Caulfield and Flynn come up trumps in colleges showdown

Date Published: 19-Feb-2013

Mercy Colleges 0-14

Pres. Athenry 0-9

Tommy Devane at Kenny Park

THE Mercy Colleges collected the Connacht senior hurling title but were made fight every step of the way by a gallant Presentation College, Athenry side. Played in front of a large attendance at Kenny Park on Saturday, the winners finished strongly hitting five unanswered points in the final quarter to stretch away from the opposition.

Mercy Colleges team manager Sean Parr will be delighted with the outcome of this encounter as it proved to be a difficult 60 minutes and he needed big performances from his two key players to send them on their way.

Captain and man of the match Shane Caulfield at centre back was inspirational all through, while up front Jason Flynn was top scorer and led the winners attack with considerable menace. Between them, they accounted for eight points of the Mercy tally.

Athenry were devastated at the final whistle as their year came to an end in their own backyard. The fact that only two players scored and seven of their tally came from frees tells its own story, but this team can still hold their heads high as they gave all they had against a more experienced and physical outfit. With a lot of their panel available next year, the Athenry backroom team can look forward to maybe going one better in 12 months time.

For the winners, it’s now a case of representing Connacht in the All-Ireland semi final where they face the Combined Ulster Colleges on Saturday, March 16. On Sunday’s performance, there is every reason to believe that this talented group can go all the way this year.

Just one point separated the sides at half time as the winners led by 0-7 to 0-6. Jason Flynn, who was singled out by the losers as the main danger man, fired over five first half points despite being marked by two Athenry defenders all through the opening half.

Pres Athenry stayed very much in the final thanks to the unerring accuracy of centre forward Brian Burke, who also managed five points for his side, all from placed balls. Two early points on the resumption from Burke gave Athenry the lead for the first and only time in the game.

But the loss of influential defender Vincent Doyle at the start of second-half did nothing to help their cause. The winners hit back with efforts from Caulfield and McHugo to regain the lead once again before Burke shot the equaliser for Pres Athenry 13 minutes into the half.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.