Phelan's late goal bridges seven-year gap for St Fergal's
St Fergal's College Rathdowney reached their first 'A' decider in seven years with this victory over Colaiste Phobal Roscrea in Templemore.
Roscrea started brightly with three quick points, two from Sam Conlon, who finished with an impressive tally of 2-4.
Rathdowney held a five-point lead at the interval, helped by a goal from the outstanding Aidan Corboy, who reacted quickest to a ball coming back off the post.
Roscrea came out all guns blazing in the second half with two goals from Conlon helping his side into a four-point lead 10 minutes after the restart.
St Fergal's responded with Stephen Bergin and Corboy to the fore to lead by two-points before points from Jamie Dooley and Conlon forced extra-time.
Bergin struck a crucial goal less than 30 seconds into extra-time to take control of the game for St Fergal's as they held Roscrea to just one point in the additional period, while scoring 2-2 themselves with sub Stephen Phelan sealing victory with his sides third goal in the second period of extra-time.
The second semi-final between St Brigid's Vocational School, Loughrea (Galway) and Scoil Aireagail, Ballyhale (Kilkenny) which was due to have been the curtain-raiser was postponed and has been refixed for tomorrow in Templemore.
Scorers – Rathdowney: S Bergin 1-5, A Corboy 1-4, D Quinlan 0-6 (6fs), S Phelan 1-1, P Whelan, M Kavanagh, E Fitzpatrick 0-1 each. Roscrea: S Conlon 2-4; C Sheedy 0-9 (7f); C Collier, J Dooley 0-1 each.
St Fergal's College, Rathdowney – D Brennan; C Quinlan, E Doyle, C Kilbane; B Meade, G Dunne, R Phelan; C Stapleton, L O'Connell; S Bergin, D Quinlan, L Cleere; M Kavanagh, A Corby, P Whelan. Subs: D Hogan for C Quinlan (46); E Fitzpatrick for Kilbane (52); S Phelan for Meade (68); S Delaney for R Phelan (71 inj).
Colaiste Phobal Roscrea –D Ryan; L Cashin, M Campion, L Carroll; C Delaney, D Doughan, B Larkin; C Collier, S Fogarty; C Sheedy, C Rigney, A Devereux; A Cleary, D Daly, S Conlon. Subs: J Dooley for Daly (39); S Sampson for Collier (78).
REF – A Kelly (Galway).