Colman’s remain the last school to achieve a three-in-a-row in the competition, but the high water-mark of the 2000-02 treble has been hard to emulate. Consecutive last-four showings point to a resurgence, however.
Having had the strong breeze behind them in the first half, they led by 15 points, 3-7 to 0-1, at half-time. While the elements were worth a few points, it was always likely a clean sheet would be enough to see off Christians.
As things transpired, the Sidney Hill outfit did raise one green flag, but the strike from relocated centre-back Eoin Moloney came in the 62nd minute, reducing the deficit from nine points to six, allowing Colman’s to hold out. St Colman’s manager Flannan Cleary paid tribute to the first-half effort which had laid the foundations.
“The wind, the whole way through, was very significant, it was worth a lot,” said Cleary. “It was very important to capitalise. We actually lost the toss, they elected to play against the wind. The pressure’s on then, you have to get the scores on the board, but once we got going, we really did. To hold them to just one point in the first=-half was very pleasing. They started getting points in the second-half then, but it took them a long time to get the goal.
“We have a lot of strong characters there. The defending was excellent and the effort from the forwards was huge.”
Having got three points on the board early, Colman’s buttressed the lead when Barry Murphy did well to create an opening, aided by Conleth Ryan’s clever dummy, and fired home.
In the wake of that, Declan O’Hanlon did open the CBC account with an excellent long-range free, but it wasn’t to prove a kick-starter. Instead, Brian Roche goaled when Eoin Davis’s massive puckout fell to him and then Ryan was able to pull to the net following a scramble A strong finish to the half, with centre-back Niall O’Leary dominant, had them in a near-impregnable position, but CBC did come out for the second-half with renewed endeavour. Tommy O’Connell’s frees helped to cut the gap while O’Hanlon also made his presence felt on the scoreboard, but the Colman’s full-back line – led by O’Leary’s twin brother Jamie – wasn’t allowing many goal chances. When CBC sub Jamie Corkery pointed soon after his arrival, it was 3-10 to 0-11 with six minutes left. An inviting O’Hanlon ball allowed Corkery half a sight of goal but from a tight angle his shot went across and wide.
Diarmuid Lenihan and then Murphy pushed Colman’s clear again and though Moloney did crash a shot to the net, there was no time for the fightback to develop any further.
B Murphy (1-3), B Roche (1-2), D Lenihan (0-4, frees), J Sheehan (0-3), C Ryan (1-0).
T O’Connell (0-5, frees), D O’Hanlon (0-4), E Moloney (1-0), J Twomey, D McBarron, J Corkery (0-1 each).
E Davis (St Catherine’s); E Wallace (St Catherine’s), J O’Leary (Castlelyons), K Neville (St Catherine’s); S McCarthy (Fermoy), N O’Leary (Castlelyons), E Roche (Bride Rovers); S O’Connor (Bride Rovers), D Lenihan (Ballyhooly); J Sheehan (Kilworth), B Murphy (Castlelyons), D Lardner (Fermoy); C Ryan (Bride Rovers), B Roche (Bride Rovers), A Creed (Fermoy).
E Carey (Kilworth) for Creed (48), F Hickey (Ballyduff Upper, Waterford) for Lardner (55, injured), S Kenny (Ballyduff Upper, Waterford) for Murphy (60, injured).
D Heffernan (Mallow); C Barrett (St Finbarr’s), C Power (Blarney), A Cronin (Glen Rovers); B Keohane (Ballincollig), E Moloney (Midleton), C Flynn (Na Piarsaigh); M Walsh (Cloughduv), S Finn (Midleton); J Twomey (Kilshanning), D O’Hanlon (Blarney), C Murphy (Na Piarsaigh); T O’Connell (Midleton), R Downey (Glen Rovers), E McCarthy (Inniscarra).
J Corkery (Glen Rovers) for McCarthy (36), D McBarron (Carrigaline) for Murphy (43), C McNamara (Erin’s Own) for Power (51).
D Kirwan (Éire Óg).