ST Fachtnas de la Salle and Clonakilty Community College clash in a West Cork derby in the first round of the Corn Ui Mhuiri next Wednesday, October 21st, in Rosscarbery, at 1.30pm.
This will be St Fachtna’s last Corn Ui Mhuiri campaign competing as Fachtnas before the amalgamation of the three post-primary schools in Skibbereen next year, while Clonakilty CC went all the way to the Munster semi-final last season, before losing to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, who have won the competition for four years in a row.
Both St Fachtnas and Clonakilty CC are in Group D of this year’s Corn Ui Mhuiri alongside Colásite Choilm, Ballincollig and Mercy Mounthawk Tralee. Two teams will advance to the knock-out stages.
St Fachtnas go into this campaign without several of last year’s leading lights, as Ilen Rovers’ duo Alex Hassett and Tom Bushe are both gone, as is Patrick Bohane (Castlehaven), while Ronan Walsh (Castlehaven) is overage.
The Skibb school will look for leadership from Ilen’s Stephen Leonard and O’Donovan Rossa duo Sean Fitzgerald and Dylan Hourihane, who both came on as subs in the recent Cork SFC semi-final defeat to Castlehaven
Ryan Foley (Castlehaven), Sean Minihane (Ilen Rovers), Eoin O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers) and Rory Byrne (O’Donovan Rossa) are some young players to keep an eye on, while David Whelton and Ciarán O’Sullivan add some experience to the team.
‘We were young last year, so a lot of those younger fellas have a year under their belts now,’ noted St Fachtnas trainer Colman O’Driscoll.
Meanwhile, Clonakilty CC have a sizeable chunk of last season’s team remaining from the side that went all the way to the Corn Ui Mhuiri semi-final, as Cork minors David Lowney and Mark White are both still available, but Cork minor Tiarnán O’Connell has moved on, while Sean McEvoy is overage.
Clonakilty duo Sean O’Donoghue and Ross Mannix will be key players, as will Liam O’Donovan. Clon CC have a number of the Clonakilty minor team that won the recent Premier 2 county title available for selection.
Ibane Gaels’ David Kiely, Ger Crowley, Eoin Lawton and Michael Whelton, Kilmeen’s Ogie and Shane Scannell as well as Peter Walsh of Ardfield and Ahan Gaels’ Dylan Scannell.
Don’t miss next week’s Southern Star for a match report from Wednesday’s opening game of the Corn Ui Mhuiri