The Sem claim Frewen Cup title
Frewen Cup Final: St Brendan's Killarney 2-15 St Flannan's Ennis 1-8
The 'Beast from the East' might have been playing havoc elsewhere with the country but it didn't stop the boys from Killarney and Ennis doing battle as scheduled for the Frewen Cup last Wednesday as Duagh GAA club proved very capable hosts following the late switch of venue from Rathkeale.
Ten points might suggest a degree of comfort for the Sem in their win but they were made to work for it by St Flannans who didn't let the fact the game ended up in a Kerry venue be an excuse for not trying to upset the odds.
Three points in the opening five minutes suggested a relative degree of comfort for the Killarney School especially as it took St Flannans 11 minutes themselves to register a score. However the Sem's youngsters were maybe guilty of trying to maybe manufacture too many goal chances as opposed to taking points as Daniel Kelly's influence on the game for St Flannans was there for all to see in both sides being level at 0-4 apiece after 19 minutes Eoghan O'Sullivan was trying hard for the Sem at midfield however as Ryan O'Grady was denied a goal by Flannans goalkeeper Killian O'Connor in the 16th minute at the concession of the Sem's fourth score.
Niall McGuillicuddy and Emmet O'Shea helped the Dunloe Cup Champions to a 0-7 to 0-5 lead at half-time as Kelly scored all bar the opening Flannans point in the first-half. Straight from the throw-in for the second-half, Flannans looked like they had the game right on a knife edge when midfielder and team captain Kevin Keane scored a goal that put them ahead for the first time in proceedings. The Sem responded in the right manner however barely three minutes later as despite appearing to have put over an equaliser, Michael Lenihan's high dropping ball that evaded Flannans goalkeeper O'Connor was adjudged to have gone into the net by the umpire giving the Sem back their two point lead.
From there they gradually started to eek ahead on the scoreboard although Liam Spillane made an important defensive interception in preventing Flannans getting through for a second goal in the 39th minute and Jarlath Collins blazed a promising chance wide two minutes later.
The Clare School's challenge really started to fall away on the three-quarter mark when Kelly was black carded robbing Flannans of much of their drive. Emmet O'Shea was the standout scorer for the Sem in their win as he scored their second goal before the start of injury time to join a certain club-mate of his in David Clifford in being the standout performer of a Sem Frewen Cup success much like the present Kerry senior panellist was for the Killarney School's last success at this level back in 2015.
The bigger story might have been the fact that the game was actually played with the weather chaos around the rest of the country this day last week but the general fare of proceedings proved that it was the right decision for the game to be played, a matter of urgency in some respects when you consider the Paul McGirr Cup Semi-Final for this grade is this Saturday coming. The Sem have been deserving winners of this competition from the point of view that they won their three games by margins of nine points or more but All-Ireland level will bring its own challenges for this group.
Hogan Cup success has been fruitful for the School in recent years as is well documented but they are still to taste All-Ireland success at this level despite the relative young history of the competition. That is something that should serve as a bit of motivation for this group in looking to keep the Paul McGirr Cup in the Kingdom much like the Hogan Cup has been for the last four years.
St Brendans College: Eoin Moynihan (Glenflesk); Cian O'Leary (Legion), Kieran O'Donoghue (do), Liam Spillane (Spa); Evan Smith (Legion), Neil O'Shea (Dr Crokes), Ruairi Doyle (Fossa); Michael Lenihan (Dr Crokes, 1-0) Eoghan O'Sullivan (Legion, 0-1); Darragh Donohue (Firies), Niall McGuillicuddy (Legion, 0-4, 2f), Emmet Finnan (Glenflesk); Ryan O'Grady (Legion, 0-2), Emmet O'Shea (Fossa, 1-5) Dylan O'Callaghan (Firies, 0-3). Subs: Liam Kelliher (Dr Crokes) for O'Grady, Terry Sparling (Dr Crokes) for O'Leary, Aaron Flynn (Firies) for Finnan, Adam Kissane (Legion) for Smith, Darragh O'Leary (Legion) for Donohoe, Tom Doyle (Dr Crokes) for McGuillicuddy
St Flannans: Killian O'Connor; Eoin Guilfoyle, Darragh Healy, Jack Reidy; Conor Hegarty, Tony Butler, Matthew Reidy; Kevin Keane (1-0), Gavin D'Auria; Daniel Kelly (0-6, 4f) Jarlath Collins, Jack Joyce; Cian Galvin, Colm Kearney, Mark McInerney (0-2f). Subs: Eoghan Talty for Joyce, Dara Nagle for Kelly (black card), Stephen Casey for Jack Reidy
Referee: Michael Meade (Limerick).
Good performances by the Sem's Michael Lenihan and Flannans' Daniel Kelly but Emmet O'Shea's 1-5 stood out in confirming a lot of the promise the young Fossa player has shown in the campaign so far. Can be a match winner if given the right service.
The Sem responding to St Flannans goal from the restart so quickly was a big factor in their win as if Flannans had managed to hold onto the lead for any significant period of time it might have allowed then to grow in confidence about going on to win.
Great credit to Duagh for taking the game at such short notice and their pitch holding up so well, but on a separate issue maybe it's time the Frewen Final got a weekend billing like the Corn Ui Mhuirí semi-finals and final to allow more people a better opportunity to see it.
Cavan test for St Brendans’ semi-final
Paul McGirr Cup Semi-Final
For the fourth consecutive year St Brendans College Killarney embark on an All-Ireland campaign at Post-Primary level, this time it's the Paul McGirr Cup like back in 2015 with the two Hogan Cup successes of the past two years sandwiched in between.
The Sem have won the Hogan Cup four times now but the Paul McGirr is still to come their way despite reaching the 2015 decider where Good Counsel of New Ross got the better of that year's side in Clonmel. In 2015 they faced an Ulster side also at the semi-final stage in St Marys Clady where they registered a formidable 5-25 in a 35 defeat of the Derry side.
It's unlikely that this present group will have it as easy this Saturday when they face St Pats of Cavan in a match that will provide a historical throwback to the 1972 Hogan Cup Final between the schools which the Breffni side won against a St Brendans side featuring Pat Spillane and the late Paidí Ó Sé.
The Cavan side have more recent history with a Kerry school losing the 2015 Hogan Cup semi-final to Pobalscoil Corcha Dhuibhne after extra-time but this is a well-regarded Ulster side who won the Ulster equivalent of the Frewen Cup before Christmas in the form of the Rannafast Cup.
The Sem's campaign hadn't even started at that stage but it will be interesting to see where the shorter run-in The Sem have had to the Paul McGirr as opposed to the two and a half month wait St Pats have had to compete at this level is the preparation for Saturday.