College Corinthians 4
COLLEGE CORINTHIANS sealed their place in the quarter-final of the Keane Cup with a comfortable 4-1 group 1 win over Midleton on Thursday.
Evan Browne stole the show, scoring all four of Corinthians' goals, but there were some fine performances throughout from the home side, with Evan Galvin in midfield a particular standout.
Corinthians qualified from what was probably the most difficult Keane Cup group with three wins from three and averaging three goals per game.
Midleton came into this game on three points and still with a chance of emerging from the group and they had the better of the early exchanges, creating a number of half-chances.
John Keane had a header from a corner go wide after 13 minutes; Matthew Lamb saw a long-range shot go well wide, while Brian Coleman had a good strike that keeper Shane Sherlock easily dealt with.
That all happened in the first 20 minutes, at which point Corinthians began to up their game. Galvin was stringing the passes together in midfield and they began to stretch the game all over the pitch, with a lot of good moves starting with Sherlock who showed laser-like precision with his distribution from the ground.
Browne gave a signal of what was to come when he had a shot from the angle of the penalty area saved by Andrew O’Donoghue after good work by Darragh O’Sullivan-Connell.
The opener arrived midway through the half when Shane Daly-Butz’s free-kick on the left found Conor Walsh at the back post. The defender didn’t get a proper connection on the ball, but it fell nicely for Browne who crashed it home.
Five minutes later Galvin fired over after a nice move out of defence and Corinthians doubled their lead two minutes later when O’Sullivan-Connell’s low cross to the near post was flicked home with aplomb by Browne.
The game was over as a contest five minutes before the interval when Browne tapped home after O’Sullivan-Connell provided the cross following another flowing move.
Corinthians could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the pedal a little, but they kept up their high-tempo passing game after the interval.
Seven minutes in, Browne grabbed his fourth when Daly-Butz’s measured pass sent the striker clear on goal and, rounding O’Donoghue, the Corinthians man had an easy task to tap home.
Browne could have had five just before the hour mark when Brian Simpson’s ball over the top sent him scampering towards goal again; this time he tried to lob the advancing O’Donoghue, but his effort went wide.
It was Browne’s last piece of action as he and Jerome Glavin were withdrawn and Midleton manager John Ryan would also empty his bench in the second period to give players some valuable game time.
Midleton didn’t give up on finding a goal and they did create chances. Evan O’Meara had a good curling effort go over, while Loic Ngwefang, who was impressive after coming on, forced Sherlock into a save after a good break forward.
Midleton did get a consolation goal with 10 minutes remaining when James Leahy got free in the penalty box and his header beat Sherlock.
Corinthians’s quarter-final opponents will come from group 8 which features Macroom, Tramore, Lakewood, Innisvilla, and Casement Celtic.
COLLEGE CORINTHIANS: Shane Sherlock, Brian Simpson, Cian Murphy, Conor Walsh, David O’Connor, Paul Deasy, Darragh O’Sullivan-Connell, Evan Galvin, Jerome Glavin, Evan Browne, Shane Daly-Butz.
Subs: Ross Welch and Destiny Okonkwo for Browne and Glavin (both 57).
MIDLETON: Andrew O’Donoghue, Emmett Cotter, Fintan Cody, John Keane, Jamie Collins, Matthew Lamb, Evan O’Meara, James Leahy, Brian Coleman, Kyle McCarthy, Alex Smith.
Subs: Christian Daly and Loic Ngwefang for Coleman and Smith (both 55), Dylan O’Halloran for Lamb (59), Eoin Brennan for Keane (73), Adam Meade for Cody (82).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Elsewhere, St Mary’s also booked their place in the last eight on Thursday.
The Saints emerged from group 3 after a 1-1 draw away to Blarney was enough to see them go through on goal difference.
Blarney had one foot in the next round when Ray O’Leary fired them in front after 17 minutes, but Vinny Lonergan’s 76th-minute equaliser earned them a share of the points and place in the quarter-finals where they will face the winners of group 6.
In the other group 3 game, Castleview defeated Douglas Hall 2-1 thanks to goals from Dean Leahy and Kieran Kavanagh, with James Daly replying for the Hall.
The quarter-final spot in group 6 is still up for grabs, though Wilton are in pole position after their 2-0 win at home to Ballinhassig.
Ian Roche scored both of Wilton’s goals who lead Bandon by three points, but with a game more played.
Bandon were also winners on Thursday beating Kinsale 2-1 thanks to a couple of Brendan Cullen goals.
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