A late flurry by St Flannan's ensured a nine-point victory over fierce rivals St Colman's in yesterday's quarter-final at a sunny Charleville.
Although they deserved to win, the margin somewhat flattered the Ennis hurling nursery, who only led by two points with three minutes of normal time remaining.
Then, a rather fortuitous goal after a shot from out the field, close to the left sideline, by Conor O'Gorman put some daylight between the sides, before another three-pointer from corner-forward Shane O'Donnell sealed the Cork school's fate late in injury-time.
The Clare academy led by 1-6 to 1-4 at the break, having lorded it over their opponents for the opening quarter. After 13 minutes, they were 1-5 to 0-2 in front, with Jack Browne grabbing the game's first goal.
However, an improved effort from Colman's late in the half yielded some good scores, particularly a 30th-minute goal from captain Michael Spillane, who was set up by Gerard Hogan.
After the break, the Fermoy side took the lead with an early goal, again scored by Spillane, and by the 34th minute they enjoyed a two-point lead, thanks to a fine individual effort by wing-back Bryan Carroll.
By the middle of the half, the sides were locked at 2-7 to 1-10, before O'Donnell hit the first of his pair of goals in the 47th minute for the Clare boys. He beat three defenders before slotting to the net from close range.
St Colman's had been too reliant on Spillane for scores on the day -- the Castlelyons man hitting all but three of his team's tally and in the latter stages of the game, Flannan's ability to convert goal chances proved decisive.
Scorers -- St Flannan's: S O'Donnell 2-1, C O'Gorman 1-4, P Duggan 0-4 (1f), J Browne 1-0, T Kelly 0-3 (1f), M O'Leary 0-1. St Colman's: M Spillane 2-7 (3 65s, 2f), K Morrison, C Spillane, B Carroll 0-1 each.
St Flannan's -- E Enright; C O'Loughlin , N Purcell, S Morey; E Boyce, S O'Halloran, G O'Connell; T Kelly, J Colleran; C Doohan, M O 'Leary, C O'Gorman; J Browne, P Duggan, S O'Donnell. Subs: A O'Neill for Doohan (52).
St Colman's -- D O'Callaghan; W Walsh, C O'Leary, C Barry; P Roche, D O'Carroll, B Carroll; E Maye, N Byrne; M Pyne, C Spillane,K Morrison; M Spillane, G Hogan, J Mannix. Subs: D Mangan for Hogan (47), M Wade for Maye (52), M O'Neill for Pyne (53).
Ref -- F Horgan (Tipperary).