St. Anne’s hit three goals inside the opening six minutes as they ripped the Rathnure defence apart with their speed, stickwork and clinical finishing. After Nigel Higgins had shot the opening point, Liam Óg McGovern stormed through for the opening goal inside two minutes. Two minutes later the same player laid off the pass for Liam Rochford’s goal, while in between Pierce White should have shot on sight but instead chose to pass inside to McGovern whose effort was smothered by the recovering defence. Six minutes into the game Mark Furlong clinically finished from close range, giving St Anne’s a 3-1 to 0-3 lead.
Rathnure eased their way back through points from Robbie Codd, Trevor Hogan and Nigel Higgins, before a Paul Codd 80m free ten minutes from the break beat an unsighted Conor Kavanagh in the goal.
When Trevor Hogan found the net three minutes later, Rathnure were back in contention, trailing 3-12 to 2-9 at the interval.
Four minutes from the end a fine Brendan O’Leary point had the sides level for the first time, 3-15 to 2-18.
Paul Codd gave Rathnure the lead for the first time with a massive point from play. And Codd launched too more hugh efforts to secure their passage to the last four after a thrilling encounter, 2-21 to 3-15.
In the weekend’s other quarter-final action, champions Oulart-the-Ballagh were brought to extra-time before emerging with a 1-25 to 0-17 victory over Ferns, the sides having been level 1-13 to 0-16 at the end of 60 minutes.
Oulart led 0-12 to 0-5 at the interval but a Tommy Dwyer point in additional time brought the game to extra-time.
St. Martin’s, reduced to 14 players after just six minutes, staged a storming finish but eventually lost out 2-16 to 2-13 to Shelmaliers.
Shels led 2-9 to 0-6 at the interval through goals from Ciarán O’Shaughnessy and Conor Byrne, but St. Martin’s goals from two Mark Butler frees in the closing minutes forced a tense finish.
A Shane Howard 16th minute goal inspired Faythe Harriers to a comfortable 1-16 to 0-10 victory over Adamstown in their quarter-final clash, with the winners having led 1-8 to 0-6 at the interval.