Going into this game, Clonmel led the section with four points from their previous two games, while Rochestown were on three. Clonmel’s place in the last eight was already assured but they will now have to face one of the other group winners in the knockout stages.
While the opening point was scored by Clonmel’s Paul Maher, Rochestown didn’t trail thereafter, with Liam O’Sullivan’s point followed by Holland’s goal in the 10th minute. Corner-back Adam Geaney brought the ball out of defence and found Shane Kingston, whose run opened up Clonmel before he placed Holland for a smart finish.
Instead of kicking on from that, though, Rochestown found themselves under pressure. Calvin Boland and Rory Maher brought Clonmel back to within a point but, despite Paul Maher showing up well for them, they couldn’t find an equaliser.
Rochestown steadied and Kingston was only denied by a goal brilliant Stephen Ryan block. Further points by David Griffin, Seán Powter and Kingston — with only a Rory Maher free in response for Clonmel — meant there were four points between the sides at half-time, 1-5 to 0-4.
The second half had a far lower scoring rate, but Rochestown never looked unduly troubled. They didn’t open their second-period account until the 50th minute, but Clonmel had only had two points, from Kyle Peters and an excellent Rory Maher long-range effort, in the interim.
Paul Maher was now operating as a third midfielder for the Tipperary school but, while that gave them a greater platform there, it meant a reduction in their goal chances.
Two quick-fire points from Rochestown sub Kevin O’Donovan and then Ciarán Cormack, punching over from Kingston’s cross, restored the four-point half-time lead.
They could even afford the luxury of a few late wides. O’Donovan got his second point in the dying minutes and Rochestown were comfortable in the end. Clonmel’s disappointment was of course tempered by their progression too, however.
Scorers for St Francis College: J Holland 1-0, K O’Donovan 0-2, D Griffin, S Powter, L O’Sullivan, C Cormack, S Kingston, E Ryle 0-1 each.
Scorers for CBS HS Clonmel: R Maher 0-3 (two frees), K Peters, C Boland, P Maher 0-1 each.
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: P Lynch (St Michael’s): N Walsh (Douglas), N Quirke (Carrigaline), A Geaney (Douglas); C Denn (St Michael’s), D Griffin (Carrigaline), S Powter (Douglas); Eoghan O’Brien (Douglas), E Ryle (Carrigaline); L O’Sullivan (St Michael’s), J Holland (Douglas), C Sheehan (Douglas); B McAuliffe (Douglas), C Cormack (St Michael’s), S Kingston (Douglas).
Subs: L Dineen (Douglas) for O’Brien, M McAuliffe (Douglas) for Sheehan (both half-time), K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Denn (45), S Collins for McAuliffe (52), D Kelleher (Cobh) for Holland (56), R Cantwell (St Michael’s) for O’Sullivan (59).
CBS HS CLONMEL: L Powell (Clonmel Commercials); D Brennan (Kilsheelan), S Ryan (The Nire), D Phelan (Clonmel Commercials); G Whelan (Ardfinnan), M Kehoe (Kilsheelan), L Cooney (The Nire); D Owens (Moyle Rovers), R Peters (Clonmel Commercials); D Ryan (Moyle Rovers), C Looney (The Nire), K Peters (Clonmel Commercials); C Boland (Clonmel Commercials), P Maher (Kilsheelan), R Maher (Ballyclarihan).
Subs: S O’Meara (The Nire) for Owens (ht, inj), J Ahearne (Clonmel Commercials) for D Ryan (47), N Croke (Moyle Rovers) for Brennan (58, black card).
Referee: D Kirwan (Éire Óg, Cork).