Dr Harty Cup Semi final
Harty final within reach for De La Salle
Thomas Keane reports
After beating Tipperary opposition last time out in the quarter final stages De La Salle will face Premier County opposition once more this Saturday when they take on Our Lady’s Templemore in the Harty Cup semi-final.
It’s a first semi final appearance for the Waterford school since 2012 while a win would see De La Salle contest the final for the first since 2008.
De La Salle’s opponents go into this game with a good string of results at their backs which may well make them favourites to advance to the final.
They have played five games, winning all five, some with some style.
They began the league stage of the competition with a narrow 0-20 to 1-15 win over Charleville CBS and followed it up with a 2-14 to 2-8 win over St Francis College from Rochestown. A massive 4-31 to 1-9 win over Pobail Scoil na Trionóide from Youghal followed and Our Lady’s concluded their league campaign with another win over Cork opposition when they defeated Gael Colaiste Mhuire AG on a 3-24 to 1-9 score line.
Powered by members of the JK Brackens, Drom and Inch, Clonakenny, Loughmore-Castleiney, Toomevara and Borrisoleigh clubs, the Templemore side will provide stiff opposition for De La Salle in this game.
Last time out in the quarter finals Lyndon Fairbrother was their leading player as the JK Bracken player hit 1-6 from his position at corner forward.
But the Tipperary side by no means are reliant on him for scores as against Castletroy Community College the full forward line accounted for 1-9 of their sides tally of 1-17 and outside them Jamie Bergin, who has been outstanding all year when presented with chances, put over 0-4 for his side.
Others that De La Salle will have to keep a close eye on include full back Diarmuid Ryan, Brian McGrath at centre back, Paddy Cadell in the middle of the field as well as Gerry Kelly and Stephen Nolan in attack.
De La Salle have also qualified for the semi finals with an impressive string of results.
They opened with a 1-20 to 1-13 win over Blackwater Community School and followed it up with another impressive 1-17 to 0-8 win over Hamilton High School from Bandon.
Their only loss in the competition was a big 4-11 to 1-6 defeat to Ardscoil Ris. De La Salle however ensured their qualification to this weeks’ game with a draw against Midleton CBS in and last time out recorded a 0-13 to 0-10 win over Nenagh CBS at Kilmallock.
Thomas Douglas has received some glowing reports for De La Salle in the competition to date as he has clocked up some impressive tallies but the college side do not just depend on the De La Salle club man to produce the goods as they have quality right throughout the team and are able to call upon the likes of Harry Ruddle, Eoin Daly, Paul Hennebry, Michael Costigan, Michael Mahony, Cormac McCann, Billy O’Sullivan, Conor Gilles Doran, Lee Wall and Donie Power.
For the second knockout game in a row, De La Salle may go into the game as the underdog, but this is something that will not bother them in any way and confidence is certainly high as they prepare for the challenge of Our Lady’s.
This is a game that could well go either way. There’s not much between the sides and the underfoot conditions next Saturday will be challenging at best.
It’s often hunger that sees sides through at this time of the year and while De La Salle might go into the game as the underdog, hunger will not be a issue with them and this could well see them advance to the final for the first time since 2008.