Corn Uí Mhuirí: Rochestown secure top spot in group with win over Skibbereen

Goals the difference though Skibb still have chance to qualify for quarter-finals
Corn Uí Mhuirí: Rochestown secure top spot in group with win over Skibbereen

Seán Coakley of St Francis College Rochestown taking on Hugh O'Donovan and William O'Donovan, Skibbereen Community School, in the Corn Uí Mhuirí game at Bishopstown. Picture: Jim Coughlan

St Francis College, Rochestown 3-10 Skibbereen Community School 0-10

Rochestown’s St Francis College will be seeded in next month’s Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final draw after they secured a third Group 2 victory on Wednesday.

Going into this clash at Bishopstown’s 4G pitch – affected by weather conditions as it was moved from Newcestown and brought forward two hours – ‘Roco’ had beaten Kerry sides Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and Presentation Secondary School Milltown. Anything other than defeat would secure top spot and they did that. However, the nine-point winning margin masks what was a tricky second half as the winners went 22 minutes without a score.

Having trailed by eight points at one stage, Skibbereen Community School battled back well to trail by just three with minutes of normal time left. However, a pair of late goals from Evan O’Connor and sub Robert Hanley made the game safe for Rochestown. Despite the defeat, Skibb still have to play Corca Dhuibhne and victory over the Dingle school will ensure qualification.

Despite playing against the wind in the first half, Rochestown had an unanswered six points on the board inside 13 minutes. Their full-forward line of O’Connor and Cork minors Bryan Hayes and Seán Coakley looked dangerous whenever the ball was delivered in while Tim O’Brien was impeccable in the full-back line – doing well to cut out one direct ball intended for Daniel Cleary – and wing-back Callum O’Neill was also influential.

Harry Quilligan went close to a Roco goal on 14, his shot across the face of the goal, but they had a green flag just after Niall Daly had gotten Skibb off the mark. From a quick restart, O’Neill found space in midfield, allowing him to pick out a pass for Coakley, who produced a lovely finish. After Hayes responded to a Cleary point, it was 1-7 to 0-2 but Luke Shorten was excellent for Skibb as they clawed back three points before the break – the full-forward scored one and was involved in scores for Cleary and Daly.

Despite losing Cleary at half-time, Skibb had a point from wing-back Dylan Hourihane and, though further chances were squandered, Rochestown struggled to make attacking inroads. After Daly cut the lead to three, Micheál O’Mahony finally ended Roco’s drought on 43 but, with Cathail Hegarty prominent after moving to midfield for Skibb, they kept pushing. Brian O’Driscoll went close to a goal, denied by goalkeeper Mikey O’Connell, who also did well to divert a Shorten shot over the bar.

Daly’s good free left it 1-8 to 0-9 on 56 but Hayes – important in the second half in a deeper role for Roco – looked to have eased their worries with a pair of fine scores. Even so, Tomás Ó Donnabháin’s point for Skibb left a goal in it.

Unfortunately for them, when a goal did come it was for Rochestown as Coakley won a Skibb a kick-out and fed O’Connor for a close-range finish. Hanley, set up by O’Brien, added the third goal at the death, slotting home the rebound after Simon O’Shea had saved his initial effort.

Evan O'Connor, St Francis College Rochestown, shoots from Brian O'Driscoll, Skibbereen Community School. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Evan O'Connor, St Francis College Rochestown, shoots from Brian O'Driscoll, Skibbereen Community School. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Scorers for St Francis College: B Hayes 0-5 (0-2 f), E O’Connor 1-1, S Coakley, R Hanley 1-0 each, H Quilligan, K Lyons, B Fraher, M O’Mahony 0-1 each.

Skibbereen Community School: N Daly 0-4 (0-2 f), L Shorten, D Cleary 0-2 each, D Hourihane, T Ó Donnabháin 0-1 each.

ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: M O’Connell (St Michael’s): T O’Brien (Nemo Rangers), D Buckley (Douglas), F Leahy (St Michael’s); M O’Rourke (Cobh), L Dwane Fogarty (Douglas), C O’Neill (Nemo Rangers); K Lyons (Ballygarvan), B Kelliher (Carrigaline); B Fraher (Nemo Rangers), H Quilligan (Douglas), M O’Mahony (Ballygarvan); E O’Connor (Ballygarvan), B Hayes (Nemo Rangers), S Coakley (Douglas).

Subs: R Hanley (Douglas) for Fraher (40), C Buckley (St Finbarr’s) for Kelliher (48), O McAdoo (St Michael’s) for Buckley (53, injured), E O’Flynn (Douglas) for Coakley, E Collins (Douglas) for O’Mahony (both 60).

SKIBBEREEN COMMUNITY SCHOOL: S O’Shea (Ilen Rovers); W O’Donovan (Castlehaven), J Bohane (Castlehaven), T Farrell (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh); D Hourihane (O’Donovan Rossa), C Hegarty (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh), H O’Donovan (Clann na nGael); F Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa), T Ó Donnabháin (Clonakilty); B O’Driscoll (O’Donovan Rossa), N Daly (O’Donovan Rossa), K O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers); A Fahy (Ilen Rovers), L Shorten (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh), D Cleary (Castlehaven).

Subs: D O'Donovan (Castlehaven) for Cleary (half-time, injured), J Buckley (Castlehaven) for Farrell, C Coombes (O'Donovan Rossa) for Fahy (both 45).

Referee: N O’Mahony (Newcestown).

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