COLAISTE EANNA 3-11, ARDSCOIL RíS 1-12
A HAUL of 2-4 from the outstanding Ciaran O'Shea proved crucial in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn last Friday afternoon, as Coláiste éanna overcame a strong challenge from Ardscoil Rís to reach the semi-finals following an entertaining and highly competitive contest.
On paper, this game was always likely to be a close-run affair but, after a couple of narrow misses from both sides, O'Shea found space in front of the Ardscoil goal to unleash a powerful shot past Sean Murphy for the first goal of the encounter.
Full-forward O'Shea followed this up almost immediately with a point from 25 metres, before éanna netminder Adam Boyd Lyons was called into action, making a couple of excellent saves from Shane Barrett and Seán ó Cuanacháin.
A brace of points from '65's by centre-forward Craig Brennan then got the Ardscoil scoring under way, but a second goal for éanna arrived on 16 minutes from Fionn Maguire, who flicked to the net from close in after O'Shea's shot had been turned away by Murphy.
The deadly-accurate Brennan would go on to swap points with Alan Flood and Maguire of Coláiste éanna, before an unstoppable pulled effort on 23 minutes by Shane Barrett found its way into the net to bring the margin back to three.
éanna replied immediately with a long-range free from Darragh O'Shea, but a couple of late scores from Brennan meant that Ardscoil were only two points in arrears (2-5 to 1-6) at the mid-way stage.
This set things up nicely for the restart, but the beginning of the second period was hampered by a treacherous wind, which the two teams took a while to get used to.
However, it was éanna who came up with the initial response, as three points on the trot from Ciaran O'Shea (2) and Darragh O'Shea moved them into a five-point lead.
Brennan and James Madden swapped points, before the decisive score of the game arrived with 16 minutes remaining.
Ciaran O'Shea came away with the ball from a scramble close to the Ardscoil goal, and finished calmly into an empty net.
This left Ardscoil with an awful lot of ground to make up heading into the final quarter but they stuck to their task and replied with four points on the bounce from substitute Seamie Sullivan, Liam Nicholson, Barrett and Greg Murphy.
This served as a minor wake-up call for éanna, and they needed points from Ciaran O'Shea and Alan Flood to settle them down again.
Dual county star Cormac Costello did go close with a point-blank effort in the closing stages, and Nicholson found the range to register his second point of the game, but it was only a mere consolation in the end as Coláiste éanna marched on to the last four of the competition.
SCORERS - Coláiste Eanna: C O'Shea 2-4, F Maguire 1-1, D O'Shea 0-3 (0-3f), A Flood 0-2, J Madden 0-1. Ardscoil Rís: C Brennan 0-7 (0-4f, 0-2 '65'), S Barrett 1-1, L Nicholson 0-2, G Murphy, S Sullivan 0-1 each.
COLAISTE EANNA: A Boyd-Lyons; J McDonnell, T Hanafin, C O'Riordan; E McKenna, J Desmond, J Johnston; T McGrath, A Flood; F Maguire, D O'Shea, C Lambert; A McGrath, C O'Shea, J Madden. Sub: K Robinson for Johnston (53).
ARDSCOIL RíS: S Murphy; E Delaney, B Purcell, P Donnelly; M Moore, A Harte, J Collins; L Nicholson, G Burke; G Murphy, C Brennan, S Barrett; C Mullins, S ó Cuanacháin, C Costello. Subs: C Maguire for Mullins (42), S Sullivan for Purcell (47).
REFEREE: Fergus McGreevy (St Oliver Plunkett's/Eoghan Ruadh).