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Hurling: Eoin edge Dublin duel

What a week it's been for Coláiste Eoin. The Stillorgan all-Irish speaking school will contest two Leinster semis but, unlike the 11-point win by the footballers last week, this one was less clear cut.

Under the guidance of Aodán de Paor and Fergal Chambers, Coláiste Eoin survived a scare right at the death when North Dublin full- forward Ciaran Kilkenny sent a free hurtling towards the keeper's left post.

Kilkenny is one of the biggest hitters of the ball but Coláiste Eoin keeper Eoin Daltúin held his ground to divert the sliotar away to safety.

It was a dramatic end then to a terrific game that attracted a sizeable crowd to Ayrfield last Monday afternoon.

And, for a while, Dublin North seemed to have the measure of their opponents with wing forward John Hetherton having a mighty game on the 40.

Overall, North Dublin hurled with terrific intensity but, in the end, young Oisín Ó Ruairc carried the day with a terrific display in the corner.

Oisín, whose older brother Barra took one of the main gongs at the Evening Herald schools end of year awards in 2007, was prolific from the dead ball, and the nimble-footed Kilmacud Crokes talent gave his marker a testing time throughout the course of the hour.

The game had got off to a lively start with the sides exchanging two points apiece before Ó Ruairc forced a great save out of North Dublin keeper Eoin Dillon on eight minutes.

Soon after that Marc Schutte sent over a wonderful score from just inside the left touchline with Ó Ruairc then landing a free to hand his team a double-scores lead midway through the half.

The scores continued to tick along at a good pace with Kilkenny's classy score from the wings keeping the pressure on Coláiste Eoin.

And additional points from Dara Casey and Emmet Ó Conghaile moved Dublin North ahead for the first time, with the interval approaching.

Then came the only goal of the game on 28 minutes when, after Kilkenny's shot was saved by the Eoin keeper, corner-forward Denis Forde followed up, but his shot came back off the far upright before Kilkenny finally found drove home to end a very exciting sequence of play.

The final action of the half saw Ó Ruairc send over a free to leave it 1-6 to 0-6 at the interval and two more scores from ó Ruairc coupled with an Alex Pilkington point had drawn Eoin level seven minutes into the second half.

But a terrific field by Kilkenny moments later set up a free for Hetherton, which he duly converted.


And further scores off the dead ball from Donal Sutcliffe (Coláiste Eoin) and Frankie Parks (North Dublin) advanced the score along to 1-8 to 0-10 in North Dublin's favour.

With 10 minutes to go the game was finely balanced, with the match there for the taking.

And it was then that Coláiste Eoin made their move with Aran Ó Murchú (54th minute) and Schutte (56) sending over two classy scores to move the southsiders ahead.

Ó Ruairc then sent over a free with Sutcliffe making a great field to avert a North Dublin attack.

But the North Dublin boys were not done, and three minutes into injury time they were awarded a free. It wasn't to be, however, with Coláiste Eoin winning through to the last four.

SCORERS -- Coláiste Eoin: O Ó Ruairc 0-6 (0-5f), M Schutte 0-3, A Ó Murchú 0-2, A Pilkington, D Sutcliffe (f) 0-1 each. Dublin North: C Kilkenny 1-2, J Hetherton 0-2 (2f), E Ó Conghaille, R Mullins, D Casey, F Parks (f) 0-1 each.

Coláiste Eoin: Eoin Daltúin; Fionnán McGabhann, Brian Ó Murchú, Jack McCionaith; Eoin Ó Loinsigh, Donal Sutcliffe, Jesse Ó Cinnéide; Alex Pilkington, Eoin Ó Braonáin; Aran Ó Murchú, Marc Schutte, Seán Ó Moráin; Oisín Ó Ruairc, Jude Mac Suibhne, Eoin Ó Neill. Subs: Donal Ó Gormlaí for Ó Neill (35).

Dublin North: Eamon Dillon; Conor Prunty, Gareth Cronin, Mark O'Dea; Matt McCaffrey, Seán Burke, Seán McLelland; Ross Mullins, Emmett ó Conghaille; Dara Casey, Alan Keogh, John Hetherton; Kevin McMahon, Ciarán Kilkenny, Denis Forde. Subs: Frankie Parks for Hetherton (40), Eoin Quinn for A Keogh (40), Conor McStay for O'Dea (50), Conor Meaney for McMahon (55).