BRIAN McDONNELL was to the fore in Martin Savage Park on Tuesday afternoon, as his 3-4 haul gave St Declan's CBS a comfortable 4-12 to 1-0 victory over Salesian College at the penultimate stage of the Dublin Schools Juvenile Hurling 'B' competition.
Played in some very testing conditions, the Cabra school were on top from the word go, as their greater experience at this level (unlike Declan's, most of the Salesian side are first year students) was paying dividends during a tentative opening period.
The Celbridge outfit were doing their very best to keep out a very strong Declan's attack, but McDonnell and Glen Dodrill were still able to find their range on a couple of occasions, and a well-taken major by McDonnell helped them towards a nine-point advantage (1-6 to 0-0) at the mid-way stage.
Though this was a reasonable lead for the north Dublin school to have over their Kildare rivals, it was by no means an insurmountable one, and they needed to keep working hard in the second period to ensure that they saw the game through to the end.
This is something they managed to do, as nicely taken points by Dodrill, David Langan, McDonnell and Dylan Curley were added to by a goal from Pierce O'Brien, as well as a brace of three-pointers from McDonnell, which gave the latter a much-deserved hat-trick.
Salesians did manage to breach the Declan's rearguard with a goal towards the end of the contest, but Declan's were still able to ease over the line, and they now go on to the decider, where they will face a Templeogue College side who enjoyed a similarly impressive 8-12 to 1-7 victory over St Fintan's HS in their semi-final.
Elsewhere, Mobhi Road's Scoil Chaitríona enjoyed an emphatic 6-9 to 1-2 victory over Coláiste Cois Life in the Juvenile Hurling 'C' semi-final played at Arthur Griffith Park yesterday.