Castletroy College’s Dr Harty Cup campaign ends with defeat to slick St Flannan’s side:

By Colm Kinsella, Sports Editor, Limerick Leader Sport

CASTLETROY College’s Munster post-primary schools’ Dr Harty Cup Munster senior ‘A’ hurling campaign came to an end in Meelick on Wednesday afternoon after the Limerick side suffered a 3-20 to 1-7 preliminary quarter-final defeat to a slick St Flannan’s College side.

Castletroy College, who returned to Dr Harty Cup competition this year after several years playing at a lower grade, remained hugely competitive through the opening half of their last 12 contest with the traditional competition heavyweights.

The teams were tied 0-4 each after 20 minutes of an entertaining clash with Matthew Fitzgerald turning in an impressive display in midfield. Castletroy College’s scores came courtesy of two pointed frees from the influential Dara Ferland and two points from play from David Carr and Cathal O’Mara.

The Limerick side was left to rue running up five wides inside the opening 12 minutes and seven over the course of the opening half. Backed by the breeze in that opening 30 minutes, Castletroy needed to convert as many of the opportunities that came their way as possible.

Otherwise there was much to admire in the play of the Newtown students in that opening half, their challenge powered by an excellent work-rate and intelligent use of possession.

At the other end, Castletroy ‘keeper Robbie Widger did produce an excellent save in the 18th minute to deny Bruff’s Tadhg Boddy the game’s opening goal after he was put through by team mate Jack Mescall.

However, 2020 Harty Cup winners St Flannan’s outscored their rivals 1-3 to 0-1 over the remainder of the half to build a useful 1-7 to 0-5 half-time lead.

The Ennis side’s goal arrived in the 23rd minute when Ronan Kilroy’s well struck effort ended up in the net, despite the best effort of Widger to keep it out.

The Clare side, backed by the breeze, then pulled clear in the second period, outscoring their opponents 0-6 to 0-1 in the third quarter to lead 1-13 to 0-6. Castletroy’s sole point in that period came from a Ferland free after the Limerick minor was fouled as he powered goalwards.

Castletroy, with the likes of Paul Canny and Cian Scully resolute in defence, hit back with a well-executed goal in the 45th minute as Robert O’Farrell, following a powerful run, set up Mark Field who rifled the ball to the Clare side’s net to leave seven points between the sides.

However, St Flannan’s added two further goals from substitute Michael Power, of Newmarket-on-Fergus, and a host of points, including a string of pointed frees from Bruff’s Boddy, to ease clear.

Castletroy College had earned their place in the knock-out stages of the Dr Harty Cup by claiming second place in their group, thanks to an exciting victory over Carrick-on-Suir CBS.

SCORERS: St Flannan’s College: Michael Power 2-1, Tadhg Boddy 0-6 (0-5 frees), Fred Hegarty 0-4, Ronan Kilroy 1-0, James Hegarty 0-3 (all frees), Harry Doherty 0-2, Joseph Cleary, Jack Mescall, Luca Cleary, Robert Loftus 0-1 each. Castletroy College: Dara Ferland 0-3 (all frees), Mark Field (1-0), Robert O’Farrell 0-2 (both frees), Cathal O’Mara, David Carr 0-1 each.

ST FLANNAN’S COLLEGE: Cian Howard; Conor Griffin, Fiachra O’Braoin, Paddy Nagle; Francis Meaney, James Hegarty, Evan Price; Jospeh Casey, Ian Williams; Jack Mescall, Fred Hegarty, Ronan Kilroy; Tadhg Boddy (Bruff), Luca Cleary, Harry Doherty. SUBS: Mark O’Connor for Griffin (36 mins), Michael Power for Doherty (41 mins), Kieran McDonnell for Casey, Daniel Costello for Cleary (both 50 mins), Robert Loftus for Mescall (55 mins).

CASTLETROY COLLEGE: Robbie Widger (Monaleen); Jack Doyle (Monaleen), Paul Canny (Monaleen), Marcus Southern (Monaleen); Tom McCarthy (Monaleen), Cian Scully (Monaleen), Denis Blackwell (Ahane); Matthew Fitzgerald (Monaleen), Robert O’Farrell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Cathal O’Mara (Ahane), Dara Ferland (Monaleen), David Carr (Ahane); Luke Ryan (Monaleen), Will McCormack (Ahane), Mark Field (Monaleen). SUBS: James Rennison (Ahane) for McCormack (half-time), Barry Griffin (Monaleen) for Carr (46 mins), Tom D’Arcy (Monaleen) for Blackwell (57 mins).

REFEREE: Thomas Loughnane (Tipperary)