Six times the sides were level until a point by Conor Lehane with three minutes of normal time looked to have given the East Cork college the spoils. However, brave St Flannan’s were not to be denied and in a welter of excitement Niall Arthur came to the rescue with the equalising point.
It was no more than Flannan’s deserved for over the hour they were marginally the better side and in Aaron Considine had a player of exceptional ability.
Operating at wing forward, he knocked over five exquisite points, all from play, to finish his side’s top scorer. David O’Halloran at left corner forward was another Flannan’s player to making a big impression, contributing four points.
Killian Ryan was superb at full back, Niall O’Donoghue outside him was unbeatable while Alan Leary and Fearghus Ryan shaded the midfield exchanges, although Midleton’s Robert Smart battled all the way and his two excellent points were crucial.
Midleton were equally as good in defence and there were very few goal chances due to the dominance of Finbarr O’Mahony at full-back, David Moynihan at wing back and Scott Richard in particular at centre-back.
Brian Hartnett was Midleton’s best forward with 1-2, while Conor Lehane and captain Paul Haughney, did well.
Midleton led 0-3 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter and then hit a good patch, scoring three points in-a-row to lead 0-5 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.
Flannan’s brought Niall Arthur out from full forward for the remainder of the half and it worked well for them. Points by David O’Halloran and Arthur had the deficit down to the minimum and as the Ennis college continued to press forward, Aaron Considine tied the game at 0-6 apiece by the end of the half.
The second half developed into a titanic struggle in the difficult underfoot conditions and three excellent points by the hugely impressive Aaron Considine had Flannan’s in control after 40 minutes.
The pressure on the Flannan’s defence was intense with Robert Smart going close as Midleton came looking for the equalising score and after Aaron Considine struck his fifth point from play, the all-important opening goal finally came.
Conor Lehane, who troubled the Flannan’s defence all afternoon, managed to scoop the sliotar out to the in-rushing Brian Hartnett and he billowed the net to tie the match for the fourth time.
The game was up for grabs as the clocked ticked down but a strangely subdued Paul Haughney looked to have given Midleton the victory with a point in the 58th minute.
However, Arthur brought the curtain down on a splendid contest with the equalising point in injury time.
Scorers for Midleton CBS: B. Hartnett 1-2 (0-2 frees); C. Lehane, P. Haughney 0-3 each; R. Smart 0-2; D. Moynihan 0-1.
St. Flannan’s: A. Considine 0-5; D. O’Halloran 0-4 (0-1 65); N. Arthur 0-3 (0-1 free); E. Malone, S. O’Halloran 0-1 each.
W. McCarthy; J. O’Mahony, F. O’Mahony, P. O’Mahony; D. Moynihan, S. Richards, J. Cronin; M. Russell, R. Smart; P. Haughney, E. Healy, MP Bailey; C. Lehane, B. Lawton, B. Hartnett.
Subs: M. Hayes for Bailey (40th); S. Ryan for Hayes (50th).
N. Woods; A. Guckian, K. Ryan, D. Hogan; P. Flanagan, N. O’Donoghue, D. Malone; F. Ryan, A. Leary; A. Considine, B. Hehir, E. Malone; S. O’Halloran,. N. Arthur, D. O’Halloran.
W. Barrett (Tipperary)