New school wins first piece of GAA silverware
Skibbereen CS 2-7
Hamilton HS Bandon 0-8
TOM LYONS REPORTS
THERE’S a first time for everything.
The new Skibbereen Community School won its first piece of GAA silverware when they beat Hamilton High School in the final of the Cork Colleges U16A championship in Clonakilty last Friday.
An historic occasion was spoiled as a football spectacle by a bitterly cold east wind that swirled around the pitch and made a mockery of some attempts at scoring.
Skibbereen had the doubtful advantage of the gale in the first half and when they only led by two points at the break against a Bandon side that looked the better team in that first half, it was long odds on them capturing that first trophy for the school.
The second half, as the wind swirled around more, saw a complete reversal in fortunes with Skibbereen upping the gears and Hammies failing to respond. But when Hamilton High closed the lead to a single point with time running out, a draw looked inevitable and extra time in the biting cold wind certainly was not a prospect to look forward to. It was not to be as Skibb doubled their lead and with the last play of the game, wing back Alex Minihane raced through for a superb clinching goal.
After Andrew Whelton and Darragh O’Shea swapped points, Skibbereen hit the front with a fine goal from the impressive Paddy Burke in the tenth minute, following a pass from Whelton. Again Burke and O’Shea swapped frees but with Cian McSweeney and Aaron Kenneally beginning to dominate midfield for Hammies, the Bandon lads hit three points in a row from Aaron Kenneally (2) and Cian Crowley to draw level by the 20th minute.
Bandon were playing most of the good football at this stage against the wind but the Skibb defence, with Sam Burchill, Sean Bohane and Alex Minihane prominent, held firm. There was stalemate on the scoreboard until midfielders, Jamie Shanahan and Darren Daly, kicked late points to give Skibb a half time lead of two points, 1-4 to 0-5.
Any ideas Bandon had of taking control in the second half with the wind were quickly shattered by a Skibb team which upped the pace, inspired by Shanahan and Daly in midfield. Scores were scarce in the second half, Shanahan and Cian Crowley, blazing over when one-on-one with the goalkeeper, swapping points.
Dylan Murray shoved dominant Skibb three in front in the 50th minute before Alex Minihane blasted a shot off the Bandon crossbar and Hammies staged a late comeback. Darragh O’Shea pointed two frees to cut the lead to the minimum with five minutes remaining but Skibb were not to be outdone and Paddy Burke converted a vital free. In the dying seconds Alex Minihane raced through for a superb goal for the winners and it was finally over.
The first silverware, presented by chairman of the Cork Schools Seán Ó Briain to captain Jamie Shanahan, was on its way to the Skibbereen school.
Skibbereen Community School: Paddy Burke 1-2 (2f), Alex Minihane 1-0, Jamie Shanahan 0-2, Andrew Whelton, Dylan Murray, Darren Daly 0-1 each.
Hamilton High School: Darragh O’Shea 0-4 (3f), Cian Crowley, Aaron Kenneally 0-2 each.
Skibbereen Community School: Rory Courtney (Castlehaven); Ciarán O’Dwyer (Ilen Rovers), Sam Burchill (Castlehaven), Mícheál McCarthy (Tadhg MacCárthaigh); Alex Minihane (Castlehaven), Sean Bohane (do.), Oisín Lucey (O’Donovan Rossa); Darren Daly (Ilen Rovers), Jamie Shanahan (O’Donovan Rossa); Michael Sheehy (Ilen Rovers), Luke Connolly (O’Donovan Rossa), Dylan Murray (Tadhg MacCárthaigh); Paddy Burke (do.), Andrew Whelton (Castlehaven), Gavin Foley (do.).
Sub: Derry O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers).
Hamilton High School, Bandon: Conor Taheney (Valley Rovers); Niall Daly (Bandon), Cathal O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers), Tim Twohig (Bandon); Aaron O’Leary (Valley Rovers), Darragh Keane (do.), David Curtin (St Mary’s); Cian McCarthy (St. Oliver Plunkett’s), Aaron Kenneally (Valley Rovers); Brian Hoey (do.), Darragh O’Shea (do.), Eoin Collins (Newcestown); Olan Walsh (do.), Cian Crowley (Valley Rovers), Alan Walsh-Murphy (do.).
Sub: Colm O’Donovan (Newcestown).
Referee: Liam O’Shea (Carbery Rangers).