Testing conditions made life difficult, but once the Fermoy college gained a foothold through Kyle Cronin’s first-half goal, they pushed on after Stephen Condon’s green flag at the three-quarter juncture.
Condon contributed 1-6 — his goal crucial — leaving St Colman’s as Cork’s sole representation in the last four. But victory came with a price as midfielder Shane O’Connor was one of three players red-carded with seven minutes remaining after a melee broke out. Christians’ Robert Downey and Sean Dolan were also dismissed by referee Nathan Wall following consultation with his umpires.
St Colman’s haven’t won the title since the 2001-03 three-in-a-row side and selector Paddy Hogan said they were ‘ecstatic’ to get to the Munster semi-final and had high praise for Condon’s goal.
“Stephen brought us over the line. It was a fantastic goal from an acute angle. Ardscoil Rís are next and that will be our focus now. We take one match at a time.”
No fairytale ending for Christians, who enjoyed a remarkable journey in their first year back in the competition. Little separated the teams early on but once St Colman’s got their radar tuned in they led for the first time on 25 minutes, 0-4 to 0-3. Billy Hennessy’s point was the highlight for CBC.
When Cronin whipped a ground shot to the net three minutes from the interval, it helped the north Cork side establish a 1-5 to 0-5 lead at the change of ends.
St Colman’s turned with the wind to their backs but it was Christians who set about cutting the gap to the minimum with points from Jamie Corkery (2) and Eoin Monahan. However, Condon’s accuracy was critical and along with the work-rate of Jeremy Saich, St Colman’s extended their advantage to three points.
Christians goalkeeper Tommy O’Connell brought off a fine save from Cronin but when Condon blasted the rebound to the net, St Colman’s charged 2-9 to 0-9 ahead with the final quarter left to play. Dolan came near to netting for CBC but his shot flew over the bar as did Monahan who hit the post.
St Colman’s, who closed out with a brace of points, gave little away in defence, with Oisin Hickey particularly defiant before he departed injured, as well as Castlelyons duo Niall and Jamie O’Leary.
S Condon (1-6, 0-3 frees, 0-1 65m), K Cronin (1-1), B Murphy, C Donnellan, D Linehan, S O’Connor and O Hickey (0-1 each).
J Corkery (0-6, five frees), B Hennessy, R Downey, E Monahan, S Dolan and R O’Flynn (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); S O’Connor (Bride Rovers), J Saich (Kilworth); D Linehan (Ballyhooly), K O’Leary (Castlelyons), C Donnellan (Kilworth); K Cronin (Watergrasshill), B Murphy (Castlelyons), S Condon (Glanworth).
J Sheehan (Kilworth) for K O’Leary (50), D O’Regan (Kilworth) for O Hickey (60 inj), T O’Donnell (St Catherine’s) for B Murphy (61).
T O’Connell (Midleton); D O’Callaghan (Blackrock), K Crowley (Sarsfields), K Green (Blackrock); B Hennessy (St Finbarr’s), E Moloney (Midleton), C McNamara (Erin’s Own); M Walsh (Cloughduv), R Downey (Glen Rovers); P Blake (Whitechurch), E Monahan (Erin’s Own), R O’Flynn (Erin’s Own); D O’Sullivan (Kilshannig), B Keohane (Ballincollig), J Corkery (Glen Rovers).
S Dolan (Sarsfields) for D O’Sullivan (45), C Barrett (St Finbarr’s) for C McNamara (50).
Nathan Wall (Cork).