ALL IRELAND COLLEGES SENIOR C HC FINAL
Mitchelstown CBS v St Marys Magherafelt
Saturday, March 18
Kinnegad, Westmeath 2pm
It’s a first for Mitchelstown CBS as they contest their first All Ireland Senior C Hurling Final. Of course, it’s not a first Senior C colleges All Ireland final for the school, they did win the football equivalent against another Northern side Warrenpoint in 2016
On the way to Saturday’s final CBS had some good wins. The first three games were played on a Round Robin system. They faced Ballincollig Community College in Rathcormac. CBS had a very big win in this game by 5-22 to 1-5.
Round 2 was against Patrician Academy (Mallow) in Kildorrery. On this occasion CBS emerged victorious by 4-14 to 0-5. Round 3 game was played in Ballyporeen where CBS had a resounding victory over Scoil Ruain Killenaule by 1-25 to 1-11.
The next game was against Scoil Pol Kilfinane on November 30 in Kildorrery. CBS emerged winners by 0-17 to 1-9.
The next match was a Munster quarter-final against Scarriff Community College played in UL Grounds Limerick on January 11. Following a close game CBS came out on top by 2- 14 to 1-15.
The Munster semi final 10 days later saw CBS again travel to UL where they accounted for Ennistymon CBS by 1-23 to 1-15. The North Clare side enjoyed an early period of dominance with an early point.
Ben Carey levelled for CBS before Ennistymon edged ahead again. Luke Keating levelled. Good play by Cathal Walsh, Darragh O’Brien and Luke Keating led to Evan Hickey pointing to put CBS ahead.
The Mitchelstown side enjoyed a purple patch with Adam Barry, and Cian O’Brien doing well in defence and the forwards were beginning to find space. Strong support from midfielders Charlie English and Darragh O’Brien both being very prominent throughout.
Ben Carey was also in great form fielding excellently and scoring direct from a CBS puckout. Luke Keating pointed a free followed quickly by Charlie English who added an excellent point.
Good work by Matthew Fitzgibbon and Shane Looney led to a goal by Oisin Ryan as Mitchelstown moved 5 points clear. Ennistymon had a point with Darragh O’Brien replying. After
20 minutes play CBS led 1-7 to 0-4 Good play by Cathal English led to a Cathal Walsh point. CBS defence were very solid. Ennistymon had two points before Eoghan Geary made a splendid save. Charlie English with a point opened up a lead 1-9 to 0-6. Just before half time Ennistymon added two points 1-9 to 0-8 at half-time.
For the second half CBS moved Darragh O’Brien to full forward and Luke Keating to centre-forward. The Clare side had an early point. Luke Keating replied from a very long range free to leave four points between the sides again.
The game was now finely balanced. Good work by Shane Looney and Luke Keating resulted in a free for CBS that Luke Keating pointed. A massive point by Keating restored the five point lead.
Good play by Diarmuid O’Brien Jack McNamara and Ben Carey led to a Charlie English point. Cathal English was outstanding in defence, Ennistymon were now finding it hard to make progress up front. Both sides exchanged a point.
Ben Carey pointed and CBS were 1-15 to 0-11 clear. By the 50th minute CBS were six points clear. Luke Keating (free) stretched the lead to seven. Jamie Fogarty and Eoghan Geary made some great clearances.
Points by Cian Coughlan and Cian Ryan edged CBS 1-20 to 0-14 ahead as normal time was nearly up. Eoghan Geary made another fine save. Cian Coughlan pointed again. CBS were now 1-23 to 0-15 ahead deep in injury time. Eoghan Geary saved a penalty as Ennistymon battled to the end.
The Munster final was played in Kilmallock. It was a very close game between Mitchelstown CBS and Salesian College Pallaskenry. CBS emerged very close winners by 1-11 to 0-12 to bridge a 19 year gap since they were Munster champions before.
The Limerick side showed the greater urgency during the opening exchanges. Jamie Fogarty denied Barry Adams with a good goal scoring chance. CBS had a number of wides Luke Keating pointed a free. Pallaskenry moved double scores ahead by the 22nd minute.
CBS got to grips with Cathal English turning in a huge display at centre back that was central in his sides victory while others to impress were Jamie Fogarty, Charlie English, Ben Carey, Darragh O’Brien and Luke Keating.
Keating added a point and Eoghan Geary made a massive save. Darragh O’Brien levelled and Luke Keating added a point. Pallaskenry levelled as they were deadlocked for the fourth time at 0-5 each at half-time.
On the changeover CBS did well, Luke Keating had two early points. The Limerick side got back within a point 0-8 to 0-7 by the 40th minute. The defining score came a minute later when a delivery by Darragh O’Brien from out near the sideline found Luke Keating who scored the only goal of the game. CBS now led 1-8 to 0-7.
Pallaskenry had a point but CBS moved 1-11 to 0-8 ahead by the 49th minute. This proved to be their last score. The Limerick side had four points in succession. Under severe pressure in the dying moments CBS full-bac kline of Diarmuid O’Brien, Jamie Fogarty and Adam Barry held firm.
The All Ireland Senior C HC semi final was played in Gurteen, Doora Barefield in County Clare early this month. CBS got a massive result by a two point margin after having to give best to the Galway side for long periods.
It was a great last quarter coming from five points down to win by two over Clarin College Athenry. By the 24th minute Clarin College led by double scores 1-7 to 0-5. CBS hit back well. Luke Keating moved to midfield.
Oisín Ryan pointed after good play by Evan Hickey. Luke Keating followed with a point. Evan Hickey with another point had the lead cut at half-time 1-8 to 0-8.
The Galway side did well on the resumption and moved 1-11 to 0-9 ahead entering the final quarter. Cathal English moved to attack and Darragh O’Brien to defence.
Substitutes Cian Coughlan, Cian Ryan Kevin Cotter and Conor Walsh all did well. A goal by Cathal English forced level 1-12 each by the 53rd minute.
Cian Coughlan placed Cathal English for the lead point. Points by Kevin Cotter and Ben Carey saw CBS hold out for a memorable win by 1-16 to 1-14.
St Mary’s Magherafelt had a 1-8 to 0-10 win over Dublin champions Terenure College in the All Ireland semi-final. Saturday’s final is for the Michael Cusack.
CBS report a full bill of health. Coaches Willie Duggan and Anthony Nash are hoping for good support for the team. Weather conditions could have a big bearing on the outcome.