In a splendid contest, Shane O’Brien’s goal on 17 minutes provided a solid platform for the East Cork outfit to build on.
While Kildorrery just came up short in their recovery, the roots of their demise lay in an over-reliance on Peter O’Brien for scores.
The opening quarter was tight. O’Brien was the key player for Kildorrery – the 2012 county and Munster JHC champions – while Shane O’Brien and Shane Kearney both had early scores at the other end for St Catherine’s. The teams were locked on 0-4 apiece before Shane O’Brien managed to keep the sliotar from going over the end line and find the net from the tightest of angles.
Michael Walsh and O’Brien levelled the game again but the Saints enjoyed a lucrative spell on the approach to half-time with marvellous points (all from play) from Daniel Mangan, Shane Cotter, Kearney and Brian Mulcahy. Significantly, they had five different scorers as they turned with a 1-9 to 0-9 advantage.
The Avondhu side restarted in determined fashion and Ed Aherne had to be alert to deny Andrew O’Brien a shot on goal. Yet, O’Brien and Finbarr Stapleton pointed to tie the match once more entering the fourth quarter. St Catherine’s introduced Sean O’Farrell at half-time and the former Carrigtwohill hurler got on the scoresheet along with the outstanding Kearney and Mulcahy. With 10 minutes to go, they were 1-14 to 0-14 to the good.
It wasn’t all about the St Catherine’s attack though, as the defence were well able to clear their lines too. A brace of points from Mulcahy and Kearney put them five points clear with five minutes remaining.
But, they were hauled back when Andrew O’Brien got through for a Kildorrery goal. However, time was not on their side and Pa Roche stepped in to crucially dispossess Peter O’Brien as he went searching for a second green flag. Sean O’Connor narrowed the gap to one point but St Catherine’s didn’t falter, setting up a quarter-final meeting with Barryroe on Friday week.
Scorers for St Catherine’s: S O’Brien 1-5 (5fs), S Kearney (0-5), B Mulcahy (0-3), D Mangan (0-2), S Cotter and S O’Farrell (0-1) each.
Scorers for Kildorrery: P O’Brien 0-12 (6fs, 1 ’65), A O’Brien 1-0, M Walsh, D Kelly, F Stapleton and S O’Connor (0-1 each).
ST CATHERINE’S: E Aherne; S O’Brien, C Hegarty, J Neville; C Aherne, S Fitzgerald, L O’Connor; D Mangan, R Clancy; E Condon, S Kearney, S O’Brien; B Mulcahy, S Cotter, P O’Connor.
Subs: S O’Farrell for P O’Connor (ht), P Roche for R Clancy (42), M Mulcahy for E Condon (46).
KILDORRERY: J McEniry; N Kelly, S Fitzgerald, S Kelly; J Howard, M Walsh, M Lillis; J McCarthy, A O’Brien; E O’Connor, P O’Brien, S O’Connor; D Kelly, R McEniry, F Stapleton.
Subs: W Fouhy for R McEniry (ht), J O’Gorman for J Howard (55).
Referee: Michael O’Mahony (Kilbrittain).