Cross and Passion College’s hurlers are through to the all-Ireland final of the Paddy Buggy Cup in Thurles on April 5th.
The Danske Bank Mageean Cup champions from Ballycastle will play Coláiste Phobail Roscrea in the All-Ireland Paddy Buggy Cup final on Saturday week after both came through their semi-final tests on Saturday.
Cross & Passion had to work very hard for every score against last season’s Vocational Schools’ champions St Fergal’s Rathdowney in Inniskeen.
And they didn’t look to have done enough at half-time when they turned over 0-5 each with the breeze behind them.
Cormac McClafferty and Shea Hunter had each scored a brace of points in the opening half, but the star of the half was goalie Ciaran Butler who prevented goals from two one-on-one situations.
Ryan McCambridge moved to full-back for the second half and was superb, as was Don Whelan at centre-half back.
However the player of the match was TT Butler, also in the half-back line, with perfect timing to take a number of catches and dominate his marker.
Hunter swopped points on the re-start with Rathdowney free-taker Mark Kavannagh, before the Ballycastle management made a double substitution that paid immediate dividends.
Sean McGrath pointed with his first touch, and then set up his fellow sub Conor Patterson for a point.
With McClafferty firing over a free, a 0-9 to 0-6 gap had opened entering the last 10 minutes.
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Points from Stephen Bergin, Aidan Corby and Eoin Fitzpatrick, with a single reply from McClafferty left only a point between the teams with three minutes left.
McClafferty was now at midfield and he played a great ball into Diarmuid McShane, who turned his player and crashed the sliotar to the Rathdowney net.
In the last couple of minutes, CPC could have added to their total, while their defence shut up shop and held out for the final whistle.
In the other semi-final in Whitegate in Clare, Roscrea had a comfortable 1-14 to 1-7 win over St Mary’s College Galway and will have a “home advantage” in Thurles on April 5th in a double-header with the National Hurling league Division 1 decider.
Cross & Passion : Diarmuid McShane 1-0, Cormac McClafferty 0-4 frees, Shea Hunter 0-3, Johnny McErlean 0-1, Sean McGrath 0-1, Conor Patterson 0-1.
St Fergal’s : Mark Kavannagh 0-4, 0-3 frees, Stephen Bergin 0-2, Shane Bowe 0-1, Aidan Corby