St Francis College, Rochestown 2-8 St Brendan's, Killarney 2-12
CORK'S wait for a Corn Uí Mhuirí title goes on after a brave bid by St Francis College just came up short against the favourites St Brendan's in Mallow on Saturday.
It was a Munster Post-Primary Schools Senior Football Championship game full of drama. Both Roco goals were own-goals and St Brendan's second came from a penalty in the 49th minute which helped swing the tie the Killarney school's way.
At the time, the Cork side led by 2-6 to 1-7 after a shot by captain Sean Andrews was turned into his own net by full-back Mark Cooper.
But, just three minutes later, Dylan O'Callaghan was fouled going through and Emmet O'Shea scored from the resulting penalty despite keeper Cian O'Leary getting a strong left hand to the shot.
Rochestown, who had only two scorers, could add just a couple of pointed frees in the remaining time as St Brendan's showed their worth with some outstanding scores to seal victory.
Despite playing against the wind from the start, Rochestown took the game to their illustrious opponents and managed to kick the opening two points inside four minutes.
Alan O'Hare swivelled to land the first before being fouled for a free, which Aaron Sheehy converted. Alas, it was all St Brendan's for after that, save for the closing act.
Rochestown didn't help their cause with sloppy use of the ball when emerging from defence and far often St Brendan's were able to turn the ball over easily enough.
The Kerry school went on a scoring spree by registering 1-5 without response as Rochestown came under fierce pressure in the tackle and there was little respite for the over-worked rearguard as a consequence.
They only needed a couple of minutes to level matters before jumping in front with an O'Grady score, prospering from another turn-over.
Rochestown were struggling all over the pitch even though Piaras O'Halloran never stopped trying around the middle.
O'Hare forced a free from the ground which went wide and St Brendan's showed how with a Jason Kerins effort, 0-4 to 0-2 after the opening quarter.
The final five minutes of the half produced drama, excitement and goals.
A Nathan O'Connell dribble through the St Brendan's defence almost yielded one, only for the ball to veer wide of the far post.
But, straight from the re-start, the Kerry school went straight down field to hit the net.
O'Grady caught the kick-out with the help of a little nudge and soloed away before parting to O'Callaghan, who teed up Kerins for a fine finish to the far corner.
Then, Adam Cantwell had a shot deflected for '45, but to the consternation of the St Brendan's contingent, Aaron Sheehy's kick was deflected into his own net by a defender, 1-5 to 1-2 at the break
It was all Rochestown on the resumption as they kicked four points without reply, Sheehy starting the run and O'Hare landing the next three, including two from play.
Suddenly, Rock edged 1-6 to 1-5 in front only for St Brendan's, in quick succession, to reclaim the lead before Cooper's misfortune kick-started an exciting closing quarter which produced another all-Kerry final.
Scorers for Rochestown: A Sheehy 1-4, (1-0 45, 0-4 f), A O'Hare 0-4 (0-1 f, 1-0 own goal.
St Brendan's: E O'Shea 1-3 (1-0 pen), J Kerins 1-1, W Shine 0-4, R O'Grady 0-3 (0-1 f), D O'Callaghan 0-1
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: C O'Leary (Douglas); M Harrington (Nemo Rangers), B McCarthy (Douglas), S Cummins (Cobh); S Brady (Ballygarvan), N O'Connell (Cobh), S Andrews (Shamrocks) captain; A Cantwell (Douglas), S Aherne (do); S Fenton (Ballygarvan), A O'Hare (Douglas), A Connolly (St Michael's); S Harrington (Passage), P O'Halloran (Ballygarvan), A Sheehy (Douglas).
Subs: R O'Halloran (Ballygarvan) for Aherne half-time, W Buckley (St Finbarr's) for S Harrington 49, P Leneghan (St Michael's) for Connolly 52, F Sheehan (Douglas) for M Harrington 55.
ST BRENDAN'S: E Moynihan (Glenflesk); R Doyle (Fossa), M Cooper (Dr Croke's), N O'Shea (do); T Doyle (do), T Sparling (do), E Looney; E O'Sullivan (Legion), M Lenihan (Dr Croke's), captain; J Kerins (do), R O'Grady (Legion), P Looney (Dr Croke's); W Shine (Legion), D O'Callaghan (Firies), E O'Shea (Fossa).
Subs: H Buckley (Dr Croke's) for Looney 49, C O'Leary (Legion) for Cooper 57.
Referee: D O'Callaghan (Limerick).