Indeed were it not for the fact they missed two clear goal-chances in the second half, they might well have won.
That would have been rough justice on St Colman’s however, who were full value for the draw and remain unbeaten, having accounted for Kerry Colleges already.
Clonmel opened the scoring, a pointed free from talented wing-forward Conor Gleeson in the second minute.
For the next 10 minutes, however, the Cork college was in control, five points on the trot, all scores of real quality and all from play.
Corner-forward Ronan O’Regan had a brace, speedy midfielder Ronan Bransfield had the first of his two of this half, wing-back Conor O’Keeffe hit a howitzer while Kevin O’Neill finished off some fine work by Alan Fenton for the fifth.
O’Neill — a Cork minor this year — had a fine game. Though being marked by Tom Kirwan, a member of the victorious Tipperary All-Ireland-winning minor panel this year, their individual battle reflected the contest.
Both players had periods of dominance but neither were overshadowed.
Trailing 0-5 to 0-1, it wasn’t looking good for the debutants but they came back, aided by indiscipline in the Colman’s defence, who were punished by Clonmel sharp-shooter Gleeson.
Gleeson would end the game with nine points, all from frees, a measure of the St Colman’s lack of cuteness when tackling the man in possession.
Further points Conor (three), midfielder Alec Owens and corner-forward Conor Arrigan were replied to by Alan Fenton pointed frees and another from Bransfield to leave it 0-8 to 0-6 at the break with Colman’s ahead.
Into the second half, St Colman’s quickly increased their lead to three, wing-forward Shane Walsh capitalising on a poor defensive clearance but indiscipline continued to dog Colman’s, gifting Gleeson and Clonmel five easy points from frees. The powerful Ross Mulcahy added two from play for Clonmel, Fenton had the last four for St Colman’s and it ended as it began, all square.
Those two goal chances for Clonmel, however, came within a minute of each other halfway through the second half and both fell to Conor Arrigan. His first shot beat Colman’s sub-keeper Cathal Leahy (Frank Hogan came off injured at half-time) but flew across the goal and wide. His second was easily saved.
Colman’s too had a goal opportunity, a 53rd-minute shot from O’Regan well saved by Tadhg Lonergan and pushed out for a 65. Overall though, a draw was probably the fairest result. Neither side deserved to lose but neither merited the win.
Encouraging signs though for the High School who are looking to build on the success of the last few years at the younger grades.
Scorers for Clonmel: C Gleeson 0-9fs, R Mulcahy 0-2, A Owens and C Arrigan, 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Colman’s: A Fenton 0-6 (4fs, 1 65), R O’Regan, R Bransfield 0-2 each, K O’Neill, S Walsh, C O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
CBS HIGH SCHOOL CLONMEL: T Lonergan; M Maher, S Nagle, R Gunn; K Guiry, T Kirwan, L Ryan; D Ryan, A Owens; C Gleeson, R Mulcahy, T Cooney; C Arrigan, C Walsh, R Peters.
Subs: D Roberts for Arrigan (44).
ST COLMAN’S COLLEGE FERMOY: F Hogan; S Linehan, B Fenton, J Neville; P Murphy, T Carroll, C O’Keeffe; R Bransfield, C O’Connor; S Walsh, K O’Neill, A Fenton; C Fenton, S Moroney, R O’Regan.
Subs: C Leahy for Hogan (inj. 30), J McCarthy for C Fenton (55).
Referee: M Meade (Limerick)