Extra time Harty heartbreak for Flannans

Extra time Harty heartbreak for Flannans

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Pic: Seamus McElligott

St. Colmans Fermoy have qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the Dr. Harty Cup but not after coming back from the brink against a spirited St. Flannans Ennis outfit

St. Colmans Fermoy 4-22
St. Flannans Ennis 2-19 (after extra time)
Venue: Kilmallock

Ed Donnelly reports

All photos courtesy of Seamus McElligott

Played in mild conditions in Kilmallock, St. Colmans opened the scoring in the second minute with a point from play by Adam Creed. St. Flannans got off the mark in the fifth minute when Tom O’Rourke pointed a free. The first goal of the game arrived in the tenth minute when Brian Roche raised a green flag for St. Colmans to put the Fermoy school into a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

This score seemed to spur Flannans in to action as their general play improved. Despite struggling to score from open play, the Clare school rattled off four points on the trot to bring the sides level after 18 minutes, with five of their first six points coming from placed balls.

Colmans had the better of the closing stages of the opening half and with Brian Roche in good form allied to the accurate free-taking of Diarmuid Lenihan, the Fermoy school led by 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval.

Managed by Jamesie O’Connor and Kevin O’Grady Flannans were looking to begin the second half strongly but instead, it was St. Colmans who were on top early on and when Barry Murphy found the net in the 36th minute, they led by seven points (2-10 to 0-9) and the game looked over as a contest.

Similar to the first half, the concession of a goal seemed to give St. Flannans an impetus and amazingly, they took over completely during the next fifteen minutes. Tom O’Rourke scored a goal in the 43rd minute and from the next phase of play, Sean Meaney raised another green flag to put them in front. During this period of play, St. Flannans outscored St. Colmans by 2-5 to 0-1 to give them a three point lead heading in to the final ten minutes.

Pic: Seamus McElligott
Pic: Seamus McElligott

St. Colmans tried their best to reduce the deficit but could only get to within two points of their opponents for most of the closing stages. Deep in to injury time, Tom O’Rourke pointed a free to put Flannans back in front by three points.

There was still time for one last play as St. Colmans won a free 40 metres out from goal. Needing a goal, free taker Diarmuid Lenihan hit a hard, spinning shot towards goal which seemed to take a deflection and somehow ended up in the net through a collection of players in front of goal. The whistle went for the end of normal time from the puckout to signal extra time would be required to separate these teams, 3-13 to 2-16.

The opening period of extra time was keenly contested but St. Colmans were now getting more space up front and they managed to outscore their opponents by 0-5 to 0-2 to lead by 3-18 to 2-18 at half-time in extra time. St. Colmans eventually put this game to bed when scoring 1-1 in the opening minute of the second half of extra time, the goal coming from Barry Murphy to give the Fermoy side a 7 point lead.

From here, the game petered out to its inevitable conclusion and by the final whistle, St. Colmans were nine points to the good and in to the Quarter-Finals.

Pic: Seamus McElligott
Pic: Seamus McElligott

This was an entertaining game played in good conditions with both teams contesting every ball as if their lives depended on it in what was a good advertisement for Harty Cup Hurling.

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