Dr Harty Cup Final
Our Lady’s Templemore 1-11 Dungarvan Colleges 2-21
By Brian McDonnell at Seán Treacy Park, Tipperary Town
In the end it was heart-breaking. We travelled to Seán Treacy Park in Tipperary Town on Sunday hoping to be treated to the sight Our Lady’s Templemore winning the Dr Harty Cup for the first time in thirty-five years, but Dungarvan Colleges were in no mood to accommodate such romance.
Our Lady’s competed well in the opening half.
At the break the scores were level (0-8 apiece), but five minutes into the second half Templemore found themselves five points adrift - Our Lady’s were on the hard shoulder and in need of assistance.
Tom Byrnes’ team have been defined by their honesty and aptitude for hard work throughout this Harty Cup campaign and Our Lady’s did battle to the bitter end, but ultimately Dungarvan Colleges proved just too strong.
As that veteran of the Battle of the Little Bighorn General Custer might have said it this was quite a learning experience.
For Dungarvan Colleges Kevin Daly, Tadhg Bourke, Colin Dunford, Christy Breathnach and Patrick Curran were superb in a second half display which saw the Waterford lads out-score Templemore 2-13 to 1-3.
That said Jason Ryan, Thomas Nolan, Colin O’Riordan, John McGrath and Brian Kennedy all worked hard for a heart-broken Our Lady’s Templemore.
Our Lady’s entered this final as distinct underdogs with their challenge made all the more complicated by the fact that outstanding centre-back Joseph Nyland (Loughmore-Castleiney) was ruled out through injury.
Templemore relocated half-forward Brian Kennedy to centre-back and although Kennedy performed well the scoring threat typically posed by the JK Bracken’s man was sorely missed up front.
Dungarvan Colleges raced into a three-point to no-score lead after just five minutes with Darragh Lyons, Patrick Curran (free) and Michael Harney notching early points.
A smashing left-handed effort from Tommy Nolan following Michael Campion’s searching sideline ball settled Templemore in the seventh minute before a Tadhg Bourke free re-established Dungarvan Colleges’ three-point lead.
Our Lady’s, playing with the breeze, responded to the challenge in fine fashion and were level by the 15th minute thanks to points from Jamie Bergin, John McGrath (free) and Dean McEnroe - 0-4 apiece.
Two minutes later a fine individual effort from Colin Dunford forced Dungarvan Colleges back into the lead before Our Lady’s created the first of two goal-scoring chances which, if scored, could have transformed this final.
In the 18th minute John McGrath’s sideline ball found Dylan Carey.
Somehow the Templederry man, at full stretch, managed to a make a telling connection on the ball which beat Dungarvan ‘keeper Laurence Power, but bounced across the face of goal and agonisingly wide.
Four minutes later Dylan Carey was raiding once more. This time Carey won Brian Kennedy’s booming clearance and beat his man, but fired wide as Laurence Power advanced off his line.
A bizarre decision by referee Ger Hoey to penalise Dean McEnroe when the Templemore wing-forward was most obviously being fouled presented Colin Dunford (free) with a chance to force his side into a two-point lead while another Dunford effort, this time from play in the 26th minute, helped the Waterford lads into a 0-7 to 0-4 lead.
Colin O’Riordan and Christy Breathnach then traded efforts before Templemore closed out the half in highly-impressive fashion with three successive points.
John McGrath intercepted a sloppy Tadhg Bourke clearance and swept over a terrific effort from long-range in the 28th minute before a John McGrath free in the 31st minute left just a point between them.
Then, in the 32nd minute, McGrath turned provider and set up Dylan Carey for a rousing effort which retired the sides at 0-8 apiece.
Dungarvan Colleges seized the initiative immediately after the break with a point from Christy Breathnach after just twenty-eight seconds setting the Waterford lads on their way.
Patrick Curran then added a free before Ryan Donnelly struck for the opening goal of the game in the 35th minute following a searing Colin Dunford run.
John McGrath converted a free following a foul on Colin O’Riordan in the 37th minute to reduce the margin to four points (0-9 to 1-10), but there was a sense that Dungarvan had now established a significant lead.
In the 39th minute Patrick Curran and Dylan Carey (Templemore’s final point from play) traded efforts before Dungarvan Colleges hit three successive points without reply.
Efforts from Tadhg Bourke (free), Colin Dunford and a Patrick Curran from an impossible angle forced Dungarvan into a 1-14 to 0-10 lead.
A John McGrath free in the 46th minute represented some token resistance from Our Lady’s, but Dungarvan were utterly dominant and franked that dominance with 1-4 without reply during a devastating spell.
Patrick Curran (three, two frees) and Ryan Donnelly helped themselves to the points while Donnelly struck for his second goal in the 53rd minute - 2-18 to 0-11.
The lion-hearted John Joe Ryan drove home a rasping Templemore goal from just inside the 21-yard line in the 56th minute to give the large contingent of Our Lady’s supporters something to cheer, but Dungarvan Colleges were far from finished with points from Christy Breathnach, Tadhg Bourke (free) and Cormac Curran crowning the champions’ display.
Our Lady’s Templemore will now face the loser of the Leinster Colleges final in an All-Ireland quarter-final on Saturday, March 16th.
In 2012 Nenagh CBS, despite losing the Harty Cup final, recovered to win the Croke Cup through the back door.
Our Lady’s Templemore: Seán Patrick Guerins (JK Bracken’s), Denis Brereton (Loughmore-Castleiney), Jason Ryan (Toomevara), James Bergin (JK Bracken’s), Pádraig Hogan (Templederry Kenyons), Brian Kennedy (JK Bracken’s), Michael Campion (Drom & Inch), Colin O’Riordan (JK Bracken’s, 0-1), John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney, 0-5, 0-4 frees), Dean McEnroe (JK Bracken’s, 0-1), Dylan Carey (Templederry Kenyons, 0-2), Tommy Maher (Loughmore-Castleiney), Tommy Nolan (Drom & Inch, 0-1), John Joe Ryan (Clonakenny, 1-0), Jamie Bergin (Drom & Inch, 0-1). Subs: (50th) Bill O’Connell (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Jamie Bergin, (55th) Tommy Brett (JK Bracken’s) for Denis Brereton, (55th) Jack Fogarty (JK Bracken’s) for Tommy Maher, (55th) Emmett Moloney (Drom & Inch) for Dylan Carey.
Dungarvan Colleges: Laurence Power, Kealon Looby, Brian Looby, Michael Cronin, Tadhg Bourke (0-3, 0-3 frees), Kevin Daly, Tom Devine, Cormac Curran (0-1), Michael Harney (0-1), Christy Breathnach (0-3), Patrick Curran (0-7, 0-4 frees), Séamus Keating, Darragh Lyons (0-1), Colin Dunford (0-4, 0-1 free), Ryan Donnelly (2-1). Subs: (47th) David Gartland for Colin Dunford, (59th) Seán Daly for Ryan Donnelly.
Referee: Ger Hoey (Clare).