With the wind at their backs in the opening period, the Bandon school took full advantage and led by nine points, 2-9 to 0-6, at half-time.
While a Flannan’s goal by Ryan Moloney – their only scorer – brought them to within six inside the first 10 minutes of the second period, Hamilton never wilted and responded strongly to ensure that they would retain control.
Dual Cork minor star Michael Cahalane was in imperious form for the ‘Hammies’, scoring 1-8 and providing a valuable outlet at centre-forward, especially when they were under Flannan’s pressure in the second half.
Stout performances from captain and full-back Micheál McSweeney, Andrew O’Connell and Niall Murray ensured the defending remained disciplined, and but for a late second goal by Moloney, the winning margin would have been greater.
Playing with the elements, Hammies knew that a half-time lead was a necessity and they set about that task with gusto, moving into a 0-7 to 0-1 lead inside the first quarter, corner-forward Eoin O’Reilly using his pace to good effect and only denied a goal by Barry Coote’s fine save.
While that was a let-off for Flannan’s, minutes later Coote was powerless as Trevor Horgan finished from close range after Darragh Curran won the ball well. That made it 1-7 to 0-2 and Cahalane added another free before producing a bullet of a shot to the net following Jonathan Mulcahy’s swift and powerful run.
A string of Moloney points ensured that Flannan’s had a fighting chance at the break, and while Hamilton broke even in the opening second-half exchanges, Moloney’s goal – after good work by Liam O’Donovan – left it 2-10 to 1-7.
Had O’Connell not made a brilliant block on another Moloney effort, a full-blown comeback might have been in prospect, but instead, Bandon weathered the storm and a trio of points, from Cahalane, O’Reilly and Horgan, had them 10 ahead with seven minutes left.
The dismissal of Bandon corner-back Jack O’Callaghan for a second booking did give Flannan’s brief hope, but while Moloney conjured two more points and the late goal, Hamilton had done enough.
Scorers for Hamilton High School: M Cahalane 1-8 (six frees), E O’Reilly 0-4, T Horgan 1-1, M Kennelly, J O’Neill, D Curran 0-1 each.
Scorer for St Flannan’s College: R Moloney 2-11 (1-9 frees).
HAMILTON HIGH SCHOOL: R McCarthy (Valley Rovers); A O’Connell (Bandon), M McSweeney (Newcestown), J O’Callaghan (Ahán Gaels); N Murray (Newcestown), C O’Leary (Valley Rovers), M Kennelly (Newcestown); J Mulcahy (Bandon), L Meade (Newcestown); E O’Brien (Ballinascarthy), M Cahalane (Bandon), D Curran (Newcestown); B Crowley (Valley Rovers), T Horgan (Newcestown), E O’Reilly (Valley Rovers).
Subs: J O’Neill (Courcey Rovers) for O’Brien (36), K O’Donovan (Ahán Gaels) for Curran (52).
ST FLANNAN’S COLLEGE: B Coote (Ballyea); P Hennessy (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), D Walsh (Éire Óg), J Keating (Éire Óg); K Malone (Éire Óg), C Galvin (Clarecastle), M Moloney (Éire Óg); R Taylor (Clooney-Quin), D Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona); S O’Connell (Éire Óg), E Hanrahan (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), P McNamara (Kilmaley); B Guilfoyle (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield), C Moloney (Kilmaley), L O’Donovan (Ruan).
Subs: C Criminnis (Clarecastle) for O’Connell (49), S Kennedy (Kilmaley) for O’Donovan (57).
Referee: Shane Hourigan (Limerick).