Clon put up a brave show but bow out of the Corn Uí Mhuirí

Clon put up a brave show but bow out of the Corn Uí Mhuirí
Ciaran O'Neill, Clonakilty, moves the ball through midfield against St Brendan's. Picture: Larry Cummins.

St Brendan’s College Killarney 2-11

Clonakilty Community College 0-8

CLONAKILTY CC bowed out of the Corn Uí Mhuirí in Cill na Martra on Saturday. However, it was a brave effort from the west Cork side, considering they shipped a heavy defeat from St Brendan’s in the group stage.

Twenty-three points separated them then, and while they were disappointed to lose out in this semi-final, they have made progress. And with roughly half the team underage again next year, manager Michael O’Sullivan has plenty to work with.

Goals were the main difference overall. One at the end of the first half, and another at the start of the second half were significant factors. St Brendan’s manager Gary McGrath said afterwards that they were never going to repeat the double-digit drubbing they inflicted on them late last year, and he praised Clonakilty for their efforts.

“We had a comprehensive victory over them before Christmas but it was never going to be the same as that. On the day, we got a few early goals and I suppose their heads dropped. To be fair to Clonakilty, they showed a lot of character because they beat Bandon (HHS) who beat Dingle, so they can take a lot from that.”

St Brendan’s College edged the first-half. They burst out of the blocks, moving four points clear before Ryan O’Donovan sent over Clonakilty’s first point from a free in the 16th minute. Two points separated them when Ciaran Nyhan pointed from play a couple of minutes later.

Ryan O’Grady’s second point left the Kerry side, who were playing into the wind, 0-5 to 0-2 ahead. With five minutes to go to half-time, Brian White’s contribution closed the gap to two. The defensive strength of Clonakilty CC too was vital in keeping them in contention.

Twice goalkeeper Cian Ryan came to the rescue, while Darragh O’Connor also made an important intervention. As well, they came close to getting a goal of their own but O’Donovan’s effort was forced out for a 45m.

Their hopes were dashed on the brink of half-time when victorious All Ireland minor captain of 2018 Paul O’Shea scored a precious goal in the 29th minute, the centre-forward found the net after he got a touch to Ruairi Doyle’s delivery. They led at the break, 1-5 to 0-4.

The second half was barely three minutes old when O’Shea struck again. The ball was cleverly worked from defence, finding its way to Padraig D’Arcy who fed the number 11. That score put them 2-6 to 0-4 in front.

Clonakilty CC had it all to do now. However, they never wilted and they kept battling. White’s accuracy from placed balls and a conversion from O’Donovan left them behind by seven points at the end of the third quarter (2-8 to 0-7).

They were outscored three points to one in the final quarter. St Brendan’s the better team, and managed to keep control.

Scorers for St Brendan’s College: P O’Shea 2-0, R O’Grady 0-4 (0-2 f), E O’Shea 0-2, D Lyne, E O’Sullivan, E Finnan, P D’Arcy and E Smith 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clonakilty CC: B White 0-4 (0-3 f), R O’Donovan 0-3 (0-2 f), C Nyhan 0-1.

ST BRENDAN’S COLLEGE: M Kelliher (Glenflesk); P O’Sullivan (Legion), T Sparling (Dr Crokes), M Cooper (Dr Crokes); E Smith (Legion), G Vaughan (Spa), R Doyle (Fossa); M Lenihan (Dr Crokes), D Lyne (Legion); E O’Sullivan (Legion), P O’Shea (Kilcummin), E Finnan (Glenflesk); R O’Grady (Legion), E O’Shea (Fossa), P D’Arcy (Glenflesk).

Subs: E Looney (Dr Crokes) for E Smith (50), D Donoghue (Firies) for E Finnan (55), D Fleming (Glenflesk) for E O’Shea (62), H Potts (Dr Crokes) for E O’Sullivan (62), C O’Leary (Legion) for T Sparling (62).

CLONAKILTY CC: C Ryan (Ballinascarthy); B Deasy (Kilmeen), J Lawton (Ibane Gaels), D Peet (Clonakilty); D O’Connor (Dohenys), J Wycherley (Clonakilty), C O’Neill (Ballinascarthy); C Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), C O’Donoghue (Clonakilty); C Hayes (Clonakilty), B White (Clonakilty), O Bancroft (Clonakilty); R O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels), JP Eady (Carbery Rangers), P Cullinane (Ballinascarthy).

Subs: C Cullinane (Ballinascarthy) for P Cullinane (20), S Walsh (Ibane Gaels) for C Hayes (39), D Harte (Ballinascarthy) for B White (59 inj).

Referee: Mike Sexton (Limerick).

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