Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig 2-12 Hamilton HS Bandon 2-8
THE battle of the Cork schools in yesterday’s Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final at Brinny eventually went the way of Coláiste Choilm.
It means they are the last remaining Cork side in the prestigious competition, as one of the favourites Críost Rí fell in the group stages, while Macroom were defeated by St Brendan's in their quarter-final.
It's a major achievement for the school to progress to a first semi-final. In previous campaigns, they fell short, despite a number of Cork seniors like John Miskella, Pa Kelly, Daniel Goulding, Noel Galvin and Ciarán Sheehan attending over the years. They did win a B All-Ireland in 2014 when Cork senior hurler Seán O'Donoghue, and U21 footballers Ronan O'Toole (Éire Óg) and Ballincollig's Cian Kiely were involved.
The Ballincollig side had to dig deep to secure a last-four meeting with Tralee CBS, which will be decided in early February. They fell a point behind at half-time, and again with 10 minutes remaining. However, a strong finish which yielded a superbly finished goal from last year’s Cork minor captain Colm O’Callaghan won them through.
It was a disappointing outcome for Hamilton High School who took the game to Coláiste Choilm. They were on top at various stages, but a late rally from Coláiste Choilm got them over the line.
With quality players on both sides, the supporters that braved the elements weren’t disappointed.
“I’d have to hand it to Hammies, they never gave up,” said mentor John O’Shea. “I thought it was a fantastic game of football, high standard, fantastic players on both sides. Great work ethic and I think the proof of that was so many fellas genuinely going down with cramp.
“It didn’t look good for us at half-time. There were a few unpleasant words unfortunately exchanged. We came out better in the second-half.
“We were disappointed with the first-half, we found it hard to match their intensity and around the middle of the field they won an incredible amount of breaking ball. But there is great character in the team.
“We have never got to the semi-final before. Well not in my time anyway. Not in the modern era.”
Holders St Brendan’s saw off De La Salle Macroom by 0-17 to 0-13 in Ballyvourney to remain on track for a three-in-a-row title bid. They face PS Chorca Dhuibhne in the other semi-final.
Scorers for Coláiste Choilm: J Murphy (0-6, 0-3 frees), C O’Callaghan (1-1), C Rickard (1-0), D Scott (0-2), E Cooke, H Murphy and J O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Hamilton HS: F Herlihy (1-2), S Barry (1-0), C Manning (0-1 free) and T Sheehan (0-2 each), C Calnan and D O’Shea (0-1 each).
COLÁISTE CHOILM: A O’Riordan (Éire Óg); S Dwane (St Finbarr’s), S Walsh (Ballincollig), B Sorensen (Ballincollig); C Sheehan (Éire Óg), F Denny (Ballincollig), E Dodd (Canovee); C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), E Cooke (Ballincollig); H Murphy (Éire Óg), J O’Sullivan (Éire Óg), R Donovan (Ballincollig); D Scott (Inniscarra), J Murphy (Éire Óg, Capt), C Rickard (Éire Óg).
Subs: K Walsh (Canovee) for C Sheehan (41).
HAMILTON HS: C O’Sullivan (Valley Rovers); P Lang (Bandon), C Mangan (Ahán Gaels), C Barry (Sam Maguires); S Barry (Valley Rovers), R Maguire (Castlehaven), A Kenneally (Valley Rovers); G O’Donovan (Newcestown, Capt), T Sheehan (Kilbrittain); C Calnan (Bandon), P Wall (Kilbrittain), D O’Shea (Valley Rovers); C Manning (Valley Rovers), F Herlihy (Sam Maguires), B Butler (Kilbrittain).
Subs: A O’Leary (Valley Rovers) for C Calnan (48), E Collins (Newcestown) for T Sheehan (BC 53), T Twohig (Bandon) for S Barry (58 inj).
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease, Cork).