Goals from Ben Cooney and a brace from Bryan McLoughney saw Nenagh CBS secure a resounding 10-point victory over Cork’s Gaelcholaiste Mhuire an Mhainistir Thuaidh in Kilfinane.
This result, along with St Colman’s victory over Ardscoil Ris just six miles down the road in Kilmallock, saw the Tipperary school seal their spot in the last eight.
After a 13-point defeat to the Fermoy school in round 1, Nenagh manager Donach O’Donnell praised his side’s character after they put back-to-back wins together to ensure they would be hurling when the competition resumes after Christmas.
“We had a tough start (to the championship) we got hammered the first day by Colman’s and we played poorly that day and they played exceptionally well so it was a big kick for us to start our season,” O’Donnell said.
“The Ardscoil game then was a tough game and we played fairly well in it and we knew coming down today we needed a win. It wasn’t pretty by any means, the Mon made a good game of it and we only pulled away in the last 15 minutes.”
With scores hard to come by in heavy underfoot conditions, Nenagh were that bit more clinical in front of the posts. Their better distribution and decision making in possession was emphasised by the fact they only hit seven wides – compared to Gaelcholaiste Mhuire’s 13.
“It doesn’t matter who is getting the scores, everyone is working, pushing each other on and making runs, that’s we finish up with them.
“I really believe in that whole sense of team, honesty and unity – all the catchphrases. If you don’t have that honesty and unselfishness among the group, you have nothing, you’ll win nothing,” he added.
In a low scoring opening quarter, the winners were reliant on the free-taking of the impressive Kevin McCarthy as they led 0-3 to 0-2 after 15 minutes. McCarthy added one from play before two quick-fire Conal Moran scores pushed them further ahead.
Seán Ó Riagaín kept the Cork school in touch but they were dealt a body blow with the concession of a 26th minute goal. After good work from Sean Hayes, Cooney was played in and made no mistake with the finish to give Nenagh a 1-6 to 0-4 interval lead.
Gaelcholáiste Mhuire started the second half brightly with Ó Riagaín and Daithí Ó Liatháin getting scores to reduce the gap to two.
However, Nenagh all but secured the points midway through the second half when Bryan McLoughney ended a fine team move that included Tipp minor Sean Phelan and Kevin McCarthy.
McLoughney added another goal in injury time to seal a quarter-final spot and put an end to what was a disappointing campaign for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire.
Scorers for Nenagh CBS: B McLoughney 2-3, (2f); K McCarthy 0-5 (3f); B Cooney 1-0; Conal Moran 0-2.
Scorers for Gaelcholáiste Mhuire: S Ó Riagaín 0-5 (0-2f, 0-1sl); R Ó Murchú, C Ó Muimhneacháin, D Ó Liatháin, L Donnabháin (f) 0-1 each.
NENAGH CBS: R Brislane (Toomevara),B Keating (Portroe), C O’Brien (Portroe), D Spillane (Toomevara); C Bourke (Ballina), D McKelvey ( Silvermines), D Nolan (Silvermines); O Murphy (Silvermines), S Phelan (Nenagh); C Moran (Knockshegawna), C Hennessy (Nenagh), S Hayes (Kiladangan); K O’Kelly (Kilruane,) K McCarthy Toomevara),B Cooney (Burgess).
Subs: B McLoughney (Kiladangan) for Hennessy (ht); C McKelvey (Silvermines) for Murphy (40 mins); J O’Meara (Kiladangan) for Keating (42); M Corcoran (Silvermines) for Cooney (50); J McGrath (Kiladangan) for Phelan (54).
GAELCHOLÁIASTE MHUIRE: L Donnabháin (Na Piarsaigh); A Ó Murchú (Whitechurch), L Ó Riain (Inniscarra), D Ó Cionnaith (Na Piarsaigh); S Ó Brádaigh (Na Piarsaigh), L Ó Murchú (Na Piarsaigh), L Ó hArgáin (Glen Rovers); C Ó Muimhneacháin (Na Piarsaigh), R Ó Murchú (Whitechurch); L Mulroy (Glen Rovers), S Ó Riagaín (Watergrasshill), C Ó Luanaigh (Sarsfields); D Ó Teimhneáin (Glen Rovers), D Ó Liatháin (Na Piarsaigh) C Ó Siocháin (Na Piarsaigh).
Subs: E Ó Laoighaire (Glen Rovers) for Mulroy (ht); D Ó Murchú for Ó Luanaigh (ht)
REFEREE: Mike Sexton (Limerick).