Críost Rí, managed by Cork captain Paul Kerrigan, only trailed in the first five minutes of this tense encounter, but a solid Rochestown defensive unit proved difficult to break down.
While Mark Cronin’s point put Críost Rí 0-8 to 0-4 ahead on 46, Dylan Ward had an immediate reply for Rochestown and Cian Denn might have had a goal on 53 but for a great Barry Cripps block.
James Holland’s third point did reduce the gap further as the end of normal time neared, but there was to be no game-winning goal for the 2015 defeated finalists.
For Críost Rí – who last won in 2011 – captain Jack Ryan excelled at midfield while corner-back John Corcoran was also outstanding. Though Cronin and Myers Murray found themselves tightly policed by Nathan Walsh and Eoghan Riordan respectively, they were able to contribute five crucial points between them.
The Turner’s Cross school were 0-4 to 0-3 ahead at half-time and though Holland levelled on the resumption, Daniel Lucey responded for Críost Rí and Cronin (two) and Mark Brosnan eased them four clear. They wouldn’t score again, but they had done enough.
Scorers for Coláiste Chríost Rí: M Cronin (0-3, 1 free), C Myers Murray (0-2, frees), J Ryan, D Lucey M Brosnan (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Francis College: J Holland 0-3 (1 free), D Ward, C Russell, M McAuliffe (0-1 each).
COLÁISTE CHRÍOST RÍ: D Moran (St Finbarr’s); A McGowan (Nemo Rangers), B Cripps (Nemo Rangers), J Corcoran (Nemo Rangers); M Hitchmough (Shamrocks), P Cummins (St Michael’s), D Kelly (Douglas); J Ryan (Sliabh Rua), K Forde (Nemo Rangers); J Coughlan (Nemo Rangers), D Lucey (Mayfield), J O’Brien (St Finbarr’s); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), M Brosnan (Carrigaline), C Myers Murray (St Finbarr’s).
Subs: R Dalton (Nemo Rangers) for Forde (30, injured), J O’Brien (Nemo Rangers) for Coughlan (58).
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: D O’Keeffe (Douglas); E Riordan (Carrigaline), R Ó Colmáin (St Michael’s), N Walsh (Douglas); D Corkery (St Michael’s), D Ward (Douglas), J Golden (St Michael’s); J Lyons (Nemo Rangers), L Grainger (St Michael’s); C Denn (St Michael’s), C Russell (Douglas), D Andrews (Shamrocks); J Holland (Douglas), M McAuliffe (Douglas), C O’Mahony (Douglas).
Subs: A Hennessy (St Michael’s) for Golden (27, injured), S Hilliard (Cobh) for Corkery (half-time), D Cormack (St Michael’s) for Andrews (45, injured), B Powter (Douglas) for Denn (57).
Referee: M Meade (Limerick).