THEY might have beaten their Corn Uí Mhuiri quarter-final opponents by ten points in a Simcox Cup clash last month but Clonakilty Community College are keeping their feet on the ground ahead of Thursday’s knock-out tie.
After finishing runners-up in Group B, the Clonakilty school has been paired against Group C winners Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig in the last eight of the Corn Uí Mhuiri. The game will throw in at 12.30pm at Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s 4G pitch.
Following Wednesday’s quarter-finals, these are the last two Cork schools left in the competition and the winner will take on St Brendan’s College, Killarney in the last four.
When the two teams clashed in the Simcox Cup in early December, the West Cork school won 3-15 to 0-14, but Clonakilty CC manager Diarmuid O’Donovan insists that game will have little relevance on their next meeting.
‘After that, we told the lads to forget about the result because it won’t have any bearing on the quarter-final. We were both missing players that day, we took the three goal chances we had, they missed three goal chances they had, there was little between us, but what we did learn is that they’re a very good team and we’ll need to be at our best to win,’ O’Donovan says.
This is a confident Clonakilty Community College bunch. They feel they have the ability to go deep into this competition and better last season’s semi-final appearance where their journey was ended by St Brendan’s College, Killarney. Despite opening up this season’s Corn Uí Mhuiri campaign with a Group B loss to Pobailscoil Sliabh Luachra Rathmore, they bounced back with encouraging wins against DLS Macroom (1-14 to 2-8) and High School Clonmel (3-10 to 0-9) to finish second in the group and advance to the knock-out stages.
‘What was most pleasing was how the lads responded to losing the first game to Rathmore, our preparation wasn’t ideal before that game and it showed in the performance, but we’ve picked up since then and are in a stronger position now,’ Diarmuid O’Donovan says.
In the decisive game against Clonmel, All-Ireland minor winning Cork footballer Ryan O’Donovan scored seven points while Sean Walsh, Conor Daly and Padraic Cullinane all scored second-half goals. They pulled out a performance when they needed to. This is a team with more to come, says Diarmuid O’Donovan.
‘They’re confident in their ability and they know they’re good enough to be involved at the business end of the competition, but we’re not taking our focus off Rochestown and the huge challenge they’ll bring. It’s one game at a time,’ he stressed.
It’s a busy period for these young footballers. Jack Lawton (Ibane Gaels), Ryan O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels), Darragh Holland (Ibane Gaels) and Daniel Peet (Clonakilty) are all involved with the Cork U20s, who are currently in action in the John Kerins Cup. Sean and Fergal Walsh (Ibane Gaels) and Conor Walsh (Clonakilty) are in with the Cork minors.