Masterly Martin seals glory for Colaiste Mhuire
Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown forward Conor Martin scored a massive tally of 14 points to secure the title for the north Kilkenny school in yesterday's decider at O'Moore Park.
The game was played in bitterly cold conditions and when the Kilkenny side were reduced to 14 players after 20 minutes it certainly did not look good for them. Midfielder Robert Banville received a straight red for an off-the-ball incident and, at that stage, the teams were level 1-2 to 0-5, Banagher getting a goal from a free by centre-forward Sean Gardiner.
Despite the numerical advantage Banagher trailed 1-3 to 0-9 at the interval, sharpshooter Martin accounting for all but one of his side's total in the opening half.
Johnstown increased their advantage with another Martin point within two minutes of the resumption. Joe O'Connor lifted the Offaly side with two well-taken points but again Martin added a brace for the winners.
Midway through the second half, a great Banagher move yielded a goal by Ethain Mannion, and a point by Riain Kelly left the minimum separating the teams but Johnstown finished strongly with two more points by Martin and another from Kevin Sweeney.
The winners now face Causeway CC in the All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday week. Banagher's day of woe was complete when their centre-back Alan Camon received a red card in injury-time.
scorers -- Colaiste Mhuire: C Martin 0-14, K Sweeney, F Phelan, L Hickey 0-1 each. Banagher College: S Gardiner 1-2, E Mannion 1-1, J O'Connor 0-4, R Kelly 0-1.
Colaiste Mhuire -- S Moriarty; M Drennan, T Moriarty, S Quinlan; D O'Gorman, W Brennan (capt), K Skehan; K Sweeney, R Banville; B Webster, J Kenny, F Phelan; L Hickey, J Stanley, C Martin. Sub: C Dunphy for B Webster.
Banagher College -- C Clancy; Conor Daly, D Fogarty, K Kelly; M Maloney, A Camon, Colm Daly; J O'Connor, T Ryan; D Hopkins, S Gardiner, R Kelly; D Moran, E Mannion, D Mahon. Subs: J Regan for D Moran, G Lynch for J Regan, E Kane for D Mahon and G McDermott for E Kane.
Ref -- J Lalor (Laois).