Killeen nails terrific winner for defiant Loughrea boys

St. Raphael’s   1-20

Nenagh CBS   3-13

By Eanna O’Reilly in Tulla

CULLEN Killeen was the hero for St. Raphaels in Tulla on Sunday as his magnificent injury time point completed a remarkable comeback by the Loughrea school which saw them book their place in the All-Ireland senior colleges A final. It was a dramatic end to a thoroughly compelling contest which Nenagh CBS certainly looked like winning as the finish line approached.

When Darragh McCarthy pointed a ’65 in second-half injury time to put the Munster champions three points in front, it looked as though Raphael’s had run out of road. However, the Loughrea school refused to fold, and a stunning two and a half minute spell saw them score four consecutive points to secure a marvellous victory.

It was county minor Cullen Killen who got the opening two points of the game for Raphael’s, before Nenagh hit back with a goal from full forward Danny Quinn. Raphael’s responded a minute later when Bobby Feeney finished off a well worked move with a goal.

Nenagh then took over and scored three consecutive points through Jake Hackett, Darragh McCarthy (free), and Zac Keller, which put them 1-3 to 1-2 ahead. The sides then traded two points apiece during the next five minutes. McCarthy added 0-2 (0-1 free) for Nenagh, while the MacCárthaigh brother, Paddy and Diarmuid. pointed for Raphael’s.

The Loughrea school soon retook the lead, thanks to scores from Eoin Mulleady and Paddy MacCárthaigh. However, Nenagh hit back with their second goal, scored by corner forward Aodhán O’Connor. Feeney replied with a pointed free, but the Tipperary school then had a purple patch, scoring 1-3 without reply.

McCarthy converted three frees, while O’Connor scored his second goal, getting onto a loose ball in the Raphael’s square and pulling first time to the net. At the other end, the MacCárthaigh brothers combined for a well taken score from centre forward Paddy, shortly before the half time whistle.

At 3-8 to 1-8 down, Raphael’s needed to produce a huge effort in the second half, and they soon settled to the task, with four consecutive points. Feeney (free), Mulleady, Paddy MacCárthaigh, and Luke McInerney all tallied scores, as Raphael’s made good use of the wind at their backs.

Pictured: St Raphael’s Donnacha Campbell trying to break free from Mason Cawley of Nenagh CBS during Saturday’s All-Ireland PPS Senior A hurling semi-final in Tulla. Photo: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

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