Croke Cup Final 2015
St Kieran’s College (Kilkenny) 1-15 Thurles CBS (Tipperary) 1-12
St Kieran’s College continued their stay at the summit of schools hurling this afternoon, securing their 20th Croke Cup title with a three-point win over Thurles CBS.
A Robbie Long injury-time point had reduced the deficit to three and made for a tense conclusion as Thurles searched for a goal. St Kieran’s, stood firm.
Four unanswered minors early in the second period from Richie Leahy, Ray Lahart (0-2) and Jason Byrne re-established their five point lead after two points in quick succession from Thurles’ Jack Skehan and Niall Heffernan had pared the margin back to the minimum. Thurles were unable to draw parity and that really was the story of the contest, St Kieran’s staying out of reach for the majority of the 60 minutes.T
he winners were livelier in springing from the blocks, points from Billy Ryan, Ray Lahart (free), Liam Blanchfield and Seán Morrissey moving the Kilkenny school 0-4 to 0-1 clear after 10 minutes. Michael Connors capitalised on a mistake by St Kieran’s goalkeeper Adrian Mullen to strike the opening goal of the contest, and, in the process, ignite the Thurles challenge. A Niall Heffernan free edged the underdogs in front, but it proved a short-lived lead – Lahart firing to the net for the reigning champions on 17 minutes.
Points subsequently from Ryan (0-2), Lahart (free) and Tadhg O Dwyer stretched their advantage to 1-9 to 1-4 as Thurles were coping poorly in dealing with Kieran’s inside line of Lahart, Ryan and O’Dwyer. Niall Cahill’s troops rallied somewhat approaching the break, Billy McCarthy, Niall Heffernan and Connor on target, to cut the gap back to three (1-10 to 1-7) at half-time.Scorers for St Kieran’s: R Lahart (1-5, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘65); B Ryan (0-3); R Leahy, S Morrissey (0-2 each); J Bryne, L Blanchfield, T O’Dwyer (0-1 each).
Scorers for Thurles CBS: N Heffernan (0-5, 0-4 frees); M Connors (1-2); B McCarthy, K Duggan, R Heffernan, R Long, J Skehan (0-1 each).
Thurles CBS: W Tierney (Thurles Sarsfield); J Derby (Thurles Sarsfields), E Heffernan (Clonoulty Rossmore), D Quirke (Clonoulty Rossmore); T Hayes (Moycarkey Borris), J Skehan (Holycross Ballycahill), C McCullagh (Moycarkey Borris); R Heffernan (Clonoulty Rossmore), C Moloney (Thurles Sarsfields); B McCarthy (Thurles Sarsfields), K Duggan (Galmoy), N Heffernan (Moycarkey Borris); M Connors (Drom & Inch), R Long (Drom &Inch), R Teehan (Gortnahoe Glengoole). Subs: P Kennedy (Drom & Inch) for Moloney (39), B Kelly (Rathdowney Errill) for Duggan (59), J Butler (Upperchurch Drombane) for R Heffernan (64).Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow)