While they fell 1-1 to 0-0 behind inside two minutes, the Harty Cup champions outscored their Wexford town opponents 0-18 to 0-11 thereafter, limiting Peter’s to just three points after half-time. Five points on the trot before the interval, and then two immediately afterwards, proved the key sequence in setting up a decider against either St Kieran’s College or Presentation College, Athenry, who clash tomorrow.
A wide spread of scorers held Thurles in good stead, with seven players registering, and five of getting more than one. They looked in trouble, however, when Jack Pettit’s early point for Peter’s was followed by a well-taken Rory O’Connor goal as Thurles racked up the wides.
The goal was the difference for the break-neck opening 25 minutes, during which 13 different players scored. Four points on the trot, by Rowan White, Jake Firman, Matthew Joyce and Billy Dunne, pushed Peter’s 1-8 to 0-5 clear and though Michael Connors and Kevin Duggan responded, Joyce’s third left five in it with as many minutes left until half-time.
That was when Thurles came to life. Ronan Teehan and Niall Heffernan had points in quick succession and then Connors looked to have levelled when he turned in Billy McCarthy’s ball across. While he was adjudged to have infringed in the large rectangle, it mattered little as Kevin Duggan, Robbie Long and Teehan all pointed in injury time to have Thurles level by the break. Having levelled in the 32nd minute, Teehan put Thurles ahead for the first time in the 31st minute after Ronan Heffernan won the throw-in and then Niall Heffernan’s free made it seven points on the trot.
Frees by Dunne – son of Wexford manager Liam – kept Peter’s in touch at the three-quarter mark, Thurles ahead 0-15 to 1-11. Niall Heffernan’s free edged Thurles ahead again but then Peter’s had a great chance. Rory O’Connor won the break from Joyce’s centre but William Tierney denied him with a full-length save. Strong defending ensured Thurles were still ahead at the end.
Scorers for Thurles CBS: N Heffernan 0-5 (0-4 frees), R Teehan, R Long, K Duggan 0-3 each, B McCarthy 0-2, C Moloney, M Connors 0-1 each.
St Peter’s scorers: B Dunne 0-4 (frees), R O’Connor 1-1, M Joyce 0-3, J Firman, C Hearne, J Pettit, R White 0-1 each.
THURLES CBS: W Tierney (Thurles Sarsfields); J Derby (do), E Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), D Quirke (do); C McCullagh (Moycarkey-Borris), J Skehan (Holycross-Ballycahill), T Hayes (Moycarkey-Borris); R Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), C Moloney (Thurles Sarsfields); B McCarthy (do), K Duggan (Galmoy), N Heffernan (Moycarkey-Borris); M Connors (Drom & Inch), R Long (do), R Teehan (Gortnahoe-Glengoole).
Subs: P Kennedy (Drom & Inch) for Moloney (46), R Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields) for Connors (51), J Butler (Upperchurch-Drombane) for Teehan (57), B Kelly (Rathdowney-Errill, Laois) for Long (60).
ST PETER’S COLLEGE: O Foley (Crossabeg/Ballymurn); D Nimmo (Oulart/The Ballagh), D Byrne ~(Backwater), J Donohue (Shelmaliers); Q Saunders (Our Lady’s Island), A Maddock (St Martin’s), C Firman (do); J Firman (do), R White (Glynn-Barntown); J Pettit (Our Lady’s Island), C Hearne (Shelmaliers), B Dunne (Oulart/The Ballagh); M Joyce (Glynn-Barntown), R O’Connor (St Martin’s), J O’Connor (do).
Sub: C Murphy (Buffers Alley) for Saunders (59).
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).