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Skibbereen CS preparing for winner-take-all Corn Uí Mhuirí battle

December 5th, 2022 3:05 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Skibbereen Community School's Niall Daly goes past Sean McGrath, Tralee CBS, in a 2021 Corn Ui Mhuiri clash.

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SKIBBEREEN Community School is preparing for a winner-take-all Corn Uí Mhuirí Group 2 clash with Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne this Wednesday, December 7th at 1.30pm in Banteer.

Off the back of their 3-10 to 0-10 loss to table-toppers St Francis College Rochestown, who will advance to the quarter-finals as group winners, second place in Group 2 is now a shootout between the West Cork school and their Kerry opponents next Wednesday.

Both schools have beaten bottom team Presentation Secondary School Milltown, and their showdown on December 7th will decide who advances to the knockout stages.

‘This is essentially championship football from now on; it’s knock-out football, winner-take-all,’ explained Colman O’Driscoll, part of the Skibbereen school’s management team alongside Tony Harrington and Elliot Connolly, while Carbery GDA James McCarthy is also involved.

The Skibbereen school is keen to bounce back from their loss to Rochestown. Down six starters, Skibb battled well in this contest, roaring back from eight points down to trail by only three with minutes left, only for Rochestown to grab late goals to seal top spot in the group.

Shane Carey (Ilen Rovers) and Jack O’Neill (Castlehaven) have missed both group games, and their absence has been felt – they were key members of the team that qualified for last season’s Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-finals and won the Simcox Cup. The quartet of Shane O’Connell (Castlehaven), Sean Connolly (Ilen Rovers), Donal O’Callaghan (Castlehaven) and Liam McCarthy (Kilmacabea) who played against Milltown all missed the loss to Rochestown.

‘Maybe two or three of them have a chance of playing a part against Dingle,’ said Colman O’Driscoll, who took positives from the comeback against Rochestown.

‘We were missing so many fellas, but the lads who came on really stood out. We have had to test the panel this year, but every day we have gone out the lads who have played have reacted very positively. The older lads from last year have shown great leadership as well.’

O’Donovan Rossa footballer Niall Daly has scored 0-11 across both games, Tadhg MacCarthaigh’s Cathal Hegarty and Castlehaven’s Joseph Bohane have also led by example, and in the last game young guns like Frank Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa) and Will O’Donovan (Castlehaven), both fourth years, really stood up, which was pleasing for the management.

‘The lads were disappointed with the result against Rochestown, but they are a positive bunch and we will take a lot from their spirit and the attitude, which was phenomenal,’ said O’Driscoll, as preparation cranks up for the winner-take-all clash with their Dingle opponents.

Meanwhile, Clonakilty Community College can also make it to the knock-out stages of the Corn Uí Mhuirí. They sit second in Group 1, having won the only game they have played. They face St Flannan's on Wednesday at 1.30pm in Ballyagran and will qualify for the quarter-finals if they win. Clon play their last group game against Tralee CBS on Monday 12th at 1.30pm with venue TBC.

One West Cork school, Hamilton High School Bandon, are already through to the quarter-finals after hammering Coláiste Chríost Rí 5-15 to 1-4 last Wednesday in their final group game.

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