Croke Cup holders St Kieran’s College will appear in their sixth consecutive All Ireland final at the end of the month as Ballyhale Shamrocks hero Eoin Cody scored eight points (five frees and three from play) in a nervy victory over CBC at the WIT Arena this afternoon.
The 22 time champions never trailed from the eighth minute onwards but CBC pushed them all the way.
The Cork school twice closed within a point during the second half while playing against the wind.
The Harty Cup runners-up had a goal disallowed before the break and created two chances for green flags on the resumption.
A Patrick McBarron shot was only a whisker wide and an injury time free from goalkeeper Cian Long was deflected over the crossbar.
Three days after tasting Tommy Moore glory with their club, Cody, Darragh Corcoran and Dean Mason guided their school back to another final.
Four Cody points and three from Aaron Brennan left St Kieran’s 9-8 ahead at half time.
CBC captain and top scorer Shane Barrett converted five frees. They trailed 8-5 after 25 minutes but Declan Hanlon effort, after a fine catch by the towering Niall Hartnett, and two Barrett dead balls levelled matters.
They also had a goal ruled out in this period when Donnacha O’Callaghan judged that Jack O’Kelly was in the square from a Cillian O'Donovan free.
A David Blanchfield point in injury time snuck Kieran’s in front at the break.
The Kilkenny students kicked on with four points in succession. Cody was on target twice while Cian Kenny and Martin O’Connell also raised white flags to make it 13-8 by the 39th minute.
CBC came back with four of their own however to bring it down to a point again entering the last quarter.
Cody then left three defenders for dead to get a much needed score for the holders. Padraig Power narrowed the gap to one with five minutes left.
Cian Long then saved with his feet from Cody before Conor Hoban pointed. Kieran’s added two more through Cody and Blanchfield to set up a final rematch with Presentation Athenry on March 30.
E Cody 0-8 (5fs), A Brennan 0-3, D Blanchfield, M O’Connell 0-2 each, C Kenny, C Hoban 0-1 each.
S Barrett 0-7 (7fs), K Finn, P Power 0-2 each, C O’Donovan, D Hanlon, C Long (f), J O’Kelly 0-1 each.
D Mason (Ballyhale Shamrocks); D O’Keeffe (Dunamaggin), P O’Neill (Young Irelands), J Young (O’Loughlin Gaels); D Corcoran (Ballyhale Shamrocks), C Murphy (Bennettsbridge),K Egan (Graigue-Ballycallan); M O’Connell (Clara), D Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge); A Brennan (Graigue-Ballycallan), E Cody (Ballyhale Shamrocks), E Moylan (Dicksboro); C Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels), C Hoban (Dunamaggin), C Kenny (James Stephens)
D Maher (St Lachtains) for Moylan (48), C Brennan (Bennettsbridge) for O’Connell (55). D Fwamba (O’Loughlin Gaels) for Kelly (57).
C Long (Glen Rovers); C Daly (Lismore), P Hennessy (Mallow), D Barry (Sarsfields); I Daly (Lismore), C O’Donovan (Douglas), J Scally (Bishopstown); D Hanlon (Blarney), K Finn (Midleton); O McCarthy (Inniscarra), N Hartnett (Douglas), S Barrett (Blarney); R Cotter (Blackrock), J O’Kelly (St Finbarrs), P McBarron (Carrigaline)
J Cahalane (St Finbarrs) for Cotter (HT), P Power (Blarney) for McBarron (38).
D O Callaghan (Limerick)