Flannan’s and Colman’s in crunch Harty showdown

IN THE 11 seasons since 1997, St Colman’s and St Flannan’s have won the Dr Harty Cup nine times between them (five for the Ennis College).

In the same period Flannan’s have been in 10 finals, a tremendous record. However, they are now on the brink of missing the knock-out stages as they face into a crunch game against their arch rivals from St Colman’s at Feenagh tomorrow.

But, they have a slender hope of making it. A victory over the Fermoy college and a win over Carrigaline CS in their last Round Robin game would give them four points. However, Nenagh CBS with three points from two games played, would have to lose to table toppers St Caimin’s tomorrow and St Colman’s in their last game for that to happen.

Flannan’s must win tomorrow, otherwise it all over and the same would apply to St Colman’s should they fail.

Wins for the Fermoy college in their two remaining games, and a similar result for Nenagh against St Caimin’s would see the Cork and Tipperary schools finish level on five points and it would then come down to scoring difference to decide the second place in the group.

Whatever way it pans out, today’s clash of Colman’s and Flannan’s promises to be a rousing affair.

Flannan’s failed to fellow Clare school St Caimin’s in their first outing by four points and by five to Nenagh CBS in round two.

The word from the Ennis college is that this year’s team is weaker than former years and results would suggest they could be in for a lean period.

With only three of the team which failed to DLS Waterford in last year’s final available, the present team is a bit on the young side and the heavy conditions will probably mitigate against them.

Colman’s picked up their solitary point from a draw with St Caimin’s before failing to Carrigaline by four. With still plenty to play for neither school will want to falter now.

If the Fermoy side play to their potential and Tom Ryan, Brian O’Sullivan and Anthony Cronin are in form, the Saints should pick up the points to keep their slender hopes of qualification alive.

St Caimin’s are unlikely to slip up now with a place in the knock-out stages within their grasp.

A draw would suffice from their game with Nenagh in Scarriff, but they have been playing so well they are likely to pick up all two and top the group.

Caimin’s are a talented team. The entire half back line of Enda Boyce, Liam Markham and Kevin Lynch is one of the best around and it won’t be easy for the Nenagh attack to get the necessary scores.

Up front, Conor McGrath, Sean Collins and Sean Hynan have been scoring freely and that ensure the Shannon school stay on course.

However, Nenagh won’t give up without a fight. They have excellent players in David Nolan, Paddy Murphy and John Sheedy and will make a bold bid for that second spot in the group and automatic qualification for the quarter-finals.

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