ARDSCOIL Ris are hoping for third time lucky this Saturday in the replay of their Dr Harty Cup semi-final.
The Limerick city secondary school play Our Ladys College Templemore in Nenagh at 2.30 today.
The rematch with Templemore will be the third time that the North Circular Road Secondary School have faced into a replay at the last four stage of the Munster senior A colleges hurling championship.
And, they have tasted defeat on both previous occasions - St Caimins of Shannon ((2009) and Nenagh CBS (2012).
“I am relieved to be honest and looking forward to next weekend’s replay,” said Ardscoil Ris manager Niall Crowe after last Sunday’s drawn encounter.
“Until we got the goal, Templemore were the better side. I think Templemore had a lot more wides than we had. I think we were extremely fortunate to get a draw even though with the last free, we felt it wasn’t a free,” said Crowe.
“Both teams will have learned an awful lot about each other. That is the nature of schools hurling. You don’t know a lot about the opposition until you get to play them,” outlined the Ardscoil Ris mentor.
“The onus is on us to get it right for next weekend. I thought it was a great game. The conditions were heavy enough, but I thought there were some super performances on both sides,” he explained.
“We need to be a bit more disciplined. We cannot afford to give away that amount of frees. If you give John McGrath chances, he will knock them over. We will have to improve the next day. There is no two ways about it. That performance won’t do the next day or in the final if we are fortunate enough to get there,” said Crowe of his side, that are bidding to reach the February 24 final against Dungarvan Colleges.
Victory on Saturday will also, of course, assure Ardscoil Ris of a place in the All-Ireland series.
“To be honest, Templemore were sharper than us at the start. We struggled with their two midfielders, McGrath and O’Riordan. But we did better in the second half, made a couple of switches. Until we got the goal we were struggling. We got a lot of momentum then, got ahead a couple of times. But fair play to Templemore, they drop the heads .They more than deserved a draw. I am looking forward to next weekend already,” said Crowe, who manages the sides with fellow teach, Victory Leyden.
“Overall, I am relieved. What worried us most was that Templemore started the second half so strongly. But our lads dug in, which they have been doing all year. We finished the game very strong. As a team, we are very, very fit. That stood to us there in the last 10 minutes,” said Crowe of his side that have no injury worries ahead of Saturday’s replay.