Sixty minutes plus injury-time, 20 minutes of extra-time, another 10 minutes of “extra” extra-time, and still these brave teams couldn’t be separated as they put everything they had into trying to earn a place in this year’s Harty Cup semi-final.

It was only right after an astonishing afternoon of hurling that both sets of players are getting another day out and there were no complaints from anyone in the large attendance in Dundrum when the teams agreed to a replay rather than the stipulated ’65’ shoot-out.

“A savage advertisement for Harty Cup hurling and colleges’ hurling,” was how Thurles CBS selector Ollie Kelly described the action afterwards. “An unbelievable occasion for everyone involved. It was an unbelievable crowd and it just shows the huge interest in schools hurling. For us, in Thurles, the Harty Cup is the highlight of the hurling year and we’re delighted we put in a competitive performance against an excellent Hospital team.”

At times, Thurles looked dead and buried: like when they trailed by six points in the first half of the “regular” match, but clawed their way back in, or five minutes into injury-time when they were three down before Paddy Creedon scored the second of his hat-trick of goals to give Thurles CBS a lifeline and put the tie into extra-time.


Then it seemed that glimmer of light would prove enough as they belted in 1-3 without reply to move comfortably in front, Creedon getting the third of his green flags.

But this time it was St John the Baptist who needed to show their mettle and they duly roared back with a penalty goal by sharpshooter Dylan O’Shea and more points. It took a long O’Shea free from inside his own half to bring on an additional lot of extra-time.

Thurles hit the front yet again with points by Jack Leamy and Luke Cashin but O’Shea kept the Hospital school in it and after Jack Lee seemed to get a winner for CBS, it was up to Dylan O’Shea once again to maintain their interest in the competition when Hospital were awarded a free in the 10th minute of the “extra”, extra 10. Again he was closer to his own goal than his opponents’, but again he proved equal to the pressure and the job, the sliotar sailing between the posts to tie up the scores for the umpteenth time.

“It was a super game,” John the Baptist selector Mark Deegan agreed afterwards. “From the sidelines, it was heart-in-the-mouth stuff but it’s testament to the lads… We always knew these boys had it in them, they have serious character and showed it again today.”

Deciding such an important game in the lives of these young players using a ’65’ shoot-out wouldn’t have been fair, he added.

“I don’t think it does it justice. At least the lads get another day.”

Scorers: – Thurles CBS: D Ryan 0-14 (8f), P Creedon 3-0, J Lanigan 0-4, E Purcell 0-3, L Cashin 0-3, J Leamy 0-3, M Hackett 0-1, K Ryan 0-1, J Lee 0-1, Da Flood 0-1.

ScorersSt John the Baptist CS: D O’Shea 2-17 (one penalty goal, one free goal, 10F), P Reale 1-1, R Tobin 1-0, O O’Grady 0-4, P Morrissey 0-3, B O’Grady 0-3.

Thurles CBS: K Bracken, P Melbourn, J Kirwan, J Hickey, F Hanafin, K Hayes, J Ryan, M Hackett, K Moloney, K Ryan, D Ryan, E Purcell, P Creedon, D Flood, J Lanigan: Subs: L Cashin for D Flood (46m), E Morris for F Hanafin (48m), J Leamy for J Kirwan (51m), J Synott for K Ryan (60m), J Lee for P Creedon (67m), F Hanafin for P Melbourne (68m).

St John the Baptist: D Macauley, K Reale, M Quinlan, P Byrne, B Heavey, K Bonar, A Buckley, E O’Mahony, P Reale, R Tobin, B O’Grady, M Martin, A O’Heney, D O’Shea, O O’Grady. Subs: P Morrissey for A O’Heney (27m), K O’Shea for P Reale (51m).

Ref: Thomas Walsh (Waterford)

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