Ryan keeps Colman’s in chase

A MAGNIFICENT exhibition of point scoring from play and frees by Tom Ryan earned St Colman’s victory over arch-rivals St Flannan’s in a hugely entertaining Dr Harty Cup tie at Feenagh yesterday.

Ryan, a Waterford county minor this year, finished the game with 10 points of his side’s tally as Colman’s ended the Ennis college’s slim chance of qualification.

With Nenagh CBS defeating St Caimin’s in the other crunch game in Group A yesterday, the outcome of the two remaining games, Nenagh v St Colman’s and Carrigaline CS v St Flannan’s, will decide which two schools qualify for the knockout stages after Christmas.

There was so much at stake in this game a gripping encounter was expected, and it didn’t disappoint. The skill factor was superb and some of the point scoring was out of the top drawer.

Goals win matches, the old adage says, and Colman’s got two inside the opening five minutes which effectively won the game. While Flannan’s managed to draw level on two occasions, they never led their great Harty rivals.

Flannan’s ‘keeper gifted Colman’s the two early goals but he made up for his errors with a string of superb saves which kept his team in touch.

The first goal came after just 20 seconds when Donal Tuohy failed to hold Darren Tobin’s shot and Aidan Condon was on hand to slip the sliotar to the net.

Flannan’s were level after three minutes with three points, before conceding a second goal in the same circumstances as their ‘keeper failed to hold Tobin’s initial shot and Condon accepted the chance to score.

Flannan’s recovered a second time. With Niall Arthur showing his prowess as a free taker, they drew level again before Tom Ryan’s point helped Colman’s to a 2-6 to 0-11 half-time lead.

It was all to play for in the second half but Colman’s, inspired by Mark Flynn at wing back, hit a purple patch, scoring six points in a row, three by Tom Ryan, to put daylight between the sides.

Flannan’s were under the cosh and it took a wonderful save by ‘keeper Donal Tuohy to deny Ryan a goal as the Fermoy college went for the jugular.

Tuohy was inspirational in goal now, assisted by Colin McGuann and midfielder Kevin Moynihan. With Martin Barry now out on the 40 causing a lot of problems for the Colman’s defence, Flannan’s came storming back.

Kevin Brennan made a lot of ground up the right-hand side of the Colman’s defence before creating a goal chance for Martin Barry which he took and the game was back in the melting pot.

Flannan’s threw everything at Colman’s in the closing minutes but a resolute defence in which Mark Flynn, Daragh O’Carroll, and Ronan Clancy were superb, held firm and Brian O’Sullivan knocked over the insurance point in injury time to keep his school’s cup hopes alive.

Scorers: St Colman’s: T. Ryan 0-10 (0-6 frees, 0-1 65); A. Condon 2-1; D. Tobin, D. Pyne 0-2 each; B. O’Sullivan 0-1.

St Flannan’s: M. Barry 1-5; N. Arthur 0-4 (0-3 frees); K. Brennan 0-2; K. Moynihan (fee), P. Waters, D. Greene, C. Whealan 0-1 each.

ST COLMAN’S: E. Ahern; D. O’Carroll, K. Lane, S. O’Brien; M. Flynn, R. Clancy, K. O’Brien; S. Finn, A. Cronin; T. Ryan, B. O’Sullivan, D. Pyne; D. Tobin, A. Condon, L. Whelan.

Subs: D. Dooley for Whelan; T. Sheehan for Cronin; C. Hegarty for Pyne; M. O’Leary for Flynn.

ST FLANNAN’S: D. Tuohy; S. Collins, A. Lynch, K.Ryan; B. Hehir, C. McGuann, S. O’Brien; K. Moynihan, C. Whealan; P. Waters, D. Greene, A. Considine; N. Arthur, M. Barry, K. Brennan.

Subs: M. O’Looney for Collins; A. Hannigan for Arthur; F. Ryan for Considine; N. O’Connor for Greene.

Referee: D. Copps (Ballyhea).

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