Regardless of the outcome in the other game between Thurles CBS and St Joseph’s CBS of Nenagh, a six-point victory was going to be enough for Colman’s to secure one of the top spots. Having trailed for much of the first half following a penalty goal by Doon’s Mark Coleman in the eighth minute, the Fermoy school went ahead when Kyle Cronin netted just before half-time to make it 1-8 to 1-6.
While Doon sub Chris Berkery did respond with a point from his first touch just before half-time, by the time the Limerick school would score again, Colman’s would have added an unanswered 1-4, Cronin raising a green flag for the second time.
It was a polished performance from a well-coached Colman’s side, who had all six of their starting forwards on the scoresheet, with the inside line of Cronin, Keith O’Leary and Stephen Condon contributing 2-13 of their 2-20 total. However, it took them a while to get to grips with Doon’s good start, as points by Coleman and Jack Ryan put them 0-3 to 0-2 ahead before Mike Feehan’s burst through the middle was illegally ended inside the Colman’s large rectangle.
Coleman drilled his penalty to the net for a four-point advantage and, while that was cancelled out as St Colman’s had points from Diarmuid Lenihan, Stephen Condon, Keith O’Leary and Seán McCarthy, it remained close.
Doon threatened another goal on 22 minutes when Dylan O’Connor’s shot was saved by Eoin Davis and while Colman’s corner-back Kieran Neville blocked Ben Leonard’s follow-up, they still led on 27 after J Richardson’s long-range effort. It was the last time they would have the upper hand. Colman’s centre-back Niall O’Leary initiated a surge from deep and his release to Cronin was perfect, allowing the corner-forward to fire home.
On the resumption, Colman’s were focused, Cormac Donnellan pointing inside the first minute. Condon added a free and then the Niall O’Leary/Cronin axis produced another goal, the attacker pulling on his team-mate’s bouncing delivery. When Keith O’Leary sent over two more points, it was 2-12 to 1-7.
With Condon having his sights set from frees, they pushed 10 points clear, 2-16 to 1-9, at one stage. For Doon to have had any hope of qualifying, they needed Thurles to beat Nenagh but even with their hopes dashed, O’Connor’s frees brought them back in touch and he kicked a goal after a scramble in the dying minutes.
Coleman’s goal attempt from a 20m free was repelled, however, and Colman’s saw out victory with points from Donnellan and Keith O’Leary, with the whistle greeted by a pitch invasion from their sizable and boisterous support.
S Condon 0-7 (four frees), K Cronin 2-0, K O’Leary 0-6, C Donnellan 0-3, N O’Leary 0-2 (frees), D Lenihan, S McCarthy 0-1 each.
D O’Connor 1-4 (two frees), M Coleman 1-3 (1-0 penalty, one free), K McMahon, M Feehan, J Ryan, C Berkery 0-1 each.
E Davis (St Catherine’s); E Wallace (St Catherine’s), J O’Leary (Castlelyons), K Neville (St Catherine’s); E McGrath (Kilworth), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), O Hickey (Ballyduff); J Saich (Kilworth), S O’Connor (Bride Rovers); D Lenihan (Ballyhooly) C Donnellan (Kilworth), S McCarthy (Fermoy); K Cronin (Watergrasshill), K O’Leary (Castlelyons), S Condon (Glanworth).
T O’Donnell (Glanworth) for McCarthy (42), J Sheehan (Kilworth) for O’Leary (60).
R Renehan (Cappawhite); P Ryan (Doon), B McPartland (Doon), B Murphy (Doon); G Ryan (Murroe-Boher), M O’Brien (Doon), J Fitzgibbon (Cappamore); J Richardson (Murroe-Boher), C Roche (Pallasgreen); K McMahon (Pallasgreen), M Feehan (Seán Treacys), J Ryan (Doon); B Leonard (Cappamore), M Coleman (Doon), D O’Connor (Murroe-Boher).
C Berkery (Doon) for Leonard (29), M Ryan (Cappamore) for Roche (48), P Fitzgerald (Cappamore) for McMahon (57).
J McCormack (Tipperary).