Crowning glory for fine-tuned history makers Scoil Pól in the Munster PPS Corn Risteard Uí Mhathúna Senior Hurling C Final

Scoil Pól, Kilfinane, Munster Post Primary Schools Senior Hurling C Corn Risteard Uí Mhathúna champiuons 2023

SCOIL PÓL, KILFINANE……………………………………………………………..1-11
History was made on the well-appointed Fethard Astro turf on Saturday afternoon when Scoil Pól Kilfinane brought a Munster Senior Hurling title to the south Limerick seat of learning for a first time following victory over Glanmire Community College.
When referee John Bugler sounded the final whistle, it was the cue for an explosion of emotion among the huge Scoil Pól following after the hurlers of 23/24 had won the right to take custody of Corn Risteard Uí Mhathúna for the next twelve months.
It was a victory fashioned out with raw courage, commitment and no mean amount of skill and will serve as a paragon for others as to what can be achieved through good organisation and preparation. In this regard the backroom team of Anthony Punch, Ed Kiely and Peadar McCarthy must take a bow, they had their team meticulously prepared for everything that Glanmire were going to throw at them, had them focused and had inculcated into them a sense of discipline and togetherness that did not even threaten to waver or falter at any stage during the course of the match.
A display of incredible internal fortitude from the goalkeeper to the left corner forward and from the first shrill on John Bugler’s whistle to the last, ensured that the men from the Ballyhouras were taking charge of the symbol of supremacy in Munster Colleges Senior C Hurling, Corn Risteard Uí Mhathúna and conveying it to its new home for the next twelve months, the trophy cabinet of Scoil Pól.
It was a memorable day for the Kilfinane students who for most of the game exerted a level of control that was not fully reflected in the final winning margin.
The winners had heroes all over the field with joint captains Shane Fitzgibbon and Kristian O’Gorman leading from the front. Fitzgibbon was a colossus at centre half back and his long range accurate striking from placed balls was an important part of his side’s armoury. Daithi Dennehy was immense in the middle third on a day when everyone from one to fifteen and those who came off the bench played their part to make it a memorable occasion.
Another factor in Scoil Pól success was the manner in which they policed Glan-mire Community College dangerman Finn O’Brien. The Erin’s Own clubman in a side dominated by players from the Sarsfields club was not allowed impose his will on proceedings with Scoil Pól restricting the 2023 Cork minor to a single point from play.
The Cork students battled gamely and chased the game to the last whistle but on the vitally important home straight they were unable to identify the slightest scintilla of a fault line in a water tight Scoil Pól rearguard.
“We are very happy to come out on top, it was touch and go in the first half. We got the early goal and started very well. We just kept ahead of them throughout the game and when it got a bit tough and when the game was stop start, we kept our heads and kept going and we are very happy,” were the immediate post-match thoughts of mentor Anthony Punch.
On a day when Scoil Pól leaders stood up, a happy Anthony Punch agreed “we have a couple of players there who have good experience with their clubs and at intercounty level. They have been in tight games before and they know how to come out on top and to name just a few, Shane Fitzgibbon stood up there, Daithi Dennehy in midfield, they were fantastic, we are delighted with them.
“The goal settled us, Kristian O’Gorman had a chance before that, he was quite unlucky to miss it at the near post, his goal was one out of nothing, a ball that fell short, Kristian reacted very well and gave us a great start” he added.
Glanmire were all over Scoil Pól in the opening exchanges and had a point through Luke Hogan and three wides recorded inside the first four minutes.
The Kilfinane students were settled by a 5th minute goal, Jack Carroll delivered long into the danger area, Glanmire custodian Jack Austin was unable to control the ball and joint captain Kristian O’Gorman was in in a flash to belt the ball to the net.
The Charleville student almost immediately added a point from a free before Conor O’Rourke registered Glanmire’s second. Luke Hogan with his second of the game for the Cork students was trumped by a Scoil Pól brace from Shane Fitzgibbon free and Darren Frewen. 2023 Cork minor Finn O’Brien had Glanmire’s third 1-3 to 0-4 midway through the first half.
Kristian O’Gorman exten-ded the Scoil Pól lead from a free but O’Brien replied also from a free for the Cork school. A smartly taken point by Daithi Dennehy restored Kilfinane’s three point cushion as half time approached. Deep in first half injury time Cathal Dennehy saved well at the expense of a 65 which Finn O’Brien converted to close the gap to two points 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval.
Scoil Pól strengthened their grip on matters soon after the break with a long range free from Shane Fitzgibbon and a well taken effort from Owen Barrington.
Glanmire hit back with points from Finn O’Brien Zach Herlihy and O’Brien again from a free to close the gap to the minimum 1-7 to 0-9 as the game entered the final quarter.
Two huge points from frees from joint captain Shane Fitzgibbon eased any Scoil Pól nerves and Daithí Dennehy put his side into a more comfortable position with a 52nd minute strike and now four points clear, the scent of victory was getting stronger in Scoil Pól nostrils.
The last eight minutes yielded just a single score a long range point from a free from Shane Fitzgibbon. After that Glanmire huffed and puffed but could not find any fault lines in a well organised, disciplined Scoil Pól defence as they held on a for a historic victory.
Scorers: Scoil Pól: Shane Fitzgibbon 0-5, 5fs; Kris-tian O’Gorman 1-2, 2fs; Daithi Dennehy 0-2; Darren Frewen, Owen Barrington 0-1 each.
Glanmire Community College: Finn O’Brien 0-5, 3fs, 1-65; Luke Hogan 0-2; Conor O’Rourke, Zach Herlihy 0-1 each.
Scoil Pól: Cathal Dennehy (Glenroe); Darragh Cronin (Kilmallock), James Phil-pott (Blackrock), Oran Crowley (Staker Wallace); John O’Connell (Bruree), Shane Fitzgibbon (Dromin-Athlacca) – Joint Captain, Kevin Hayden (Bruree); Cillian O’Riordan (Ef-fin), Colin Bresnihan (Castle-town-Ballyagran); Owen Barrington (Bruree), James O’Sullivan (Garryspillane), Jack Carroll (Blackrock); Darren Frewen (Glenroe), Kristian O’Gorman (Char-leville), Daithi Dennehy (Glenroe).
Subs: Seán O’Dwyer (Blackrock) for Jack Carroll (inj 25), Adam Fre-wen (Glenroe) for Seán O’Dwyer (49), Michael Barry (Staker Wallace) for Owen Barrington (57), Michael Quaid (Dromin-Athlacca) for James O’Sullivan (60+2).
Glanmire Community College:
Jack Austin (Sarsfields); Cathal Burke (Sarsfields), Josh McMahon Sars-fields), Donnacha Forde (Watergrasshill); Alex Mullery (Mayfield), Séan King (Sarsfields), Darragh O’Callaghan (Sarsfields); Luke Hogan (Sarsfields), Sam McNamara (Sarsfields); Zach Herlihy (Sarsfields), Rory McCarthy (Sars-fields), Conor O’Rourke (Sarsfields); Callum Austin (Sarsfields), Danny McCarthy (Sarsfields), Finn O’Brien (Erin’s Own).
Subs: Harry Cogan (Sars-fields) for Callum Austin (HT), Brian Galvin (Sars-fields) for Donnacha Forde (HT), John McNamara (Sarsfields) for Danny McCarthy (53), Michael Hurley (Sarsfields) for Rory McCarthy (60).
Referee: John Bugler, Clare.