COLAISTE Eoin succumbed to their third last-four defeat in four years when they fell to a talented St Kieran's by 13 points in their disappointing loss in Fennagh last Saturday.
ST KIERAN'S COLLEGE 2-14
COLÁISTE EOIN 0-7
The Stillorgan Road school never played close to their potential over the hour with their exertions in both codes finally telling in what was a sub-standard display.
Reaching the semi-finals in both hurling and football certainly proved a double-edged sword at the weekend, a fact conceded by team manager Aodan de Paor. "We just didn't play well today and Kieran's were far better than us and well deserved their win. I wouldn't say that the gap between the teams is as wide as that match showed but we just didn't perform on the day.
"I would be very reluctant to use the dual issue as an excuse as that is probably disrespectful to St Kieran's. However, there was definitely a staleness to our display and although the lads rested all week and appeared to be in fine form entering the game, they never managed to raise their game and perhaps that was down to mental fatigue more than anything," said De Paor.
Referee Pat Kehoe's decisions were another contributory factor on the day – although they could never be said to have determined the result, the three occasions he overruled his umpires added to Coláiste Eoin's frustrations.
His key intervention arrived four minutes into the second-half as the impressive Robbie Donnelly netted from inside the square to effectively settle the tie, despite the umpire initially disallowing the goal.
That left Coláiste Eoin facing an imposing deficit and though they enjoyed a greater degree of possession from that point, they never looked likely to plunder the goals required to trim their arrears.
Despite taking an early lead through Colm Ó Néill (pictured), the Booterstown school struggled for large parts of the first-half and the concession of a soft goal to Seán Morrissey in the fifth minute was a body blow from which they never truly recovered. Donnelly added a glut of points from placed balls to extend Kieran's advantage with Eoin only managing four points from play over the hour, two of which came from Fionn Ó Riain Broin.
Scorers – St Kieran's: R Donnelly 1-9 (0-4f, 0-3 '65'); S Morrissey 1-1; L Blanchfield, J Byrne, N Walsh, J Haines 0-1 each. Coláiste Eoin: C Ó Néill 0-3 (3f); F Ó Riain Broin 0-2; C Ó Ceallacháin, S Ó Duibhir 0-1 each.
ST KIERAN'S: J Barcoe; J Cleere, E Walsh, T Walsh; J Keoghan, J Maher, D Mullen; K Blanchfield, J Byrne; L Blanchfield, S Morrissey, N Walsh; R Donnelly, B Ryan, T O'Dwyer. Subs: B Cody for Ryan and R Lahart for O'Dwyer (half-time), C O'Carroll for Lahart and J Haines for Byrne (51), B Carrigan for Mullen (55).
COLÁISTE EOIN: T Ó Murchú; C Ó Seanáin, D Ó Murchú, E Ó Lorcáin; C Ó Riain Broin, F Ó Riain Broin, J Ó Maoileoin; S Ó Dúlaing, E Ó Naoire; D Ó Gallchobhair, R Mac Giolla Bhríde, F de Fuitléigh; C Ó Ceallacháin, C Ó Néill, L Ó Giolláin. Subs: S Ó Duibhir for Ó Giolláin (half-time), B Mac Cormaic for Ó Gallchobhair (35).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow).