Good finish by slick Counsel
Top Oil Leinster Juvenile Hurling 'A' Semi-final: Good Counsel 4-19 St Peter's 4-5
The juvenile hurlers of Good Counsel College (New Ross) produced the type of storming finish that most mentors can only dream about when they eventually steam-rolled their way past keenest rivals St. Peter's (Wexford) in this Top Oil Leinster 'A' championship semi-final in sunny Cushinstown on Wednesday.
The goalscoring ability of the Summerhill side had seen them lead by 2-4 to 0-9 at half-time despite playing second fiddle for long periods, and they netted again just 46 seconds after the resumption to give their Barrowside rivals plenty to think about.
Peter's still led by 3-5 to 0-11 after 41 minutes, but the pattern of a hurling game can change in the blink of an eye, particularly when Under-14s are providing the entertainment.
And that was undoubtedly the case here, as Counsel took over completely and went on to outscore the opposition by 4-8 to 1-0 in the closing 18 minutes, setting up yet another provincial final meeting with long-time kingpins St. Kieran's (Kilkenny) in the process.
Danny Glennon's name features regularly on these sports pages for his athletics exploits with the St. Joseph's club in south Kilkenny, just as often as for his ability on the hurling and football fields.
And the decision to move him to full-forward saw him utilise his blinding pace to telling effect as the Peter's challenge crumbled, with powerful midfielder Eoin Whelan and the deadly-accurate Cathal Parker also making important contributions.
Kyle Rankin was another prominent figure, and he shot home the equalising goal at the second attempt in the 43rd minute after Cian Turner's initial save, following a piercing run initially by Cillian Byrne (1-11 to 3-5).
Just 85 seconds later, Glennon intercepted a line ball in the right corner and soloed through for a goal that gave Counsel the lead, and they never looked back.
Rankin made a spectacular catch from a Will Foley puck-out and picked off a glorious point, with Whelan (free), Glennon and Whelan (play) adding minors before the big captain from Fethard was set up by Glennon for the goal that widened the gap to ten (3-15 to 3-5).
Counsel were far from finished, with the points continuing to flow from Cathal Parker, Peter McDonald, and another brace from the prolific Parker, before Peter's did manage a consolation goal.
It was a deflected strike from their best attacker, Luke Murphy, but the victors were intent on having the final say and Danny Glennon duly obliged with his second individual goal.
The sides had been level twice in the first quarter before Glennon earned a penalty in the 14th minute, but Harry Codd's attempt struck the left-hand post and flew across the goalmouth before it was cleared.
Peter's then enjoyed another stroke of good fortune early in the second quarter when a long delivery by Finn Ryan took an unexpected high bounce in the square and ended up in the corner of the net via the stick of netminder Will Foley.
That fortuitous score pushed them into a 1-3 to 0-5 lead, but there was no sign of panic from Counsel as James Doyle, Kyle Rankin, Cathal Parker and Codd (free) responded with points.
Peter's finished the half on a high all the same, with Seán Cooney doing very well to catch a Finn Ryan free in a crowded goalmouth before pouncing for a levelling goal in the 28th minute.
Simon Roche's point on their next attack left them with a 2-4 to 0-9 interval lead, and it got even better for the Wexford town boys when Luke Murphy made a spectacular leap to grab Ryan Curran's ball in from the left and rattle the net inside one minute of the re-start.
Two Eoin Whelan frees drew a sole response from a Murphy placed ball, but Counsel's power gradually shone through despite a second-half wides tally of ten.
The New Ross lads are now just 60 minutes away from atoning for surrendering their Leinster 'A' football final crown to St. Mel's (Longford) earlier in the year.
And although St. Peter's will be disappointed with their fade-out, at least they were considerably more competitive than in the sides' South Leinster decider in the other code at the same venue before Christmas when Counsel cruised to a commanding 2-14 to 0-1 success.
Good Counsel College: Will Foley (Horeswood); Joe Mulholland (The Rower-Inistioge), Ciarán McPhillips (St. James'), Marty Murphy (Tullogher-Rosbercon); James Quinn (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown), Peter McDonald (Mullinavat, 0-1), Conor Bolger (The Rower-Inistioge); Eoin Whelan (Fethard, capt., 1-6, 0-3 frees), Cillian Byrne (Fethard); Cathal Parker (Horeswood, 0-6), Danny Glennon (Tullogher-Rosbercon, 2-1), Dean Kehoe (Adamstown); James Doyle (St. Mullins, 0-1), Harry Codd (Rathnure, 0-1 free), Kyle Rankin (St. Fintan's, 1-3). Subs. - Eoin Lyng (The Rower-Inistioge) for Codd (57), Cathal Mooney (Tullogher-Rosbercon) for Mulholland (60).
St. Peter's College: Cian Turner (Glynn-Barntown); Shane Kelly (Shelmaliers), Ciarán Cash (Blackwater), Alex Kirby (Faythe Harriers); Robbie Delaney (Shelmaliers), Finn Ryan (St. Anne's, 1-0), Dylan Butler (Oulart-The Ballagh); Daniel Ormonde (Shelmaliers), Ryan Curran (Glynn-Barntown, 0-1); Seamus Ormonde (Oulart-The Ballagh), Joe Mernagh (St. Martin's, 0-1), Seán Cooney (Glynn-Barntown, 1-0); Simon Roche (Oulart-The Ballagh, 0-1), Luke Murphy (Faythe Harriers, 2-2, 0-1 '65, 0-1 free), Seán Rowley (Oylegate-Glenbrien). Sub. - Shane Ryan (St. Anne's) for Kelly (43).
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).