Colman’s advance with Pyne precision

ST COLMAN’S assured themselves of a place in the knockout stages of the Dr Harty Cup following this compre- hensive victory over arch rivals St Flannan’s at Buttevant yesterday.

Midleton CBS, whose officials were holding a watching brief hoping the Fermoy college could do them a turn and beat Flannan’s by 10 points, which would have ensured they (Midleton) would have taken second spot, but Colman’s came up a point short.

The upshot of yesterday’s nine-point victory is a play off between Midleton CBS and St Flannan’s on a date to be arranged, as both these schools finished level on scoring averages.

It isn’t often Colman’s beat Flannans by nine points in a Harty Cup game, but they were full value for their victory, and on the evidence of this performance, will have a big say in the destination of this year’s title.

They kept the sliotar moving and had a number of outstanding performers in full back Kieran Lane, midfielder Anthony Cronin, and their entire half forward line of Darren Tobin, Sean Finn and David Pyne.

Pyne was their top scorer with five points, all from placed balls, and while his style of free taking was most unusual, it was highly effective.

Flannan’s went into the game needing to win or draw to be sure of second spot in the group, but they failed badly to live up to expectations.

Cillian Ryan at full back, Brian Hehir outside him, David O’Halloran and Niall Arthur were their best, but team coach James O’Connor will be disappointed some of his big name players didn’t perform.

Colman’s stamped their authority on the game early on. With Anthony Cronin dominant at midfield and David Pyne displaying uncanny accuracy from frees, they were full value for their 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 10 minutes.

The usually reliable free taker for Flannan’s, Niall Arthur, had an off day which didn’t help his side’s cause and when Stephen Boyce touched home a goal from David Pyne’s long-range free, it helped his side to an interval lead of 1-9 to 0-4.

The impressive Darren Tobin stretched Colman’s lead with a point on the resumption but they were grateful to full back Kieran Lane who was on the goal line to stop Niall Arthur’s shot after his ‘keeper went missing.

Flannan’s were badly in need of a goal and it finally came after a period of sustained pressure. The Colman’s defence failed to clear substitute Tony Kelly’s long delivery and Conor O’Donnell was on hand to find the corner of the net.

However Colman’s response was instant, and after Liam Whelan had a goal disallowed — how crucial that decision was for Midleton CBS in the overall context of the match — they rattled over four points in a row, the second a massive effort by David Pyne from midfield, and there was no way back for St Flannan’s who failed to score for the last 15 minutes.

Scorers for St Colman’s: D Pyne 0-5 (frees); S Boyce 1-0; A Cronin, D Tobin (0-1 free) 0-3 each; M Flynn, C Hegarty, D Dooley 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Flannan’s: C O’Donnell 1-1; A Considine, D O’Halloran 0-2; N Arthur 0-1 (free).

ST COLMAN’S: E Ahern; C Hegarty, K Lane, S O’Brien; R Clancy, D O’Carroll, K O’Brien; A Cronin, M Flynn; D Tobin, S Finn, D Pyne; S Boyce, D Dooley, L Whelan.

Subs: J McCarthy for Whelan (55th); B Mulcahy for Dooley (57th).

ST FLANNAN’S: N Woods; D Hogan, C Ryan, S Collins; P Flanagan, B Hehir, D Malone; A Leamy, F Ryan; S O’Halloran, S O’Connor, A Considine; D O’Halloran, N Arthur, C O’Donnell.

Subs: E Malone for Leamy (half time); T.Kelly for O’Connor (40th).

Referee: D Enright (Limerick).

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