Top Oil Leinster PP Schools SH ‘A’ Semi-Final
St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny 1-18, St Peter’s College, Wexford 1-7
A masterclass by Adrian Mullen inspired St Kieran’s College to an easier than expected victory over St
Peter’s College Top Oil Leinster PP Schools SH ‘A’ Semi-Final at the Netwatch Fenagh GAA Grounds
The corner forward and captain finished with a personal tally of 0-14, including some brilliantly converted ‘65’s and frees.
His ability to effortlessly float over three 65s when facing into a stiff breeze in the first half was particularly impressive.
Though the biting cold made conditions difficult, St Kieran’s settled better and would have been delighted to return to the dressing room at half time on level terms – 0-9 to 1-6.
St Peter’s College really needed to take advantage of the elements in the opening 30 minutes. But even after a Barry O’Connor goal gave them a three point lead after 20 minutes, they could not keep their opponents on the back foot.
Two-thirds of the Wexford side already tasted glory in the Top Oil Leinster PP Schools football final last month and had got their hurling campaign off to a positive start with a big win over St Brendan’s CS.
But they really needed to hit the ground running today and were unable to do so. The sides were level on five occasions in the opening 20 minutes, with midfielders Jack Brazil ad Quinn Saunders, wing forward Kyle Firman and full forward Rory O’Connor all on target for St Peter’s College.
Meanwhile, however, St Kieran’s College kept in touch through Adrian Mullen, Evan Shefflin and Eoin O’Shea.
The breakthrough St Peter’s College required came when Barry O’Connor fired a ground stroke to the net, but a Rory O’Connor free was their only other score in the half.
Man of the match Mullen responded with scores from play, a ‘65’ and two excellent frees to restore parity again.
And it was Mullen who drove on St Kieran’s College after the resumption, with four of their five unanswered points in the third quarter. Wing back Killian Egan was also on target as St Peter’s College couldn’t cope with the strong wind in their faces.
St Kieran’s College were on top in all sectors, with Michael Carey and Matthew Keoghan dominant at the heart of their defence, and St Peter’s College only mustered one point from a free in the second half.
The reigning Leinster and All-Ireland champions finished on a high note when substitute Ciaran Brennan scored their only goal in injury-time to send them through to another final, where they will meet Kilkenny CBS or Good Counsel College, New Ross.
The other semi-final was unfinished today, following an injury to a player early in the second half, and it will be re-fixed on Monday. At the time, Kilkenny CBS led by 2-5 to 0-3, having played with the wind in their favour in the first half.
ST KIERAN’S COLLEGE: D Mason; T Ronan, M Carey, L Murphy; B Lawlor, M Keoghan, K Egan (0-1); T Drea, D Phelan; E Shefflin (0-1), E Moylan, E O’Shea (0-1); D Barron (0-1), S Ryan, A Mullen (0-14, 7f,3 ‘65’).
Subs: C Brennan (1-0) for S Ryan; P Mullen for E Shefflin; S Donohoe for B Lawlor.
ST PETER’S COLLEGE: J Henebery; S Banville, B Maddock, F O’Driscoll; E O’Leary, C Firman, S Keane Carroll; Q Saunders (0-1), J Brazil (0-1); B O’Connor (1-0), M Codd, K Firman (0-1); J Devereux, R O’Connor (0-4, 3f), F O’Crualaoich.
Referee: P Murphy (Carlow).