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*Jarlath Collins claims the sliotar from the sky. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill. 

Mighty mighty Flannans, the chant of the Clare school’s fans accurately sums up the Harty cup champions performance in this cracking All-Ireland PPS senior A quarter final tie at Mallow.

St. Flannan’s College 0-14
St. Kieran’s College 0-11
Venue: Mallow GAA Complex

This was truly a superb performance by the Ennis college on a day when there were many heroes throughout the field.Six days after their great Munster final win, St. Flannan’s were certainly asked many questions and they responded superbly

Forced into two changes from the Harty Cup winning team with Tony Butler (unavailable) and Connor Hegarty (injured) both out, they faced a huge test against the defending Croke Cup champions.

The foundation for this victory was laid in defence with this sector outstanding throughout but particularly in the opening half when they played against a near gale force wind. Each defender did well but none more so that centre back Cian Galvin who delivered a five star performance and contributed 0-7 to the team’s tally

Cian Galvin. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Seven minutes before the half time the winner’s task was made all the greater as they were reduced to fourteen men when wing forward Ashley Brohan was shown a straight red card after the linesman brought the referee’s attention to an off the ball incident. At the time the score was 0-6 to 0-1 and things certainly didn’t look good for the Ennis side. The margin was still five points when the half time whistle sounded with the score at 0-8 to 0-3.

The opening minutes of the second half suggested that St. Kieran’s were not going to go out easily but Galvin sparked off the winner’s rally with a pointed free from over one hundred metres in the fourth minute.

Oisin O’Donnell holds off his marker. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

Enter Connor Hegarty and in his first action he provided the pass which led to Oisin O’Donnell pointing. From here to the finish O’Donnell tormented the St. Kieran’s defence and he landed three points in a row inside the final five minutes before, fittingly, Galvin sealed victory with another monster strike from a free deep in his own half.

Not surprisingly St.Flannan’s followers who were in a majority in the attendance, rushed onto the pitch to hail their heroes on a day when Cian Galvin, Darragh Healy, Jarlath Collins, Killian O’Connor, Diarmuid Cahill, Oisin O’Donnell and Connor Hegarty gave further indication that Clare hurling followers have good reason to look to the future with confidence.

Team captain Conor Kelly, Cian Kenny, Padraic Moylan, Daragh Maher, and substitute Eoin Guilfoyle were prominent for St. Kierans

Jack Lyons receives encouragement from Brendan Bugler and Kevin O’Grady. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

St.Flannan’s; Cian Galvin (0-7, 6f) Oisin O’Donell (0-4), Connor Hegarty (0-2) Diarmuid Cahill (0-1)

St. Kieran’s; Conor Kelly (0-5, 4f); Cian Kenny (0-4), Eoin Guilfoyle (f) , Oisin Egan (0-1) each

St. Flannan’ s College:
1: Cian Broderick (Clarecastle);

2: Niall Walsh (Banner),
3: Darragh Healy (Clarecastle),
4: Matthew Reidy (Shannon Gaels);

18: Jack Lyons (Ruan),
6: Cian Galvin (Clarecastle)
7: Stephen Casey (Ballyea);

21: Conor Halpin (Clarecastle),
9: Jarlath Collins (Éire Óg);

10: Ashley Brohan (Ruan).
11: Colm Cassidy (Clooney-Quin),
12: Kilian O’Connor (Corofin);

13: Peter Power (Newmarket),
14: Diarmuid Cahill (Corofin),
15: Oisin O’Donnell (Crusheen);

8: Connor Hegarty (Inagh-Kilnamona) for Lyons (34);
19: James Doherty (Clarecastle) for Cassidy (40);
24: Dylan Cunningham(Clooney-Quin) for Power (58)

St.Kieran’s College;
1: Diarmuid Galway(Thomastown);

2: Killian Rudlins(Barrow Rangers),
3: Padraic Moylan (Dicksboro),
4: David Fogarty (O’Loughlin Gaels);

5: Peter McDonald(Thomastown),
6: Stephen Keogan(Graighue Ballycallan),
7: Jamie Hayden (Bennettsbridge);

8: Conor Kelly (O’Loughlin Gaels) Capt,
9: Marty Walsh (Dunamaggin);

10: Cian Kenny (James Stephens),
11: Jack Doyle (Windgap),
12: Darragh Maher (St. Lachtnans, Freshford);

13: Oisin Egan (Graigue Ballycallan),
14: Peter Donoghue (Danesford),
15: Denis Walsh(Dunamaggin)

Harry Shine(Dicksboro) for Doyle(21);
Eoin Guilfoyle (James Stephens) for Egan (half time);
Shaun OKeeffe(Dunamagin) for Rudlins(33);
Andy Hickey (Dunamaggin) for Donoghue(49);
Ciaran Brennan (Bennetsbridge) for D. Walsh (55)

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

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