Scoil Pól Kilfinane crowned Masita Cusack Cup champions:

Masita All-Ireland Post Primary Senior C Hurling Championship Final (Michael Cusack Cup)

Scoil Pól Kilfinane 0-16 Coláiste Mhuire Ballygar 1-8

By Billy Coss at Tulla

Limerick’s Scoil Pól, Kilfinane were crowned Masita All-Ireland Post Primary Senior C hurling champions following a well-merited five-point victory over Coláiste Mhuire, Ballygar this afternoon.

The winners overcame a slow start and a spirited second half rally from the Galway side, with elusive corner-forward Darren Frewen contributing four points in a man of the match display, and joint-captains Kristian O’Gorman and Shane Fitzgibbon placed balls topping up their tally.

Jointly managed by Galway star Evan Niland and Johnny Waldron, Coláiste Mhuire made a dream start when their top performer Cathal Maloney nailed a long-distance free and then set up Harry O’Sullivan to dispatch superbly to the Scoil Pól net on four minutes.

The Munster champions rolled with those early punches and dominated for the remainder of the half, shooting eight of the next nine points that arrived before the interval.

Two apiece came from Frewen and O’Gorman, the sole Cork man in their line-up, allied to Fitzgibbon’s wind-assisted opener, giving Scoil Pól five in-a-row and edging them in front by the 16th minute.

A Joey Wallace free levelled matters for Coláiste Mhuire, but Colin Bresnihan, O’Gorman and a sublime cut from the stand sideline by Frewen established an 0-8 to 1-2 lead for the Kilfinane boys at half-time.

Despite being on the back foot, the Ballygar college almost found themselves on terms after the restart when the two Harrys combined, O’Sullivan setting up Holmes, only for the latter to be denied by a terrific Cathal Dennehy save.

Scoil Pól kept the scoreboard ticking at the other end and increased their advantage with a pair of O’Gorman frees either side of a rallying score from James O’Sullivan.

Trailing 0-12 to 1-3, the Ballygar school looked in deep trouble and also needed ‘keeper Michael Naughton’s stop from Frewen to remain on the Scoil Pól’s coattails after Wallace traded frees with O’Gorman.

Scoil Pól were the more wasteful side in front of goal and Coláiste Mhuire hit on their best spell when the influential Maloney and Wallace each struck two points each to close the gap to just two at 0-12 to 1-7.

The Limerick school weren’t to be denied and would go on to dominate the closing ten minutes. A towering free from Fitzgibbon was followed by an inspirational score from Darragh Cronin and Darren Frewen’s fourth of the day to open clear daylight.

Adam Frewen then came off the bench to land their 16th point, and though Maloney fired a defiant score for Coláiste Mhuire who went down battling, it was Scoil Pól’s day as the Michael Cusack Cup headed to south Limerick.

Scorers for Scoil Pól Kilfinane: Kristian O’Gorman 0-6 (5f), Darren Frewen 0-4 (1 sl), Shane Fitzgibbon 0-2 (2f), Colin Bresnihan, James O’Sullivan, Adam Frewen and Darragh Cronin 0-1 each.

Scorers for Scoil Mhuire, Ballygar: Joey Wallace (3f) and Cathal Maloney (2f) 0-4 each, Harry O’Sullivan 1-0.

SCOIL PÓL, KILFINANE: Cathal Dennehy; Darragh Cronin, James Philpot, Oran Crowley; John O’Connell, Shane Fitzgibbon (joint-captain), Kevin Hayden; Cillian O’Riordan, Colin Bresnihan; Owen Barrington, James O’Sullivan, Billy Lonergan; Darren Frewen, Kristian O’Gorman (joint-captain), Daithí Dennehy. Subs: Michael Barry for Lonergan (HT), Adam Frewen for Daithí Dennehy (46), Michael Quaid for Barrington (56).

COLÁISTE MHUIRE, BALLYGAR: Michael Naughton; Luke Finnerty, Adam Kenny, Ethan Kelly; Rory Coyle, Conor Kelly (captain), Gerard Healy; Jamie Kelly, Eoghan Naughton; Cian Downey, Cathal Maloney, Gavin Meares; Harry O’Sullivan, Joey Wallace, Harry Holmes. Subs: Oisín Finneran for Downey (59), Alan Kilcommins for Finnerty (60).

REF: John Bugler (Clare).