ST Fachtna’s de la Salle are already in a must-win scenario in the Corn Ui Mhuiri.
Following their opening Group D loss to Clonakilty Community College (1-12 to 1-7), the Skibbereen team knows that they need to defeat Coláiste Choilm of Ballincollig to keep their hopes of advancing to the knock-out stages alive.
Coláiste Choilm also lost their first game of the group, defeated 2-16 to 3-10 by Mercy Mounthawk of Tralee – a game that the Ballincollig school had led 2-2 to 0-1 after ten minutes thanks to goals from Eoin Reilly and Eoin O’Shea.
Heading into the second round of group games, both Fachtna’s and Coláiste Choilm know that they can’t afford to lose.
‘We are in championship football from here on in. Every game from now on is must-win. Our margin for error is gone after losing against Clon,’ Fachtna’s manager Colman O’Driscoll said. ‘Whoever wins on Wednesday, and presuming there is a winner in the other game, is back in the hunt again.
‘What we need to do is to replicate the form that we showed in the first 20 minutes against Clonakilty and try to sustain that for longer.’
St Fachtna’s led Clon CC 1-6 to 0-2 after the first quarter before last season’s semi-finalists thundered back into the game and took over, but there were still plenty of positives for a young Skibb side to take from the match.
Full back Ciarán O’Sullivan (Castlehaven), wing back Peter O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers), midfielder Rory Byrne (O’Donovan Rossa) and forwards Stephen Leonard (Ilen), who kicked 1-3, Dylan Hourihane (O’Donovan Rossa) and Ryan Foley (Castlehaven) all showed up well at different stages.
‘We’d a great start that day and we showed what type of football we are capable of playing,’ O’Driscoll recalled.
‘We had Clon on the ropes in those first 20 minutes and we possibly could have had even more on the scoreboard. The concession of the goal rattled us. Clon built momentum from that. They are an outstanding team.
‘Of our team that took to the field for the second half, 12 of them are underage again next year. You could see the difference in size and strength, and Clon are a powerful team and deserved their victory.’
Ahead of their final group game on November 25th against Mercy Mounthawk, Fachtna’s need to beat Coláiste Choilm to give themselves a fighting chance of advancing to the last eight in their final year in the Corn Ui Mhuiri as St Facthna’s, before they amalgamate with Rossa College and Mercy Heights next year.
Meanwhile, Fachtna’s Simcox quarter-final against Coachford CC has been pushed back and is likely to be played between Fachtna’s second and third group-stage games in the Corn Uí Mhuirí.