Blackwater awaken late to surge home

THIS all-Waterford Dr Harty Cup Munster Colleges hurling tie at Fraher Field, Dungarvan, yesterday may not have been a classic, but it was a feisty and no-nonsense local derby that ended in a deserved victory for Lismore’s Blackwater Community School.

A second successive defeat has ended the aspirations of De La Salle to regain a trophy they won in successive seasons in 2007 and ’08.

They led for the greater part of the game but were eventually overtaken by Blackwater in the closing quarter.

It was all so different in the opening half when De La Salle had the backing of a fresh breeze and the luxury of a lightening start.

Colm Morris had them in front with a fourth-minute point, and 60 seconds later Tom Mullally rattled the Blackwater net from close range.

The outstanding Ray Barry got the Lismore side off the mark on six minutes, but De La Salle continued to call most of the shots in the key areas and they weren’t at all flattered by their four-point interval advantage, 1-5 to 0-4.

Although Blackwater’s hugely influential centre back Paudie Prendergast rifled over a superb point within a minute of the restart, their hopes of victory looked to have been hit by a fatal blow when Mullally struck for his, and De La Salle’s, second goal on 35 minutes.

All of the spade work was done by Colm Morris but the finish of the corner forward was clinical.

Blackwater’s response however was magnificent. Less than three minutes later they struck for a real beauty of their own, when Ray Barry set up the opportunity for Peter O’Keeffe and he gave goalkeeper Paddy Cooke no chance from close range.

It was the score that galvanised Blackwater. Throughout the field they began to assume almost total supremacy, and with 15-year-old Stephen Bennett showing what an exciting prospect he is, the scores that would consign De La Salle to defeat began to flow freely.

Bennett’s quality point in the 53rd minute gave his side the lead for the very first time, with an equally rampant Barry and a tenacious Kevin Casey also finding the range almost at will.

De La Salle’s reply was a solitary point from their best player, Darragh Flynn, and there was now no stopping a Blackwater outfit that steam-rolled its way to what, in the end, was a decisive win.

Scorers for Blackwater CS: S Bennett 0-5 (0-1f); R Barry 0-5; P O’Keeffe 1-0; K Casey 0-2; J Barron 0-1f, P Prendergast 0-1.

Scorers for De La Salle: T Mullally 2-0; D Flynn 0-3 (0-1f); C Morris, E Blanchfield, C Kervick 0-1 each.

BLACKWATER CS: S Barry; M Fitzgerald, S Roche, J Hannon; PJ Curran, P Prendergast, T O’Brien; P Coleman, J Barron; S, Ryan, J Phelan, K Casey; S Bennett, R Barry, P O’Keeffe.

Sub: A Pratt for J Phelan.

DE LA SALLE: P Cooke; A Kearns, J O’Donoghue, K Walsh; A O’Sullivan, D Kearns, A Dempsey; C Kervick, C Breheny; D Flynn, P Coughlan, C Morris; T Mullally, J Hayes, E Blanchfield.

Subs: D Foley for Hayes; J Sage for Coughlan.

Referee: R Barry (Tipperary).

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