There was double disappointment for Tipperary schools in the semi-finals of the Croke Cup this afternoon.
Thurles CBS were beaten by a point in a tight second semi-final with Presentation College Athenry prevailing by 0-15 to 0-14.
Galway’s star Minor hurler Aaron Niland hit nine points, including eight frees, while the impressive Tiarnán Leen struck four points from play from midfield.
Thurles had eight different scorers but couldn’t find a late equaliser to bring the game to extra time.
Thurles manager Éamonn Buckley says it was a tense game.
“They gave everything, and that whole expression of going out on your shields, they really did that today. I suppose, whenever you lose by a point, you always have regrets and, unfortunately, today we were on the wrong side of a one point win. Look, we are obviously devastated, the boys inside are devastated. We would have loved to have gone a step further and try and win an All-Ireland but it wasn’t to be. But we are massively proud of them, they gave everything and it was always going t come down to a point and we were hoping near the end of it that it might get to extra time. It was just one of those tense games that never really took off.”
Cashel Community School’s dream hurling campaign came to an end at the hands of kingpins St Kieran’s College in the first semi-final.
The Harty Cup champions were beaten by the Kilkenny school 3-13 to 2-9 in Birr, with Kieran’s pulling clear in the last 10 minutes.
Ronan Connolly of Cashel King Cormacs top scored for Cashel with 1-6 while Bobby Power of Boherlahan-Dualla was the only other scorer for the Tipp school with 1-3.
Donagh Murphy of Mount Leinster Rangers, a grand-nephew of Tipperary great Len Gaynor, was among the three goal scorers for St Kieran’s College.
Cashel Manager Brendan Ryan says despite the defeat he is so proud of the team:
“It was a tough challenge today against quality opposition. We started great, but we just had that lull in the middle of the first half and the quality side punished us with three goals. Lesser men would’ve slipped away at that stage but we came in and regrouped at halftime and went at them again. We had it down to three but couldn’t get it down to two. Every time we got it to three, they brought it back to four. Regardless of what happened today, we wanted to win that game but we’re not going to judge them boys on a few mistakes today. They have given us an unbelievable year and we are so, so proud of them. And we are so thankful to their clubs and their families for the support hat they have given.”