BY DENIS HURLEY
CLONAKILTY CC’s hopes of Corn Uí Mhuirí glory are gone for another year following a quarter-final defeat to St Francis College, Rochestown last week and manager Micheál ‘Haulie’ O’Sullivan envisages a period of transition before they challenge again.
Rochestown triumphed by 1-6 to 0-7 in Newcestown and, with almost all of this year’s starting 15 departing the school after the Leaving Certificate in June, O’Sullivan is planning the replenishing process.
‘Fourteen of the 15 who started against Rochestown will be gone,’ he says.
‘That’s a big change so the new couple of years will be about rebuilding. Hopefully we can ensure that we stay competitive. Of the fifth and sixth years for next year, the numbers wouldn’t be as great football-wise, so that’s something you just have to deal with.
‘We’ll see how the Frewen Cup goes now in the spring. That team haven’t won a lot coming up, but we’ll just have to work with what we have. The team we put out next year will be raw enough but it’ll give them experience. I’ll still be involved, anyway.’
A goal was always going to be key in the last-eight tie, and it fell to Rochestown’s Conor Russell. Clon will look back at nine first-half wides as a key factor in their elimination, though.
‘We struggled with injuries,’ Haulie says.
‘Mark White went in goal because he wasn’t fully fit and then David Lowney and Ross Mannix were both carrying knocks going it, they’re all players who had been central for us in the group stages.
‘We can’t dwell on that though, we still had a chance to win it and nine wides in the first half was unacceptable, we dominated the play against the wind but we didn’t do enough to make that count on the scoreboard. It’s frustrating, but that’s the way it goes.’