De La Salle 2-12 Kerry Colleges 2-9

De La Salle kept their one hundred percent record in tact in this year’s Dr Harty Cup competition following last Wednesday’s latest round of games – but only just about.
Fielding the same team that beat St Flannan’s in the precious round, the 2006-07 winners were made fight all the way to the end by a Kerry Colleges side that beat their West Waterford counterparts in round two, and DLS had to reply upon a late Aidan Walsh goal to seal victory at Cork IT grounds.
The Kerry lads showed that hurling is alive and well in the Kingdom, and from the off they made life very tough for the Waterford City school.
Indeed, before De La Salle registered a score the Kerry Colleges side were 10 points to the good – 2-4 to no score after 16 minutes. Padraig Boyle was a livewire in attack and very early in the game he score two very opportunist goals to give his side a dream start.
De La Salle’s first score came just past the midway mark of the opening half when Robin Spencer pointed. The Kerry side kept De La Salle scoreless for another seven minutes before Robin Spencer once again stepped up to the mark and recorded the favourites’ second score, his flick from Brendan Fitzgerald’s ball finding the Kerry net for a crucial goal.
Having played against the strong wind in the first half, De La Salle went in at the break trailing 2-7 to 1-3. With the aid of the strong wind the Waterford side could only play better and indeed when Pauric Mahony reeled off six points in succession the pendulum was swinging very much De La Salle’s way.
Indeed, the Kerry boys added just two more points to their total in the second 30 minutes, though they defended resolutely and there were frayed nerves among the DLS contingent.
However, late in the game, a long high clearance from full-back Aidan Walsh hit off the hurley of a Kerry Colleges defender which changed the flight of the ball and it made its way into the Kerry net for the most vital of scores. Relief all-round then, but this was much too close for comfort for the former All-Ireland champions’ liking.
De La Salle: P Cooke; S O’Keeffe, A Walsh, D Sutton; K Walsh, E Madigan, D Kearns; J Hayes, J Dillon; J Byrne, P Mahony, H Barnes; E Murphy, R Spencer, B Fitzgerald. Subs: C Morris for Hayes.
Scorers: P Mahony 0-7 (0-4f, 1 sideline), R Spencer 1-1, A Walsh 1-0, C Morris 0-2, E Murphy, J Dillon 0-1 each.
Kerry Colleges: N Leen; B Murphy, C McCarthy, D Fitzelle; A O’Leary, B Brosnan, T Maunsell; T Doyle, S Weir; P O’Boyle, E O’Connor, M Dillon; S Dunne, L Fitzelle, A Fealy. Subs: D Casey for E O’Connor, M Ryan for B Murphy, T Barrett for Casey.
Scorers: P Boyle 2-2, B Brosnan, (3 frees), S Dunne (1 free) 0-3 each, E O’Connor 0-1.
Referee: C McAllister (Cork).