O'Brien on double in Ardscoil Ris cruise
Champions for the last two years, Limerick outfit Ardscoil Ris cruised into the quarter-final of this season's competition as they overcame Charleville CBS at Bruff.
Torrential rain made for a poor second period and while Ardscoil scored 2-2 within minutes to push their tally to 4-11, they will be concerned that they failed to score for the last 25 minutes of the match.
Qualification was assured by halftime, at which stage the Limerick side led by 2-9 to 0-7 against a Charleville outfit who were playing only for pride and who were minus a number of key players.
The sides were level at 0-4 each after 13 minutes. Ardscoil opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead, but three points without reply by John Madigan, Pa O'Callaghan (free) and Conor Laffan made it all square.
A superb point from a sideline by Andrew Carroll edged the Limerick side in front again, and they never subsequently lost the lead.
A goal by Kevin O'Brien made it 1-5 to 0-6 and while O'Callaghan kept Charleville in touch with points from frees, it was Ardscoil who took their goal-scoring chances, with Cian Lynch getting their second after 21 minutes.
Jack Kelleher and O'Callaghan (free) exchanged points, followed by a pointed '65' from Jamie Shanahan for Ardscoil as the Limerick team went into the break leading by 2-9 to 0-7.
Points from Mike Foley and Kelleher and another O'Brien goal inside five minutes of the restart pushed Ardscoil 3-11 to 0-7 clear. O'Callaghan then pointed a '65', but a goal from William O'Donoughue after 35 minutes sealed the win.
Amazingly, Ardscoil failed to score again and it was left to O'Callaghan to put over the remaining points (two frees and one from play) to finish an hour in which the hurling was of a reasonable standard in the first half but when the torrential rain came in the second half, the quality understandably deteriorated.
Full-forward O'Brien scored 2-2 before being hauled ashore after 42 minutes and Kelleher impressed up-front for Ardscoil, whose defence was ably marshalled by Barry O'Connell, with good assistance from PJ Hall and Evan Fitzgerald.
Charleville missed their key players but O'Callaghan could not be faulted for the big defeat. He scored seven of their points (six frees) and Jack Barry also did well in attack.
Midfielder Conor Laffan was impressive and in defence, Conor Twomey and Noel Foley worked hard to stem the tide.
Scorers -- Ardscoil Ris: K O'Brien 2-2, W O'Donoughue 1-1, C Lynch 1-0, J Kelleher 0-3, J Shanahan 0-2 (1 s/l), D O'Connell (1f), M Foley, A Carroll (1 s/l) 0-1 each. Charleville CBS: P O'Callaghan 0-7 (6f), J Barry 0-2, C Laffan, J Madigan 0-1 each.
ArdScoil Ris -- D Dempsey; R Kirby, PJ Hall, K McNamara; E Fitzgerald, B O'Connell, S Fitzgerald; A Carroll, J Shanahan; W O'Donoughue, M Foley, J Kelleher; L O'Brien, K O'Brien, C Lynch. Subs: R Keane for A Carroll (36), E Neville for McNamara (42), C Crehan for Kelleher (43), E keogh for O'Brien (46), M Buckley for S Fitzgerald (50).
Charleville CBS -- M Browne; K O'Gorman, D McCarthy, L Hanley; D Burke, C Twomey, N Foley; J Murphy, C Laffan; S Sheedy, J Fitzgerald, J Barry; D Casey, P O'Callaghan, J Madigan. Subs: D Cagney for Sheedy, D O'Shaughnessy for Burke (40).
REF -- R Moloney (Bruff).