Full-forward’s brace and Bolger haul help holders Rís roar into another final
Ardscoil Ris taking on Colaiste Eanna. Picture: Douglas O’Connor/DOUG.IE
ARD SCOIL RIS 3-17 COLAISTE EANNA 2-3 – REIGNING champions Ardscoil Rís qualified for their fourth Junior Hurling ‘A’ decider in succession when they comfortably overcame the challenge of Coláiste Eanna at the penultimate stage in Páirc Naomh Uinsionn on Tuesday afternoon.
BRIAN BOLGER was the scorer-in-chief for the Griffith Avenue men, although a brace of second-half majors from full-forward Colin Currie also proved decisive during the course of the game.
However, despite what the final scoreline may suggest, this was actually a relatively even contest during the opening quarter, and it was Eanna who took the lead three minutes in courtesy of an excellent point from long distance by midfielder Darragh Langan.
The Ballyroan school had a good deal of possession in the early stages, but they proved to be somewhat wasteful in front of goal (they posted a total of eight wides during the opening period), and Rís took advantage by registering two points from Bolger, which put them into the ascendancy.
Eanna responded with a 50-metre free from Seán Brennan, and his second point on 19 minutes cancelled out a fine effort for Rís from centre-fielder Oisin Lanigan, leaving the scored tied at three points apiece.
The end-to-end nature of the tie did change in the closing moments of the first half, though, as Rís finally started to open up the Eanna defence.
Conor Ryan got the ball rolling with a terrific team score after 21 minutes, and this was supplemented by a brace of points from Bolger, alongside one from Currie, as Rís took a four-point cushion (0-7 to 0-3) into the second period of play.
Having had some decent passages of play before the break, this deficit certainly came as a blow to éanna, and Ardscoil continued to make hay upon the resumption with quick-fire points from the excellent Bolger (two) and corner-forward Luke Murphy.
Eanna were now finding it extremely difficult to regain a foothold in this encounter, and Currie effectively killed the game off with 20 minutes remaining when he flicked to the net following a spill by éanna netminder Andy Boyd Lyons.
The hard-working Franklin O’Sullivan followed swiftly with his first score of the game, before Currie raised the green flag for a second occasion when he finished clinically from a narrow right-hand angle just a minute later.
It was merely shooting practice for the northside school in the final quarter, but they continued to play at a high tempo, and increased their lead to an impressive 19 points thanks to five points without reply, three of them coming from the dependable Bolger.
Eanna did battle right up until the final whistle, and the industrious Eanna O’Toole did bag two consolation goals for the southsiders, but Ardscoil corner-forward Murphy found the net himself on the stroke of full-time, which keeps their prospects of a three in-a-row success in this competition very much alive.
– Daire Walsh- Evening Herald