I. Leahy, G. Browne.
F. Desmond for McCarthy.
J. Lynch (Ballymacgelliott).