Bolger leads first-half blitz in Kieran's cruise
St Kieran's 4-11 Our Lady's College 2-8
KILKENNY'S St Kieran's, the roll of honour leaders at Leinster and national level, eased into in the semi-finals with a commanding first-half performance.
In this clash between sides beaten in provincial finals, St Kieran's were the better team in Johnstown, even if they did lose their way during the third quarter, when Our Lady's of Templemore hit 1-3 without reply.
Kieran's looked set for a stroll when they outclassed the opposition during the opening half, at the end of which they led 3-7 to 0-3. They got into the groove early when star player Chris Bolger crashed home a goal after only four minutes.
Vincent Teehan grabbed a second in the 13th minute to extend the advantage to 2-3 to 0-3.
Our Lady's depended a lot on Tipperary minor star John McGrath, who was far and away their best player, with Brian Kennedy and Thomas Nolan playing strong supporting roles.
The third quarter belonged to Our Lady's as Kieran's lost their way after losing Bolger through injury.
McGrath inspired Our Lady's to new heights. He landed three long-range points from frees, and with a 39th-minute goal from Dean McEntee thrown in, they sliced the difference to 3-7 to 1-6.
Kieran's had to wait until the 43rd minute for their first score of the half, which was a badly needed point from Teehan.
They were still a bit unsure for a while, but once sub Patrick Mullen bagged a goal in the 50th minute (4-9 to 1-7), the Tipp lads were beaten.
SCORERS – St Kieran's: C Bolger (1f), V Teehan 1-2 each, P Mullen 1-1 (1f), J Maher 0-3, M Kenny 1-0, S Parsons, J Deasy, S Farrell ('65') 0-1 each. Our Lady's College: T Nolan 1-3, J McGrath 0-5 (4f, 1 '65'), D McEntee 1-0.
ST KIERAN'S – G English; S Morrissey, J Tyrrell, C Breen; S Parsons, E Gough, E Walsh; C Bolger, S Farrell; L Blanchfield, J Maher, P Hickey; M Kenny, V Teehan, J Deasy. Subs: P Mullen for Bolger, J Haines for Hickey, L Tennyson for Parsons, J Cleere for Breen, K Freeman for Mullen (inj).
OUR LADY'S COLLEGE – S P Guerins; D Brereton, J Ryan, J Bergin; P Horan, B Kennedy, M Campion; C O Riordan, J McGrath; T Nolan, D Carey, D McEntee; B O'Connell, JJ Ryan, T Maher. Subs: E Moloney for P Horan, J Fogarty for Brereton, K Ahern for T Maher, J Dowling for O'Riordan.
REF – C McAllister (Cork).