THE Harty Cup dream for Castletroy College ended this Thursday in Tipperary Town when they were beaten 2-23 to 2-12 by Thurles CBS.
Just like their maiden voyage last season, they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the Munster senior A colleges hurling championship.
Last year it was Limerick city rivals Ardscoil Ris that proved too strong and on this occasion it was Thurles CBS.
In the end it was an 11-point victory that saw the Tipperary side advance to the semi-final against Dungarvan Colleges.
But for long periods of the first half, Castletroy were the better side.
However, all changed in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Castletroy were 0-9 to 0-6 ahead when they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Simon Griffin. Tipperary’s All-Ireland minor winner Michael Breen was summoned from defence but his powerful drive was expertly saved by Robert Larkin.
Castletroy could very well have been six points clear but the deflation of missing that opportunity appear to see them lose their concentration and Thurles hit five successive points in as many minutes to snatch a half time lead.
Backed by the wind, Castletroy settled brilliantly. Tom Morrissey opened their account and free-taker Stephen Power kept tagging on the scores.
At the end of the first 10-minutes they were 0-5 to 0-2 ahead.
More frees from Power had them 0-8 to 0-3 clear with 16 minutes played.
But then came the saved penalty in the 25th minute and the late savo from Thurles.
At half time the lead for the Tipperary side was just 0-11 to 0-10 but momentum and and wind was in their favour in the second half.
Castletroy needed to regain an immediate foothold but it was not to be.
Indeed they were to score just three times in the second half as Thurles dominated most sectors. They were 0-14 to 0-10 after five minutes of play.
There was a glimmer of hope when Castletroy goaled but the fightback wasn’t sustained.
The goal came from Tom Morrissey, who finished to the net in a crowded goalmouth after John Nicholas soloed into the danger area.
But the Thurles response was impressive and when they got a goal of their own it was 1-17 to 1-10 entering the final quarter.
Michael Breen, Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Edward Doyle, Barry Nash, Stephen Power and Tom Morrissey continued to take the game to Thurles but they were just too strong.
Two minutes from time, Tom Morrissey scored a superb second goal but even then, Thurles went up the field and replied with a second goal of their own.
It was a brave showing from Castletroy but Ardscoil Ris are once again left to fly the Limerick flag in the semi-finals of the Harty Cup, where they will meet Templemore on the first weekend of February. The other semi-final is between Thurles CBS and Dungarvan schools.
SCORERS – Castletroy College: Stephen Power 0-9 (six frees, one ‘65), Tom Morrissey 2-2, Barry Nash 0-1. Thurles CBS: Conor Lanigan 0-9 (five frees), Kevin Dunne 1-2, Eoin Moriarty 1-1, Stephen Cahill 0-4, Sean Nally, Sean Ryan 0-2 each, Caley Maher, Padraic Russell, Ronan Maher (free) 0-1 each.
CASTLETROY COLLEGE – Cian O’Dwyer (Monaleen); Jamie Porter (Monaleen), Michael Breen (Ballina), Paddy Morrissey (Ahane); Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen), Andrew La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen), Pat O’Kane (Monaleen); Aidan Hanley (Ballina), Barry Nash (South Liberties); Edward Doyle (Monaleen), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Stephen Power (Ahane); John Nicholas (Monaleen), Simon Griffin (Monaleen), John Fox (Ahane). Subs: Dara Kennedy (Murroe-Boher) for Lyons (h-t), John Stack (Ballybricken) for O’Kane (45mins), Ronan Murphy (Monaleen) for Nicholas (51mins),
THURLES CBS – Paul Maher; Rory O’Regan, Kieran O’Dwyer, Robert Larkin; Jack Lineen, Ronan Maher, Brian Troy; Stephen Cahill, Padraic Russell; Sean Ryan, Sean Nally, Kevin Dunne; Conor Lanigan, Eoin Moriarty, Caley Maher. Subs: Jack Skehan for Russell (45mins), Jamie Woods for Caley Maher (51mins), Shane Ryan for Dunne (56mins), Ray Nally for Cahill (58mins), Chris McCullagh for Sean Nally (59mins).
REFEREE – David Copps (Cork).