CBS Thurles reach Harty Cup Final following narrow win over Castletroy College.
CBS Thurles (Tipperary) 1-9 Castletroy CC (Limerick) 0-11
CBS Thurles withstood a ferocious second half fightback from 14-man Castletroy Community College to progress to their first Harty Cup final since 2010 following a tight semi-final in Toomevara on Saturday afternoon. Castletroy did superbly well to be in with a chance at the end having played almost 50 minutes with 14 men after full forward Ian Coates was issued with a straight red card for an off the ball strike on Thurles’ Jack Derby.
However, Thurles struggled to make their numerical advantage count in the bitterly cold conditions, that was until the final five minutes of the first half when they scored three unanswered points from Ronan Heffernan (2 frees) and Michael Connors before Robbie Long struck for the goal in added time, deflecting Heffernan’s free to the net. Castletroy had the breeze with them after the break and they made it count with Nash’s free-taking to a high standard while half back Andrew La Touche Cosgrave burst forward for two inspirational scores.
However the Limerick side were unable to level as Thurles kept their noses in front with Niall Heffernan continuing to be the teams chief threat in attack. A total of 13 wides from Thurles ensured Castletroy remained in the hunt in the closing stages with Barry Nash having his sides best opportunity to force a replay but he miss-hit his scoreable effort in the final minute as Thurles hung on.
Thurles CBS: W Tierney; C McCullagh, E Heffernan, J Derby; T Hayes, J Skehan, D Quirke; B McCarthy, C Moloney; M Connors (0-1), K Duggan (0-1), N Heffernan (0-7, 6f); J Butler, R Teehan, R Long (1-0). Replacements: R Purcell for Butler (46); P Kennedy for Moloney (48); B Kelly for Connors (55).
Castletroy Community College: J Power; Brian Nash, E Enright, F Hourigan; D Garry, C Carroll, D Golden; L Lyons, C O’Meara; C Nicholas, Barry Nash (0-8, 7f), J Nicholas; A La Touche Cosgrave (0-3, 1f), I Coates, E Hourigan. Replacements: M O’Dwyer for O’Meara (HT)Referee: N Wall (Cork)