Blackwater goals prove decisive


MUNSTER COLLEGES SHC (HARTY CUP) QUARTER-FINALS: Blackwater CC 2-4 De La Salle 0-8DE LA Salle College, Waterford – the reigning Munster and All-Ireland Colleges hurling champions – were knocked out of the Harty Cup by a stronger Blackwater College outfit in this all-Waterford Harty Cup quarter-final at a windswept Ardmore yesterday.

De La Salle won the Harty and Croke Cups in the last two seasons, while Blackwater weren’t even in the competition last year, though they showed potential by winning the All-Ireland Colleges B title.

Two second-half goals, their only scores of the half, swung the tie in the west Waterford school’s direction, with their greater physicality proving critical in testing conditions.

After Eoin Connors had scored four successive frees, Blackwater’s Shane O’Rourke rifled a 21-metre free home in the 47th minute to leave the minimum between the sides.

Another scoreless 10 minutes elapsed before the eventual winners added to their total, and it proved the game’s crucial strike.

A powerfully struck long-range free from the impressive O’Rourke landed in front of the De La Salle goal and into the path of substitute Peter O’Keeffe, who rifled the ball low beyond Stephen O’Keeffe.

Eoin Connors, whose accuracy had put De La Salle in command heading into the game’s final quarter, sent frees wide in the 23rd and 27th minutes, misses the holders were left rueing at the full-time whistle.

BLACKWATER CC: D Curran; C Looby, L Byrne, D Cahalane; S Heaphy, S O’Rourke (1-1, point from free), T O’Byrne; F Murray, D Fives; P Fitzgerald, P Prendergast, J Prendergast (0-2, frees); B Bennett, R Walsh (0-1), E Sheehan. Subs: P O’Keeffe (1-0) for Bennett (half-time), T McGrath for Sheehan (60 mins).

DE LA SALLE COLLEGE: S O’Keeffe; H Barnes, J Redmond, S O’Keeffe; S Kearns, E Madigan, M Wyse; A Murphy, K Fitzgerald; P McCarthy, N Clifford (0-1), E Connors (0-6, frees); P Mahony, J Byrne, R Spencer (0-1). Sub: D Murray for J Redmond (half-time).

Referee: N Cosgrave (Tipperary).