Clear leaders at the top of Group 2 after a second win in two matches, one more victory will almost certainly assure them of a place in the last eight. On this showing, they certainly won’t be fearing anybody in the knockout stages.
While they conceded the first two points of the game, once they got going they were difficult to live with. Dayne Ó Laoi finished with 2-4 for the Cork city side, all from play, but they had top-class performances in all areas.
Eadbhard Ó Conaing, who, like Ó Laoi, has played senior for Na Piarsaigh this year, was excellent in the full-back line while Adam Ó Donnabháin shone at left half-back, both in his primary duties and also instigating attacks.
Many of this AG team have featured in the last two Harty campaigns, which might euphemistically be referred to as character-building, but the experience is showing now. Just two of their scores were from placed balls and various players impressed in attack at different times.
Five of the starting forwards scored their first five points as Colman’s early momentum was halted and then, in the 15th minute, the lead was buttressed. Ó Donnbháin picked out Donal Ó Conaing with an arrowed pass and his scooped ball beyond the defence allowed Ó Laoi to pull beyond the onrushing goalkeeper Cathal Leahy, corner-back Daniel O’Regan unable to stop the shot going over the line.
While midfielder Pádraig Hannon and Leahy both nailed long-range frees for Colman’s immediately after, the AG finished the half strongly.
First, Evan Ó Síocháin profited from Daithí Braham’s good run to point before Donal Ó Conaing set up two, for Ó Laoi and then Braham. With a seven-point lead, 1-8 to 0-4, at half-time, Gaelcholáiste Mhuire were cruising and though a nice Brian Davis point got Colman’s off to a good second-half start, soon the AG were out of sight.
Braham’s free answered Davis’s effort and then Eadbhard Ó Conaing’s free from deep dropped invitingly for Ó Laoi. While Leahy repelled his first effort, the full-forward was able to poke home the rebound and with 10 points now separating the teams, that was that.
Scorers for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG: D Ó Laoi 2-4, D Braham (two frees), D Ó Conaing (one free) 0-3 each, E Ó Síocháin, P de Faoite 0-2 each.
Scorers for St Colman’s College: P Hannon 0-4 (three frees, one 65), C Leahy (free), J O’Leary, B Davis 0-1 each.
GAELCHOLÁISTE MHUIRE AG: D Ó Conaill (Na Piarsaigh); E Ó Conaing (Na Piarsaigh), C Ó Súilleabháin (Na Piarsaigh), R Ó Meára (Na Piarsaigh); A Breathnach (Na Piarsaigh), B Ó Ceallacháin (Na Piarsaigh), A Ó Donnabháin (Glen Rovers); L Ó Cochláin (Glen Rovers), E Ó Laoire (Na Piarsaigh); C Ó hAinifín (Na Piarsaigh), P de Faoite (Glen Rovers), D Braham (Glen Rovers); D Ó Conaing (Na Piarsaigh), D Ó Laoi (Na Piarsaigh), E Ó Síocháin (Na Piarsaigh).
Subs: K Ó hEathairn (Na Piarsaigh) for Braham (49), A Ó Súilleabháin (Glen Rovers) for Ó Síocháin (53).
ST COLMAN’S COLLEGE: C Leahy (St Catherine’s); A Ricken (Watergrasshill), D Varnery (Castlelyons), D O’Regan (Kilworth); S Fenton (Castlelyons), S Walsh (Bride Rovers), N O’Leary (Castlelyons); S Aherne (Fermoy), P Hannon (Glanworth); J Saich (Kilworth), J O’Leary (Castlelyons), B Davis (St Catherine’s); D Linehan (Ballyhooly), S Condon (Glanworth), J Kenneally (Kilworth).
Subs: R Galvin (St Catherine’s) for O’Regan (22), K Cronin (Watergrasshill) for Fenton (half-time), C Donnellan (Kilworth) for Kenneally (40), O Hickey (Ballyduff) for Davis (49).
Referee: N Wall (Carrigaline).