Thurles CBS captain James Griffin pictured accepting the Rice Cup at Templederry.
An impressive Thurles CBS team won the school’s 14th Rice Cup (All-Ireland Under-14A Post Primary Schools Hurling Championship) at Templederry on Wednesday afternoon when the side managed by Martin Maher, John Devane, Kevin McNamara and Niall Cahill enjoyed a 21-point final win over Nenagh CBS.
Rice Cup - All-Ireland Under-14A
Post Primary Schools Hurling Final
Thurles CBS 2-22 Nenagh CBS 0-7
Thurles CBS - with Luke Shanahan, James Griffin, David Fogarty, Robert Doyle, Stephen Ferncombe and Jack Leamy outstanding - proved much too strong for their North Tipperary rivals. Indeed, Thurles CBS streaked into a 2-15 to 0-3 interval lead and although Michael Ryan, Eoin Grace and Conor McKelvey worked hard to retrieve the situation Nenagh CBS were out-classed on the day.
Nine seconds into this contest Conor McKelvey grabbed a terrific ball and landed a great point off his left to present Nenagh CBS with an initial lead, but Thurles CBS, who were playing with the aid of a stiff breeze, responded with a scorching 1-9 in the opening quarter.
Stephen Ferncombe converted two placed balls during this period, Robert Doyle landed a super score from midfield, Luke Shanahan knocked over a classy effort from right half-back, David Fogarty fired over two from play and Jack Leamy caught the eye when delivering three smart efforts from left wing-forward.
Nenagh CBS’ Dermot McTiernan had done terrifically well to save a stinging Jack Leamy effort in the opening minute, but the Nenagh Éire Óg ‘keeper was left helpless in the 15th minute when Thurles CBS’ David Fogarty booted home the opening goal of the game (1-9 to 0-1).
The Nenagh CBS team responded with a converted free from Seán Keneally before Conor McKelvey notched his side’s second (and last) point from play in the 17th minute (0-3 to 1-9).
Thurles CBS closed out the opening half with some smashing hurling and a blast of 1-6 without reply. Stephen Ferncombe drilled over three frees during this period while Liam McCormack landed two wristy efforts from play.
Robert Doyle converted another opportunity and even though Nenagh ‘keeper Dermot McTiernan did especially well to save from the raiding David Fogarty in the 21st minute Darragh Stakelum picked out the unmarked Stephen Fercombe in the 32nd and the centre-forward rifled a left-handed shot home (2-15 to 0-3).
To be fair to the Nenagh CBS team they made a valiant stand against the odds in the second half and added four converted frees to their tally - Conor McKelvey, Seán Keneally and Michael Ryan, with a brace from long-range, were responsible for these scores.
Meanwhile Thurles CBS added five points - Jack Leamy featured with two more from play and Stephen Fermcombe scored converted three placed balls.
Nenagh CBS created three goal-scoring opportunities of real note in the second half, but Seán Keneally (twice) and Paul Seymour were denied in the 40th, 46th and 48th minutes respectively by Thurles CBS ‘keeper Jason O’Dwyer who was in no mood to concede an inch.
Thurles CBS: Jason O’Dwyer (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Eoin O’Gorman (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Oisín Treacy (Upperchurch-Drombane), Conor Horgan (Knockavilla Kickhams), Luke Shanahan (Upperchurch-Drombane, 0-1), James Griffin (Upperchurch-Drombane, captain), Emmet Fogarty (Durlas Óg), Robert Doyle (Clonoulty-Rossmore, 0-2), Edward Meagher (Loughmore-Castleiney, 0-1), Liam McCormack (Durlas Óg, 0-2), Stephen Ferncombe (Clonoulty-Rossmore, 1-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65s), Jack Leamy (Golden-Kilfeacle, 0-5), Darragh Stakelum (Durlas Óg), David Fogarty (Holycross-Ballycahill, 1-3), Pat Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane). Subs: (51st) Toby Lambe (Holycross-Ballycahill) for Eoin O’Gorman, (51st) Michael Fitzpatrick (Drom & Inch) for Pat Ryan, (55th) Killian Rafter (Durlas Óg) for Darragh Stakelum, (55th) Michael Griffin (Upperchurch-Drombane) for Conor Horgan, (55th) Pádraig Treacy (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Edward Meagher.
Nenagh CBS: Dermot McTiernan (Nenagh Éire Óg), Michael Hayes (Templederry), James Finn (Portroe), Andrew Ferris (Portroe), Oisín O’Connor (Portroe), Michael Ryan (Burgess, 0-2, 0-2 frees), Daniel McGrath (Kiladangan), Michael Corcoran (Silvermines), Mark Carroll (Toomevara), Luke O’Brien (Silvermines), Eoin Grace (Burgess), Paul Seymour (Kiladangan), Conor McKelvey (Silvermines, 0-3, 0-1 frees), Seán Keneally (Moneygall, 0-2, 0-2 frees), Cathal Green (Moneygall). Subs: (33rd) Conor Murphy (Silvermines) for Oisín O’Connor, (51st) Ben O’Connor (Portroe) for Cathal Green.
Referee: Mike Meade (Limerick).