Kilkenny CBS 3-9
Presentation College Athenry 0-15

Kevin O’Brien reports from Abbotstown GAA Centre of Excellence

KILKENNY CBS WILL take on Our Ladys Secondary School Templemore in the Croke Cup semi-final after a thrilling three-point victory over Presentation College Athenry today.

The beaten Leinster finalists trailed by 0-9 to 1-3 at half-time, but posted 2-4 in a rip-roaring 13 minute spell after the interval to put them firmly in the driving seat.

Athenry hit six of the final eight points as they pressed for a late equaliser, but the Kilkenny side held out to book their place in the last four.

The semi-final takes place on Saturday, leaving CBS with under 72 hours of preparation before the biggest game of their season.

Niall Brassil of James Stephens and Dicksboro’s Liam Stynes enjoyed fine games for the winners, but Kilkenny minor Sean Bolger was the hero with 2-2 from play.

The Leaving Cert student, who has lifted ever major Kilkenny club honour from Féile to a senior crown with O’Loughlin Gaels, scored his crucial second goal less than 30 seconds into the second-half. It it gave CBS the required belief to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

Evan Niland, an All-Ireland winner with Galway minors in the past, posted 0-11 in a masterful display of free-taking, but ultimately Athenry couldn’t generate enough scores around him.

Bolger’s goal in the 17th minute put CBS into a 1-2 to 0-2 lead, but the Galway side dominated for the remainder of the half.

Athenry outscored CBS by 0-7 to 0-1 in the second quarter to take a three point lead into the break, with 0-7 to Niland’s name in the opening period.

But CBS were a different animal after the restart, showing far more tenacity and slick hurling than they did in the opening 30 minutes. They bagged 2-4 by the 43rd minute, with Bolger and Sean Boyd pouncing for the goals as Kilkenny men took control.

But the pendulum swung back in Athenry’s favour and they hit six unanswered points, including four frees from Niland, to leave a point between the sides entering the final couple of minutes.

Bolger fired over his team’s first score in 16 minutes, and a minute later Brassil put the icing on the cake with a point of his own.

Scorers for Kilkenny CBS: Sean Bolger 2-2, Niall Brassil 0-4 (0-1f), Conor Heary 0-3, Sean Boyd 1-0.

Scorers for Presentation College Athenry: Evan Niland 0-11 (0-10f), Patrick Foley, Barry Callanan, Oisin Connolly and Eoin Caulfield 0-1 each.

Kilkenny CBS

1. Ben Maher (O’Loughlin Gaels)

5. Mickey Butler (O’Loughlin Gaels)
6. Jordan Molloy (O’Loughlin Gaels)
3. Johnny Manogue (Dicksboro)

9. Peter Collins (O’Loughlin Gaels)
4. Conor Flynn (Graigue Ballycallan)
2. Liam Stynes (Dicksboro)

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10. Niall Brassil (James Stephens)
7. Ronan Molloy (O’Loughlin Gaels)

13. Sean Bolger (O’Loughlin Gaels)
14. Sean Boyd (Dicksboro)
12. Conor Heary (O’Loughlin Gaels)

19. Conor Drennan (Galmoy)
8. Des Dunne (Danesfort)
21. Joe Sheehan (Dicksboro)


20. Cillian Timmons (Dicksboro) for Manogue (half-time)
15. Shane Staunton (Clara) for Buckley (half-time)
11. Tervine Wallace (O’Loughlin Gaels) for Drennan (49)

Presentation College Athenry

1. Mark Fahey (Turloughmore)

4. Aaron Martyin (Clarinbridge)
3. Conor Lee (Clarinbridge)
2. Eamon Hickey (Kilconlerion)

7. Hugh Lane (Clarinbridge)
6. Conor Walsh (Turloughmore)
5. William Corcoran (Clarinbridge)

10. Eoin Caulfield (Athenry)
11. Patrick Foley (Clarinbridge)

9. Liam Forde (Ardrahan)
13. Barry Callanan (Turloughmore)
22. Adam Clarke (Craughwell)

15. Oisin Connolly (Castlegar)
14. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
8. Daniel Loftus (Turloughmore)


12. Mark Kennedy (Clarinbridge) for Lane (37)
17. Karl Conneely (Turloughmore) for Corcoran (49)
18. Shane Quirke (Athenry) for Loftus (49)
26. Eoin O’Donnell (Ardrahan) for Clarke (58)
19. Adam Brett (Killimordaly) for Forde (60).

Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly).

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