With 19 victories, famed Cork hurling nursery North Monastery trail only St Flannan’s College on the Dr Harty Cup roll of honour.
Today, ‘the Mon’ itself doesn’t compete, but its Irish-speaking arm, Gaelcholáiste Mhuire AG, has taken part for the last two years following a brief period where a combination team played.
The previous couple of campaigns have been difficult for ‘the AG’ but a long-term plan was in place and could be coming to fruition, as evidenced by the win against De La Salle two weeks ago.
“If you look back at the team that played in the Harty two years ago,” says manager Eadbhard Ó Cróinín, “12 of those are on the current team. Many of this side would have reached the Dean Ryan Cup final two years ago as well. There has been plenty of pain over the last while, but I think the experience has stood to them and that showed against De La Salle.”
The four-point win against the Waterford city outfit was a repeat of the Dean Ryan game, though De La Salle were without some players who had left school in the interim. Today, the AG face St Colman’s in a Group 2 Cork derby at Watergrasshill and Ó Cróinín is hopeful of building on the momentum.
“It has been tough at times,” he says, “but we always knew in the back of our minds this year was going to be the one to focus on. Every team goes into the Harty half-thinking they can win it. Our attitude though, is that the next game is against Colman’s, who have a huge tradition, and we can’t look beyond that at the rest of the Harty or the O’Callaghan Cup or even [the] next training session.
“Our sole aim is to put performances in in every game and we feel if we do that we won’t be far off a result against any team.”
Elsewhere in Group 2, De La Salle face Castletroy in Cahir. In Group 1, Blackwater CS and St Flannan’s, both beaten first time out, clash in Kilmallock, while Thurles CBS meet West Limerick Colleges at Claughaun.
Group 4 sees Nenagh CBS take on Dungarvan CBS in Cashel and CBS HS Clonmel do battle with Midleton CBS. There is one game in Group 3 as Youghal’s Pobalscoil na Tríonóide play St Caimin’s.
In that group yesterday, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Templemore had a 1-20 to 2-14 win over Charleville CBS at Seán Treacy Park in Tipperary.
Leaders all the way, Templemore had a 0-13 to 0-5 half-time lead as Lyndon Fairbrother, Kevin Hassett and Jordan Moloney got on the scoresheet.
While goals from Tim O’Mahony and Darragh Fitzgibbon saw Charleville mount a fightback, they couldn’t get closer than a point and Radoslaw Natkaniec’s goal for Templemore ensured they wouldn’t be caught.
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