Skibbereen CS 5-9
SP Sliabh Luachra 1-11
DENiS HURLEY REPORTS
THERE was heartbreak for Skibbereen Community School as their first Corn Uí Mhuirí campaign ended at the group stage despite a fine victory over Rathmore’s Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra at Kilmurry on Wednesday.
Having lost their opening two games, Skibb went into this final Group D tie knowing that victory was imperative but advancement to the quarter-finals was also contingent on Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne overcoming St Flannan’s College of Ennis in the other game. As it transpired, Flannan’s took victory there on a 0-9 to 0-5 scoreline to top the group on the head-to-head with the Dingle school, meaning Skibb exit.
The team, coached by Colman O’Driscoll and James McCarthy, can however take pride in the way they approached this contest, hitting their opponents with early goals to build a 4-6 to 1-5 half-time lead and then ensuring they remained on top in the second half.
With the wind behind them, Skibb had had an early point from Sean Minihane when his midfield partner Peter O’Driscoll’s good ball found Ryan Foley, who blasted home. After Rory Byrne and Sean Fitzgerald pointed, they were in a great position but the expected Rathmore backlash looked to have kicked into gear when Kerry minor Brian Friel scored a good individual goal as they came back to within a point, 1-3 to 1-2, at the end of the first quarter.
By the time they would add to their tally though, Skibbereen would have another 1-3 on the board, Alex Minihane with the second goal as his low shot found the net while Eoghan O’Connell had two superb points.
Even when John O’Leary did end the Rathmore drought with a free, Skibb found the net again, Elliott Connolly’s good burst the catalyst for Foley to get his second with five minutes to half-time.
Though Rathmore had points from Brian Brosnan and Shane O’Sullivan as the break approached, in the final act a Foley point attempt came back off the post and fell to Minihane, who had an easy task to finish.
A ten-point lead became 11 on the resumption as Foley rounded off a good move, and Ian Roche’s free for Rathmore was answered by O’Connell’s third before Connolly got the fifth goal, meaning all the forwards were on target.
That made it 5-8 to 1-6 with 25 minutes left and though they would add just one more point, a Foley free, Rathmore were limited mainly to frees which Roche and John O’Leary converted. By the end, they could only come within points, but sadly the win wasn’t enough for Skibb.
This was Skibbereen Community School’s first year in the Corn Ui Mhuiri, and while they will be disappointed to exit the competition at this stage, there are positives to take from the last three games.
Skibbereen CS: R Foley 2-2 (1f); A Minihane 2-1; E O’Connell 0-3; E Connolly 1-0; S Minihane, S Fitzgerald, R Byrne (f) 0-1 each.
Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra: B Friel 1-1; J O’Leary (2f), I Roche (1f) 0-2 each; B Brosnan, J Hanrahan, S O’Sullivan, J O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Skibbereen CS: E Hourihane (Ilen Rovers); J Collins (Ilen Rovers), C O’Driscoll (Castlehaven), S Walsh (Castlehaven); M Bushe (Ilen Rovers), D O’Donovan (O’Donovan Rossa), L Browne (Castlehaven); P O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers), S Minihane (Ilen Rovers); E O’Connell (O’Donovan Rossa), S Fitzgerald (O’Donovan Rossa), E Connolly (O’Donovan Rossa); A Minihane (Castlehaven), R Byrne (O’Donovan Rossa), R Foley (Castlehaven).
Sub: K O’Donovan (Castlehaven) for Browne (60).
Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra: F Jacob; K O’Sullivan, G O’Leary, M Doyle; G Looney, T Fleming, J Cremin; D Cronin, M Mahoney; B Brosnan, B Friel, J Hanrahan; J O’Leary, I Roche, S O’Sullivan.
Subs: J O’Sullivan for Doyle (37), D O’Connor for S O’Sullivan (48), C O’Leary for Fleming (60, injured).
Referee: B Barry-Murphy (Aghinagh).