For almost three-quarters of the game not much separated the sides, and when Jack Prendergast put Blackwater 0-15 to 2-8 ahead in the 42nd minute it seemed to set up a nip-and-tuck final period. A win for the Lismore school would have left them with two points from two games and in a good position to progress while, at the same time, hampering Midleton’s chances.
When Midleton required their big players they came to the fore, none more so than centre-back Mark O’Keeffe, who was immense in the closing stages. In an attacking sense, the impeccable free-taking of Joe Millerick was augmented by centre-forward Dan Landers coming to the fore along with Paudie McMahon and Gary Leahy, and Lismore had no response.
It all added up to leaving Midleton in second place behind the already-qualified Dungarvan CBS, having taken four points and with one game left. That is against St Francis College, Rochestown, the only other team that can qualify. The absence of Waterford minors Colm Roche and Michael Kearney for Lismore meant centre-back Shane Bennett was called upon to shoulder a lot of the first-half scoring burden, scoring five of their 10 points as they trailed by the minimum at half-time.
That Midleton lead was largely down to taking goal chances. Billy Dunne profited from a Jake O’Donoghue delivery in the 10th minute to make it 1-2 to 0-3, and then Paudie McMahon opened up a 2-4 to 0-5 advantage on 18 from a Dunne pass. Bennett, Andy Molumphy and David Prendergast helped Lismore to get back in touch by the break though and their bright start to the second half looked to have put them in the driving seat. Midleton needed a response, and they certainly found one.
Scorers for Midleton CBS: J Millerick 0-8 (seven frees), P McMahon, B Dunne 1-1 each, D Landers 0-3, G Leahy 0-2, J O’Donoghue, M O’Keeffe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Blackwater CS: S Bennett 0-8 (frees), D Prendergast, J Prendergast 0-2 each, A Molumphy, C Leamy, J Beecher.
S Beausang (Cloyne); G Bagnall (Midleton), I Cahill (Cloyne), S Smith (Midleton); S O’Farrell (Midleton), M O’Keeffe (Fr O’Neills), K Broderick (Fr O’Neills); J Millerick (Fr O’Neills), B McCarthy (Carrigtwohill); J O’Donoghue (Aghada), D Landers (Killeagh), P McMahon (Fr O’Neills); E Keniry (Killeagh), G Leahy (Killeagh), B Dunne (Fr O’Neills).
Subs: A Stafford (Aghada) for McCarthy (47), J Looney (Aghada) for Keniry (58).
J McGrath (Modeligo); A Flynn (Lismore)), S O’Brien (St Catherine’s, Cork), J Henley (Tallow); E Murray (Cappoquin-Affane), S Bennett (Ballysaggart), S Murray (Cappoquin-Affane); A Molumphy (Cappoquin-Affane), C Leamy (Ballyduff Upper); J Beecher (Tallow), A O’Dwyer (Geraldines), D Prendergast (Lismore); A Casey (Ballyduff Upper), J Tobin (Tallow), J Prendergast (Lismore).
Subs: A O’Sullivan (Cappoquin-Affane) for Casey (26), A Whelan (Lismore) for Tobin (47), Casey for Molumphy (58, injured).
Referee: D Kirwan (Éire Óg).