O'Hanrahan brace earns final berth
St Kieran's 3-10
Charleville CBS 0-7
ST KIERAN'S joint-manager Philip Walsh admitted that the All-Ireland champions have significant improvements to make ahead of a repeat of last year's Croke Cup final with Ardscoil Rís on April 2.
St Kieran's defeated Charleville CBS by 12 points but never hit the heights in Saturday's semi-final at Sean Treacy Park in Tipperary town.
When Ardscoil Rís defeated Charleville in the Harty Cup final, the winning margin was 25 points but at the weekend, a spirited Charleville gave it their all and managed to keep the score down.
Kicking off the mind games ahead of the decider, Walsh said: "The Harty Cup is big in Munster and when you win a Harty Cup by that much, you would have to be favourites."
Corner-forward Thomas O'Hanrahan impressed and was the difference between the sides, scoring 2-2 -- the first goal scored within 20 seconds of the restart, and the second arriving deep into stoppage time.
John Power -- brother of Kilkenny senior ace Richie -- scored 1-3 in the first half as St Kieran's opened up a substantial 1-7 to 0-3 half-time lead.
And St Kieran's, who had 12 wides, could also afford the luxury of missing a late penalty.
Next Saturday week in Thurles, St Kieran's will look to retain the Croke Cup against Limerick's Ardscoil Rís, who believe that the Munster-All-Ireland double is firmly within reach.
With 12 minutes remaining in last year's final, Ardscoil Rís led by five points before losing it late, conceding 1-5 without reply in the closing stages.
Scorers -- St Kieran's: T O'Hanrahan 2-2, J Power 1-3 (3f), M Donnelly 0-2 (1f), J Nolan, M Brennan, H O'Neill 0-1 each. Charleville CBS: J Morrissey, D Reidy (1f, 1 '65') each, M Kavanagh (f), D Copps, P O'Callaghan 0-1 each.
ST KIERAN'S -- S Johnston; L Hickey, W Phelan, R O'Hanrahan; C O'Neill, P O'Carroll, E Morrissey; P Butler, C Buckley; J Power, D Cody, M Donnelly; J Nolan, M Brennan, T O'Hanrahan. Subs: R Reid for Morrissey (h-t), K Phelan for Buckley (50), D Burke for Power (50), H O'Neill for Nolan (58).
CHARLEVILLE CBS -- TJ Garvey; S Butler, D McCarthy, T Rea; C Twomey, D Reidy, A Dennehy; M Kavanagh, J Morrissey; D Sheehy, P O'Callaghan, G Kelleher; D Copps, J Madigan, J O'Brien.
Ref -- P Casey (Waterford).