COLáISTE CHOILM 3-16
LUCAN CBS 1-17
A magnificent Shane Tyrell goal, one minute from the end, was of major importance at River Valley in Swords on Tuesday afternoon as local side Coláiste Choilm – propelled by a 1-12 haul from inspirational centre-forward Derek Rodgers – booked their place in the Dublin Schools Junior 'C' Hurling decider following a gripping penultimate-round encounter against Lucan CBS.
The physically imposing Rodgers had opened the scoring from Choilm's first meaningful attack of the contest, and although his opposite number, Ciaran Dowling, replied swiftly with a fine point on the run, he restored the lead for Damien Burke's charges from a tricky placed ball effort six minutes in.
Lucan were struggling to take advantage of the wind on their backs during the early exchanges, and subsequent scores by centre-back Shane Howard and Rodgers (either side of a Niall Madden point for Lucan) increased Choilm's cushion.
Lucan did finally build some momentum thanks to a brace of points from half-forward duo Emmett Allen and Dowling, and although Choilm responded through a routine Rodgers free, Lucan moved into the ascendancy on the 20-minute mark, as corner-forward Harry Ladd flicked past Mark Cullen from a cross-field Madden delivery.
A trio of subsequent points from the increasingly prominent Madden gave Lucan a healthy platform towards the end of the half, but a well-taken major by Rodgers moments before the interval ensured that their deficit had been cut to two points (1-7 to 1-5).
Wing-forward Allen's second point from a right-hand angle two minutes after the restart did reassert Lucan's superiority, but a scrambled finish by full-forward Tyrell a couple of minutes later levelled matters for the north Dubliners.
With Madden cancelling out two eye-catching Rodgers scores with a brace of his own, an intriguing closing quarter was in store, but the excellent Choilm No 11 continued to light up the game with three consecutive points between minutes 35 and 38.
Yet, with Andrew Carroll, Ladd and centre-back Colm Keenan (free) raising white flags for Lucan during the same period, they simply couldn't pull away from their opponents.
Indeed, Lucan once more grabbed the game by the scruff of neck when Madden and Allen found the target, and even though Choilm gained parity again thanks to a couple of set-piece points by Rodgers, CBS assumed a slender lead with another Dowling score four minutes from the end.
However, Choilm stepped up to the plate when required, as two vital points by superb midfielder Conor Halpin were followed by Tyrell's majestic individual goal on 49 minutes, and Rodgers subsequently added an insurance free in stoppage time to secure Coláiste Choilm's place in the 2013 final.
Scorers – Coláiste Choilm: D Rodgers 1-12 (0-6f); S Tyrell 2-0; C Halpin 0-3; S Howard 0-1. Lucan CBS: N Horan 0-7 (4f); H Ladd 1-1; C Dowling 0-4; E Allen 0-3; C Keenan (f), A Carroll 0-1 each.
COLáISTE CHOILM: M Cullen; S Thompson, A Smyth, M Murray; E Clifford, S Howard, K Reilly; C Halpin, M Smyth; R Martin, D Rodgers, D Cullen; A Shaughnessy, S Tyrell, P Wright. Subs: L McBride for Thompson (23), C Smyth for Shaughnessy (46).
LUCAN CBS: C Heffernan; I Crowley, R Twomey, C Rigney; R Ward, C Keenan, L Walsh; N Madden, S Kelly; E Allen, C Dowling, B Coffey; F Kyne, A Carroll, H Ladd.
Referee: K Roche (Whitehall Colmcille).