Moran rejects 'cheap talk' of All-Ireland glory after Ardscoil triumph
Ardscoil Rís 0-11 Our Lady's 0-8
Niall Moran batted away talk of an All-Ireland assault following this hard-earned triumph over Our Lady’s Templemore in Nenagh on Saturday.
The former Limerick star masterminded a fourth Harty title in seven seasons for Ardscoil but refused to be drawn on the possibility of Croke Cup glory.
Ardscoil will take on the losers of next weekend’s Leinster final between Kilkenny CBS and St Kieran’s in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, and when reminded that the Limerick city outfit has failed to crack the Croke Cup code in their three previous attempts, Moran had a swift retort.
He said: “A day like today isn’t for cheap talk like that. The Harty Cup is a prestigious competition; if it was good enough for the Joe McKennas and John Fentons and Jamesie O’Connors, it’s well good enough for us. Today is all about the Dr Harty Cup. It’s a superb competition.”
Ardscoil lost Croke Cup finals to St Kieran’s in 2010 and 2011 but have given themselves another shot at the elusive national silverware after coming through a dogfight against a gritty Our Lady’s Templemore side..
A driving wind blowing towards the town end and heavy underfoot conditions made life difficult in front of over 2,000 spectators but six unanswered points after half-time did the trick for Ardscoil.
Playing with the wind from the start, Templemore needed a bigger half-time lead than two points (0-7 to 0-5) and Ardscoil upped the ante in the second half
Templemore managed just one second-half point and scored just two from play all afternoon as the Tipp boys were denied a first Harty crown since 1978.
Manager Tom Byrnes reflected: “It probably suited them because they’re so big. Us being a small school, we’re using more fifth years and TYs than them and it’s hard for a 15 or a 16-year-old to be competing against an 18-and-a-half-year-old, especially in these conditions.
“We’re very proud of them, they’ve been fantastic all year. They’re a credit to their clubs and their families.”
Kevin Hassett and Lyndon Fairbrother picked off picture-book scores from play in the first half for Templemore but the second period was frustrating for them as Ardscoil sat deep and found the points they needed.
Both sides set up defensively, ensuring that this final was never going to be a high-scoring affair.
“We were happy at half-time, and we had probably left a few chances behind us,” said Moran. “In the second half, it was excellent how they applied themselves but the finishing touches weren’t fully there, we had a lot of wides.
“We’ve a few things to work on going into the All-Ireland series.”
For young corner forward Peter Casey, it could be quite a few weeks ahead. The Na Piarsaigh man is preparing for a senior All-Ireland club final and he was also a member of last year’s Limerick U-21 squad that won the All-Ireland title.
Casey bagged a point in each half on Saturday while there were also notable contributions from Brian Ryan, Paul O’Brien and David Fitzgerald.
Ardscoil had to survive a late onslaught on their goalmouth as Templemore went in search of an equalising goal but unlike their semi-final heroics against De La Salle, this time it didn’t come.
Byrne sighed: “We put the ball in there three times near the end and it was cleared – a little bit of luck and it would have been a replay.”
scorers – Ardscoil Rís: P O’Brien 0-4 (3fs), B Ryan, P Casey, D Fitzgerald 0-2 each, D Carroll 0-1. Our Lady’s Templemore: B McGrath, J Bergin 0-3f each, K Hassett & L Fairbrother 0-1 each.
Ardscoil Rís – S Mullane; R Connolly, S Phelan, S Hogan; C Houlihan, N Fox, J Boylan; J Flynn, B Ryan; D Carroll, P O’Brien, P O’Loughlin; C Boylan, D Fitzgerald, P Casey. Subs: C Moriarty for O’Loughlin (56), D Cunningham for Carroll (58), J McInerney for Fitzgerald (60+3), J Delahunty for Hogan (60+5).
Our Lady’s Templemore – J Kennedy; C O’Meara, D Ryan, E Ryan; T Murphy, B McGrath, K Hassett; D O’Shea, P Cadell; J Bergin, A Ryan, S Nolan; P Bergin, J Kelly, L Fairbrother. Subs: R McCormack for P Bergin (40), C Thorpe for Kelly (53).
ref – N Wall (Cork).