Already through to the business end of the competition, Ardscoil Rís let roar a clear statement of intent yesterday by overcoming both De La Salle and some seriously challenging conditions in Boherlahan.
Credit must to to both teams for coming up with an entertaining hour’s hurling after a morning of relentless rain, and also to the pitch and its minders for withstanding the torrents for long enough to allow the match proceed.
It was Ardscoil, however, who proved more up for the challenge as they got on top early on and with their superior ball-winning, intelligent use of possession and potent scoring threats up front, they ended up comfortable winners.
Conor Boylan ended up with 2-3 from play and will be a serious conundrum for any defence in the quarter-finals, while comrades in attack Peter Casey and Paraic O’Loughlin were also formidable finishers.
After some early wides, the Limerick college found their range after a low-scoring opening quarter and led by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break, the goal a nice flicked effort by Boylan, before a couple of late frees from Thomas Douglas kept De La Salle in the game.
A goal from a free by the same man, when he kept his shot low and bouncing along in the mud to deceive the Ard Scoil backs, levelled things just after half-time but Ardscoil took control again.
After an O’Loughlin free, Conor Boylan doubled his goal count when he scrambled the sliotar to the net after a mix-up in the De La Salle defence, and the Waterford college could only manage one more score, an excellent long-range point by Thomas Douglas.
In the closing 20 minutes, Ardscoil added on 2-5 without reply, including a well-taken goal by substitute Jack McInerny near the end after a nice run and pass by fellow-sub Paul O’Brien.
It all comes down to the last match for De La Salle who must avoid defeat against Midleton CBS next time out to remain alive.
Ardscoil Rís - C Boylan 2-3, J McInerny 2-0, P O’Loughlin 0-4 (3F), P Casey 0-2, D Fitzgerald 0-1, B Ryan 0-1.
De La Salle - T Douglas 1-4 (1-3F), D Power 0-2.
E Foley, J Delahunty, S Phelan, S Hogan, C Houlihan, N Fox, J Boylan, B Ryan, J Flynn, D Carroll, D Cunningham, P O’Loughlin, C Boylan, C Moriarty, P Casey.
D Fitzgerald for D Cunningham (38), P O’Brien for D Carroll (43), R Connolly for S Hogan (48), J McInerny for C Moriarty (49), L Buckley for C Houlihan (50).
R Ryan, L Walsh, L Wall, N Byrne, M Costigan, P Hennebry, M Kearns, M Mahony, H Ruddle, G Coppinger, T Douglas, E Daly, B O’Sullivan, D Coady, D Power.
C McCann for B O’Sullivan (49), L Power for R Ryan (56), D Hogan for N Byrne (59).
Kevin Jordan (Thurles).