Three Cork schools, two each from Clare and Tipperary, and one from Waterford, have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Harty Cup.
Yesterday was moving day in the Munster post-primary hurling competition, with numerous schools in contention for a knockout berth.
In the end, it was Midleton CBS, Christian Brothers College, Cork, and St Colman’s Fermoy (all Cork), St Flannan’s College Ennis and St Joseph’s Secondary School Tulla (both Clare), Thurles CBS and Our Lady’s Templemore (both Tipperary), and Waterford’s De La Salle College who filled the eight available spots.
It’s a long time since two Clare schools reached the quarter-finals in the same season. St Flannans’ win, which saw them finish top of Group B, is documented elsewhere on this page, the Ennis side’s progression less dramatic than that of St Joseph’s Tulla.
The latter travelled to Mallow knowing that either a win or draw against Hamilton HS, Bandon would send them into the bowl for the knockout phase. And with the teams tied at 1-11 to 0-14 at the final whistle, a late Sean Withycombe point securing Tulla a share of the spoils, the Clare side advanced to the quarter-finals on their marginally superior score difference (-5) by comparison with Bandon (-6).
Tulla appeared down and out when a Mark Hickey goal 12 minutes from the hour mark moved Hamilton High School into a three-point lead. There was still three between them with three minutes left, but late points from Daragh Keogh and Withycombe rescued a draw and, in the process, prolonged St Joseph’s interest in the Harty Cup.
Waterford’s De La Salle took secondbehind St Flannan’s in Group B when scoring a 0-12 to 1-6 win over Blackwater Community School Lismore. De La Salle College had led 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.
Thurles CBS topped Group A with their third win of the campaign, they defeated Nenagh CBS 2-7 to 1-7 at the Ragg. Devon Ryan hit 0-4 (three frees) for the winners, with Darren Flood and Jack Leamy the Thurles goal-scorers. That result meant St Colman’s Fermoy would have got through with just a draw against John the Baptist Community School, but the East Cork side had far too much for their opponents at Kilfinane, running out 0-15 to 0-6 winners.
In Group C, Ardscoil Rís and CBC played out a 0-13-all draw, not sufficient for Ardscoil Rís to progress. The Limerick city school, who lost to Templemore and beat Rochestown in earlier rounds, needed a win at Kilmallock yesterday to reach the knockout stages. Ardscoil Rís led by the minimum with six minutes left, but two points from CBC’s Jack Cahalane put the victory out of reach for Ardscoil Rís. This is the second successive year where Ardscoil Rís have failed to make the last eight. They were quarter-finalists in each of the 12 seasons prior to that.
Our Lady’s Templemore beat Rochestown 2-21 to 0-14 in the other group game to advance along with Christians.
The Harty Cup quarter-final draw will take place early next month. Repeat pairings will be avoided. Group winners will be paired against group runners-up.
The Harty Cup quarter-finals will take place on Wednesday, January 8.