While the final score was 2-18 to 0-7 in favour of the Tipperary school, only three points separated the sides before Darragh Woods’ converted penalty gave Thurles breathing space.
Woods finished with 1-11 while Brendan Kelly got another late goal and the likes of Michael Ryan, Mikey Connors, Conor Stakelum, Dylan Quirke and Rory Purcell featured heavily among the points. Thurles had led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, having played against the wind in the first half.
St Colman’s win over Nenagh means that the group is now finely poised, with Thurles knowing that a win against the Fermoy school would send them through as group winners. Wins for Colman’s, and Nenagh, would make it a three-way tie, which would see scoring difference used to separate the sides.
In Group A, Ardscoil Rís similarly pulled away late on against Blackwater CS, winning by 1-15 to 2-6.
Having led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time, it took a goal from Pádraig O’Loughlin, who was accurate from frees, to see off the challenge of the Lismore school, who did get late goals from Ryan Grey and Tommy McCarthy but missed the presence of Aaron O’Sullivan. Peter Casey, Brian Ryan, Conor Boylan and Cian McCarthy were prominent on the scoreboard for Ardscoil, who have qualified for the quarter-finals after three wins from three.
Midleton’s win over Hamilton HS keeps them in contention and eliminates the Bandon school. The east Cork side, Blackwater and De La Salle will battle it out for the other last-eight spot.
In Group B, Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG v Youghal’s Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, was postponed, leaving that group still in the balance.
In Group D, Castletroy College ensured that their final game against Cork’s CBC will only matter in terms of determining who tops the section, as they beat CBS HS Clonmel by 0-12 to 0-9.
Aaron Kennedy scored nine of the Limerick school’s points, seven from frees, while Mark O’Dwyer (two) and Dan Minihan got the others.