St Pauls 2-19 Tramore CBS 1-8
St Pauls became the first side through to the Munster Colleges ‘B’ Hurling final when they scored a comprehensive 14-point victory over Tramore CBS at Ballygunner last Saturday.
This was a very accomplished performance and neither Dungarvan CBS nor Glanmire will have it all their own way when they meet the Waterford City secondary school in the decider. However, it was not a flawless victory for St Pauls as a chronic lack of discipline was evident and this issue will need to be redressed if they are to claim the title.
Red cards for the O’Neill brothers, Martin and Stephen, took the gloss of what was otherwise an awesome display from Daniel Murphy’s side.
St Pauls were given an ideal start to the game when Gavin O’Brien’s mishit free deceived Ryan Butler in the Tramore goal and went all the way to the net.
St Pauls started with Waterford senior panellist Martin O’Neill at centre-back where he filled in for the injured Brian Nolan who picked up a groin injury playing soccer for Ireland the previous weekend.
At this level O’Neill would have been expected to be in a class of his own but he was given plenty to think about by Tramore centre-forward Eamonn Power. Two early frees from Power got Tramore back into the game after O’Brien’s early goal.
This game was illuminated every now and again by some lovely scores, mainly it has to be said by St Pauls. One such score came in the 14th minute when O’Neill picked out full-forward Shane Nolan who fired over.
Tramore were kept in the game by Power’s frees, although corner-forward Sean Cheasty did manage to get on the scoresheet when he got his stick to a long delivery from Colin Griffin.
St Pauls had Mount Sion senior star Ian Galgey at corner-forward and he got a couple of scores in as many minutes to extend St Pauls’ lead to 1-6 to 0-4 with 25 minutes on the clock.
A few minutes later, after a few more converted frees, the half-time whistle blew with St Pauls leading by four points.
The scoreline at that stage may well have flattered Tramore slightly and it was obvious that they would have to improve if they were going to make the final.
They did manage to grab the first score of the half when Eamonn Power scored another free. However, St Pauls then took control of the crucial midfield area through the efforts of Stephen Roche and Gavin O’Brien. A delightful point from O’Brien opened their second half account and the same player converted a free to extend his side’s lead even further.
St Pauls then put the game beyond Tramore when a delightful cross-field pass from O’Brien found Cian Chester bearing down on goal. Chester kept his cool and slotted past Ryan Butler to put the Lisduggan community college eight points clear.
Now St Pauls really turned on the style with Eoin Madigan and Shane Nolan scoring fine points. Not to be outshone by his colleague, Ian Galgey scored two points in as many minutes before Tramore were dealt a fatal blow when centre-back Colin Griffin was given a second yellow card.
After 47 minutes, Tramore grabbed a consolation goal when midfielder David Connolly goaled from a 21-yard free. With Eamonn Power now off the field receiving treatment, Connolly scored another free as his side tried to put a better look on the scoreboard.
St Pauls replied with a long range free from Martin O’Neill before controversy erupted. O’Neill was shown a second yellow card for something he said to referee Tommy O’Sullivan following the awarding of a free-in to Tramore.
Seemingly incensed at the sending-off of his brother, Stephen O’Neill then seemed to say something to the referee and was shown a straight red. The double-sending failed to put St Pauls off their stride and they finished strongly with some delightful scores from the likes of Galgey and Stephen Roche.
On this performance, St Pauls will take a lot of stopping in the final. However, indiscipline did rear its ugly head and took away greatly from the win. Besides the sendings-off, there were a few other flashpoints throughout the game.
St Pauls: Emmett O’Toole, Daniel Duggan, Stephen O’Neill, Lloyd O’Mahony, Fergal Bolger, Martin O’Neill, Martin F O’Neill, Gavin O’Brien, Stephen Roche, Darren Flanagan, Eoin Madigan, Gary McGrath, Cian Chester, Shane Nolan, Ian Galgey. Subs: Mark Phelan for G McGrath, James Griffin for D Flanagan, Shane Donovan for L O’Mahony.
Scorers: G O’Brien 1-7 (1-5f), I Galgey 0-5, C Chester 1-0, S Nolan 0-2, M O’Neill 0-2f, E Madigan 0-1, M Phelan 0-1, S Roche 0-1
Tramore CBS: Ryan Butler, Nick Cannell, Paul Power, David Power, Luke Midleton, Colin Griffin, Eoin Kiely, David Jacob, David Connolly, Evan Connolly, Eamonn Power, Shane McNulty, Sean Cheasty, Mark O’Reilly, Darragh Grace. Subs: Cathal Dower for D Grace, John Power for E Power, Eamonn Power for S McNulty, Gareth Hartery for D Connolly.
Scorers: E Power 0-4f, D Connolly 1-2f, E Connolly 0-1, S Cheasty 0-1.
Referee: Tommy O’Sullivan (Cappoquin).