St Brendan’s Killarney edge closer to bridging 24 year gap
Dublin side St Benildus prove no match as Evan Cronin on fire in Hogan Cup semi-final
St Brendan’s Killarney will contest this year’s Hogan Cup final. Photograph: Inpho
St Brendan’s Killarney (Kerry) 4-15 St Benildus College (Dublin) 0-9
The famed Killarney outfit hit the high notes again, with all but one point of their winning tally collected from play at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh.
St Brendan’s hammered Clonmel High School by 29 points in the Corn Uí Mhuirí final and they had 18 to spare here over an outclassed St Benildus.
The writing was on the wall from a long way out as St Benildus had to wait until the 27th minute for their opening score - and were 16 points down before Callum Pearson pointed.
St Brendan’s were runners-up most recently in 2008 and 2010 but look well primed to replace fellow Kerry school Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne as All-Ireland Colleges A champions.
But they’ll have to wait to learn the identity of their final opponents as Ulster’s MacRory Cup final goes ahead on Thursday, the winners of that game to play Connacht champions Summerhill College, Sligo in the other Hogan Cup semi-final.
By half-time, St Brendan’s were 3-7 to 0-2 clear of St Benildus, with inside forwards Michael Casey, Cronin and David Shaw bagging the goals.
Casey scored the game’s opening goal in the 11th minute to finish a flowing move and Cronin struck four minutes later.
Three minutes before the break, Shaw netted from Billy Courtney’s pass and that was the signal for some patrons to head for the exits.
Pearson finally ended the scoring drought for St Benildus and while Andrew Fox added another point, the Dubliners were 14 behind at the interval.
St Benildus rallied briefly after the break but any faint hopes of a revival were snuffed out when the ball was turned over in midfield and ‘The Sem’ broke with lightning speed.
The end result was devastating as top scorer Cronin rammed home his second goal from close range.
ST BRENDAN’S: D Carroll; M Potts, C O’Donoghue, C Gammell; D O’Brien, D Naughton, N Donohue; L Donoghue, B Courtney; D Moynihan (0-3), D Clifford (0-4, 1f), P McCarthy (0-2); E Cronin (2-3), D Shaw (1-1), M Casey (1-0).
Subs: D Spillane for Donohue (45), C O’Shea (0-1) for Casey (51), M Pierce for Potts (55), C Callaghan for Gammell (55), A O’Shea (0-1) for Cronin (55), F Murphy for Courtney (56).
ST BENILDUS: A O’Callaghan; P O’Reilly, L Doran, A Walsh; D Keogh, A Bradshaw, S O’Reilly; C Pearson (0-1), P Flaherty; D O’Brien (0-1), J Rafferty (0-1), A Fox (0-1); S O’Brien (0-3), T Fox (0-2), T Keane.
Subs: A Kelly for Walsh (h.t.), C McRory for P O’Reilly (60).
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary)