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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Cathal Noonan/INPHO
# Tense Tussle
Thrilling narrow victory secures All-Ireland final spot for holders St Kieran's
Two late points saw the Kilkenny school overcome Pres Athenry.

KILKENNY’S ST KIERAN’S College remain on track for their 20th Dr Croke Cup title after a two-point victory over Presentation College Athenry today in Banagher.

The defending champions pointed twice in the dying minutes to seal a 0-19 to 0-17 win against the Galway school, who were aiming to reach their first All-Ireland Colleges Senior ‘A’ final since 1976.

Over the course of a thrilling hour of hurling, the sides were level on no fewer than 11 occasions and there was never more than two points between the teams.

Athenry finished second-best in spite of an excellent performance from corner-forward Evan Niland, who made a personal contribution of 11 points — including four from play.

The teams were level on 0-9 each at half time and it remained tight throughout the second half, until points from Richie Leahy and Joe Connolly helped St Kieran’s to open up a two-point lead with nine minutes remaining.

Frees from Niland and Brian Burke brought Athenry back on level terms to set up a grandstand finish, but Sean Morrissey and Connolly pointed in the final three minutes to give Kieran’s the win.

They’ll go on to defend their title against Thurles CBS in Semple Stadium on Saturday, 4 April.

Meanwhile, Mountrath Community School and Cross and Passion College Ballycastle will meet in the ‘B’ decider. Mountrath were 3-22 to 1-9 winners over Calasanctius College Oranmore in Ballinasloe, while Ballycastle defeated St Joseph’s Tulla in Navan by 1-10 to 0-12.

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St Brendan’s Killarney and Good Counsel College New Ross will contest the McGirr Cup final after they were both victorious in today’s All-Ireland Colleges Junior Football semi-finals.

St Brendan’s eased to a 5-25 to 0-4 win against St Mary’s Clady, with Good Counsel overcoming Rice College Westport on a 4-9 to 0-7 scoreline.

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