Dr. Harty Cup Final – Thurles CBS vs. De La Salle Waterford

Dr. Harty Cup Final – Thurles CBS vs. De La Salle Waterford – Result

De la Salle Power to Harty success
by Oli Skehan from the Setanta Sports web site

Dr Harty Cup Final: De la Salle 1-11 Thurles CBS 0-7

De la Salle put back-to-back victories in the Dr Harty Cup together at Leahy Park, Cashel on Saturday afternoon as they easily disposed of the challenge of Thurles CBS in what was an easier victory for the defending champions than many had predicted.   The Waterford side were accomplished and comfortable in every position of the field throughout the game with scorer-in-chief Stephen Power in superb form from both placed balls and general play.

Thurles CBS had not won the Dr Harty Cup since 1956 and they were expected to throw everything at De la Salle in a bid to bridge what is a quite incredible gap, but their expected passion and desire never really materialised.   Conditions played into De la Salle’s hands in the first-half with the strong wind suiting the Waterford side, particularly when on the attack.

De la Salle opened the scoring with three minutes gone when Stephen Power pointed after some impressive play from his fellow forwards. Six minutes in, De la Salle centre-forward Niall Clifford doubled their lead with a fine score from play.  The early exchanges were tough and Thurles looked like they would be out-muscled by a very physical and fit De la Salle side.

However, the Tipperary side were the next to score when Ciaran Shelley pointed after some determined build-up play by his team-mates.   But soon after Power’s undoubted skill was highlighted when he swept over a sublime sideline cut from under the stand to put De la Salle two points in front.

The wind was playing havoc and only for the superb James Barry at centre-back for Thurles the margin could have been a lot wider with ten minutes gone.   David Butler pointed from a free for Thurles after 11 minutes to leave the scores at 0-4 to 0-2.

De la Salle soon hit two bad wides but Daniel Purcell put a more realistic look on the scoreline when he burst through from midfield to score a fine individual point.   The much-admired Thurles forward line were finding it hard to get into gear while their Waterford counterparts were picking off scores at will – most notably Peter McCarthy who slung over a brilliant score just before the 20 minute mark.

Colm Ryan replied for Thurles before Stephen Power split the posts from long-range with another accurate free.   Just before the half-time break Thurles ‘keeper Bill McCormack pulled off a point-blank save to send his side in trailing by 0-7 to 0-3 at the break.

Thurles started the second-half with more passion and they soon had pulled a point back when John O’Neill pointed from play.   Power replied for De la Salle with another free before De la Salle ‘keeper Stephen O’Keefe made a brilliant goal-line save after a powerful run and shot from Thurles midfielder, Denis Maher.

Thurles’ David Butler brought the deficit back to three points with a free before what proved to be the most decisive score of the match, a De la Salle goal by Piltown man, Peter McCarthy pushed the reigning champions into a six-point lead.   The Tipperary side were now in trouble all over the field and Power and McCarthy compounded their distress with two quick scores from a free and from play on 41 and 43 minutes.

The unerring Power slotted over his sixth free of the day on 47 minutes and Thurles were now staring defeat in the face.   They continued to try and peg back the deficit and did so to some degree when they scored two late frees but they were too little too late as the De la Salle men ran out very deserving winners on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-7.

De la Salle had stars all over the field with Daniel Purcell, Philip Mahony, Peter McCarthy and tormenter-in-chief, Stephen Power in exceptional form.   For Thurles, James Barry was their best performer by a wide margin on another forgettable day for the Tipperary side.

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