A second-half Michael O’Reilly goal set them on the way, although they did have to withstand a late Cork rally.
Not since 1928 has the High School won this prestigious trophy. Next up is St Francis College, Rochestown — a team they have beaten in the group stages. For selector Tony Gleeson yesterday was a day to savour.
“Tipperary football is emerging. In my time in the High School, and I am there a long time, we have never got this far. The county minors will be very strong this year — there are eight or nine of them there that will be on the panel.
“This is a new step for us. We won the B All-Ireland in 2011. Great work is being done in Clonmel and by the clubs around (The Nire as well). And Clonmel Commercials (my own club) are in the All-Ireland senior semi-final and that has given us a lift as well.”
Ahead by the minimum at the break, 0-7 to 1-3, High School Clonmel had it all to do turning to play into a stiff breeze. However, they showed their intent when Shane O’Meara forced a point-blank save from Eoghan Curzon — his second stop of the day. They eventually beat the custodian when O’Reilly finished superbly in the 37th minute. Prior to that, O’Meara struck a penalty wide, the foul on Dara Ryan resulting in a black card for Luke Fahy.
The Tipperary side built up a six-point lead with five minutes remaining (1-11 to 1-5), but the Cork school’s challenge re-ignited, and late points from Robert Bourke, Eoin Reilly and Gearoid O’Donoghue made for a nervous finish.
When Keith O’Riordan set up Matthew Whelan for a Coláiste Choilm goal at the end of the first quarter, there were encouraging signs as they went 1-3 to 0-3 ahead but they failed to score for the remainder of the half while O’Meara (2), O’Reilly and Michael Barlow pointed for Clonmel.
Coláiste Choilm selector Darren Farry was critical of some of Alan Kissane’s refereeing.
“There were a lot of questionable decisions that went against both sides. But, Clonmel are a good team and they have a good chance of having a cut off the Corn Uí Mhuirí.”
M Barlow (0-5 frees), M O’Reilly (1-2, 0-2 45s), S O’Meara (0-3, two frees), M Kehoe (0-1).
M Whelan (1-0), A O’Connell (0-3, one free), G O’Donoghue (0-2), E Reilly, R Bourke and C O’Callaghan (0-1 each).
A Tobin (Clonmel Commercials); J Mulcahy (The Nire), S Ryan (The Nire), G Ryan (Clonmel Commercials); L Cooney (The Nire), G Whelan (Ardfinnan), K Peters (Clonmel Commercials); M Kehoe (Kilsheelan), E Hoctor (Clonmel Commercials); M Hogan (Ardfinnan), C Boland (Clonmel Commercials), D Ryan (Moyle Rovers); M Barlow (Ardfinnan), S O’Meara (The Nire), M O’Reilly (Clonmel Commercials).
M Barlow (Clonmel Commercials) for M Hogan (46), M Hogan for L Cooney (53).
E Curzon (Kilmurry); L Fahy (Ballincollig), F Warren (Kilmurry), R McCarthy (Éire Óg); A O’Doherty (Éire Óg), J Lordan (Ballinora), K Crowley (Ballincollig); E Reilly (Ballincollig), G O’Donoghue (Ballincollig); R Bourke (Ballincollig), C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), E O’Shea (Éire Óg); K O’Riordan (Éire Óg), M Whelan (Ballincollig), A O’Connell (Inniscarra).
W Ronan (Kilmurry) for L Fahy (BC 35), S Warren (Kilmurry) for K O’Riordan (55), B Hurley (Éire Óg) for A O’Connell (60).
A Kissane (Waterford).