Long leads rout as Thurles go to town

Thurles CBS 5-26 St Flannan’s College, Ennis 0-06
Thurles CBS got their Dr Harty Cup (Munster Post-Primary Schools Senior A Hurling Championship) campaign off to a winning start at Nenagh yesterday, with a facile victory over St Flannan’s College.

Chasing their first title since 2009, the Tipperary students were full value for this 35-point winning margin as they dominated their opponents, producing some wonderful hurling. It took a while for them to find their rhythm, however, and after 15 minutes Flannan’s only trailed 1-4 to 0-5.

Thurles corner-forward Robbie Long grabbed the game’s opening goal in the 14th minute, when he drove a low shot from the right to the bottom corner of the Ennis school’s net.

By the half-time break, Thurles enjoyed a 1-13 to 0-5 advantage with some fine points by free-taker Ronan Teehan, midfielder Paul Kennedy and forwards Long, Niall Heffernan and Billy McCarthy.

With a half-back line of Chris McCullagh, Jack Skehan and Ronan Heffernan in form, they snuffed out the Flannan’s attack.

Two goals early in the second period by Niall Heffernan and Ronan Teehan killed the game off as a contest and the Clare side managed just a solitary second-half score, a point from play by substitute Rory Cahill in the 56th minute.

In the opening half, Thurles hit 10 wides but after the break they improved their accuracy considerably, missing the target on only three occasions.

The St Flannan’s keeper Jake Kearney brought off a fine save early in the half, denying Robbie Long a goal with a diving save to his left, but nonetheless, the impressive corner-forward forced two more goals.

He smashed past Kearney in the 54th minute and, with just two minutes remaining, he completed his hat-trick.

Scorers for Thurles CBS: R Long 3-3, R Teehan 1-8 (0-6f, 0-1 65, N Heffernan 1-3, P Kennedy 0-5, M Stakelum 0-2, B Kelly, B McCarthy, J Butler, K Duggan, R Purcell 0-1 each.

Scorers for St Flannan’s: M Corry 0-2 (2f), S Kennedy (f), J Murphy, B Cahill (f), R Cahill (0-1) each.

THURLES CBS: M Tierney, D Quirke, E Heffernan, J Derby, C McCullagh, J Skehan, R Heffernan, C Moloney, P Kennedy, B McCarthy, N Heffernan, M Stakelum, B Kelly, R Teehan, R Long.

Subs: K Cummins for Quirke (38), J Butler for Kelly (45), K Duggan for Stakelum (47), R Purcell for Teehan (56).

ST FLANNAN’S: J Kearney, D Crimmins, S Burke, J Kelly, H Starr, E Hanrahan, R Hayes, S Kennedy, B Cahill, J Murphy, S Barry, C Donnelly, C Lynch, A Cassidy, M Corry.

Subs: D McNamara for Starr inj. (24), C Mullins for Corry (30), R Cahill for Murphy (33), E Wiley for Cassidy (41), P Collins for Kelly (43).

Referee: M Murphy (Tipperary).

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