When these two met earlier in the competition, a last minute point by Niall Arthur earned Flannan’s a draw, but there was no slip ups this time by the Ennis college who hurled with more passion to finish runners up to St Colman’s in Group C.
However this result didn’t look likely in the opening quarter as the East Cork school, with Brian Hartnett rampant at corner forward, dominated possession. But for all their hurling, they failed to make a dent on the scoreboard while Aaron Considine and Conor O’Donnell hit points to give the Clare school the lead against the run of play.
The decision by Midleton to play short passing hurling was futile while Flannan’s opted for long ball, a strategy which proved far more beneficial. Hartnett’s pace and skill in the difficult conditions troubled the Clare defence and after goalkeeper Niall Woods saved superbly from Robert Smart, Hartnett’s powerful drive found the net in the 15th minute.
Crucially, Flannan’s moved full back Cillian Ryan onto Hartnett and the ploy worked perfectly. With their chief marksman contained, the East Cork challenge faded miserably.
Flannan’s began to get a grip around the middle where Alan Leamy was impressive and with Conor O’Donnell razor sharp up front, the Ennis college hit a succession of points to lead 0-6 to 1-2, at the break.
The victors then produced a devastating burst which yielded six points in a row in a 10 minute spell to lead 0-13 to 1-3 at the three quarter stage.
Niall Arthur’s accuracy from frees claimed two of those points while David O’Halloran accounted for two more.
A resolute St Flannan’s defence in which Cillian Ryan and Paul Flanagan were outstanding, kept Midleton at bay, and it took the East Cork school 15 minutes to register another score, a point by Robert Smart.
It sparked a mini revival and two more followed, but when Hartnett missed a sitter of a goal after good work by Paul Haughney, Midleton’s cause became hopeless.
From that let off Flannan’s swept up field and the impressive Conor O’Donnell killed off the Midleton challenge with a goal after Aaron Considine’s initial effort came back to him off a defender.
Scorers for St Flannan’s: C O’Donnell 1-3; N Arthur 0-5 (0-4 frees); A Considine, D O’Halloran 0-2 each; A Leamy (free), S O’Connor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Midleton CBS: B Hartnett 1-2 (0-2 frees); M Russell, R Smart, P Haughney, C Lehane 0-1 each.
ST FLANNAN’S: N Woods; A Guckian, C Ryan, D Hogan; P Flanagan, B Hehir, S O’Halloran; F Ryan, A Leamy; C O’Donnell, A Considine, E Malone; D O’Halloran, S O’Connor, N Arthur.
MIDLETON CBS: W McCarthy; P O’Mahony, F O’Mahony, J O’Mahony; J Nagle, S Richards, D Moynihan; J Cronin, M Russell; P Haughney, E Healy, MP Bailey; R Smart, C Lehane, B Hartnett.
Subs: C Cronin for Moynihan, 40; D McAuliffe for Smart, 50.
Referee: J Ryan (Cashel).