DUNGARVAN are one game away from retaining their crown after edging through this semi-final in Fermoy.
Criostoir Breathnach's fortunate goal in the 24th minute helped turn the game the way of the combined St Augustine's College and Dungarvan CBS team as they drew level at 1-4 to 0-7, with the impeccable free-taking of Patrick Curran putting them in the lead by the half-time interval, 1-7 to 0-9.
It took 2009 champions Thurles CBS, who have won the competition nine times, until the 16th minute of the second half to add a 10th point, by which time a Curran-inspired Dungarvan had pushed five points clear, with Cormac Curran, Colin Dunford and Seamus Keating all doing well.
After Conor Lanigan pulled one back for Thurles, Sean Nally and Eoin Moriarty both had goal chances in the same passage of play.
While Lanigan and Moriarty got the Tipp side back to within two points after that, it was as close as they came.
Though Darragh Lyons had a chance to make the game safe for Dungarvan, it was the impressive Curran's ninth point of the match that closed out the game with three points between the side.
As well as some top-class attacking play, good defending, exemplified by outstanding centre-back Kevin Daly, ensured that Dungarvan's hopes of a two-in-a-row remained intact.
SCORERS – Dungarvan Colleges: P Curran 0-9 (8f), C Breathnach 1-1, T Bourke, C Dunford 0-1 each; Thurles CBS: C Lanigan 0-7 (4f, 1 '65'), E Moriarty 0-3, S Nally, K Dunne 0-1 each.
DUNGARVAN COLLEGES – L Power; K Looby, B Looby, M Cronin; T Bourke, K Daly, T Devine; C Curran, M Harney; C Breathnach, P Curran, S Keating; C Dunford, D Lyons, D Gartland. Subs: R Donnelly for Harney (17-22, blood), Donnelly for Gartland (30).
THURLES CBS – P Maher; B Troy, R Larkin, J Lineen; L Egan, R Maher, R O'Regan; J Skehan, E Moriarty; S Ryan, S Nally, K Dunne; S Cahill, P Russell, C Lanigan. Subs: C Maher for Russell (35), R Heffernan for O'Regan (46).
REF – C Lyons (Cork).