Corn Ui Mhuiri: Five Cork teams involved in quarter-final action today

There's an all-Cork affair between Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh and Skibbereen Community School at Pairc Ui Chaoimh 4G
Corn Ui Mhuiri: Five Cork teams involved in quarter-final action today

Tomas O'Keeffe, Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh, and Conor O'Sullivan, Hamilton High School, challenge in the air in the Corn Ui Mhuiri. Pic Larry Cummins

CORK are represented in all four Corn Ui Mhuiri (Munster Post-Primary Schools SFC) quarter-finals today, including the derby between Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh and Skibbereen Community School on Pairc Ui Chaoimh’s 4G pitch at 12.30.

St Francis College, Rochestown, meet St Flannan’s College in Mallow at 1.30 and there’s a double-header on Banteer’s Astro pitch, starting with Hamilton High School, Bandon, against St Brendan’s, Killarney, at noon. Clonakilty Community College follow against Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee, at 1.45.

Spioraid Naoimh, back in the competition after an 11-year absence, won all their Group 4 games against High School Clonmel, the Hammies, and Colaiste Chriost Ri, the last Cork winners of the famous competition.

Their players are drawn from the Bishopstown, Ballinora, Inniscarra, Ballinhassig, St Finbarr’s and Eire Og clubs with wing-back Darragh O’Donovan (Bishopstown) one of several Cork minors in the past two seasons on view across the four games.

Mark O’Brien (Ballinora) mans the centre-back position in a finely balanced team featuring Odhran Foley (Bishopstown), Adam O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig) and Robert Quirke (Ballinora) in attack.

Skibbereen finished runners-up in Group 2, defeating Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne and Pres Miltown, but losing to Rochestown.

The west Cork school stepped up, when it mattered most in the do-or-die game against Dingle, winning by 2-12 to 1-13 to make the knock-out stages again, having reached the semi-finals last season.

There are a number of survivors from that team featuring again, including Joe Bohane (Castlehaven) at full-back, Shane Carey (Ilen Rovers) at centre-back, midfielder Tomas O Donobhain (Clonakilty) and Niall Daly (O’Donovan Rossa), who played senior championship with the Skibbereen club.

Goals from Liam Shorten (Tadhg MacCarthaighs), who finished with 1-5, and Brian O’Driscoll (O’Donovan Rossa) were critical in the narrow victory over the west Kerry school while there’s further experience supplied by wing-back Shane O’Connell (Castlehaven), a Cork minor last season.

It looks like being a close affair as is the Rochestown-Flannan’s tie. The Cork school qualified with a 100% record and impressed greatly in the process.

They, too, have players who’ve worn the Cork jersey at minor level, ranging from keeper Michael O’Connell (St Michael’s) to corner-forward Sean Coakley (Douglas) as well as Nemo Rangers pair, defender Tim O’Brien and sharpshooter Bryan Hayes.

Ballygarvan, Cobh and Carrigaline are other clubs represented in a team that’s packed with ability and scoring potential as reflected in posting 1-17 and 4-14 against Kerry opponents and overcoming Skibbereen by three goals, though two of those arrived late in the game.

Rochestown, however, will need all their guile and know-how against a physically strong Flannan’s side that is very well drilled and knows what it’s about.

The Cork school will probably have to cope with a heavily fortified defence and brace themselves for swift counter-attacks by the Clare team, which clinched their last-eight spot by defeating Clonakilty by 3-8 to 0-11.

Wing-back Paddy Nagle dragged them back into contention with the first goal before super-sub James Doherty pounced for 2-1 on his introduction.

The Hammies certainly drew the short straw after being paired with the defending champions even if St Brendan’s are as likely to concede scores in the knowledge they’ll grab more at the other end.

The Bandon school finished runners-up to Spioraid Naoimh in their group and they can take heart from their impressive tally of 11 goals and 34 points from their three outings due to a talented inside line of captain Niall Kelly (Newcestown), a former Cork minor, Sean Mac an tSaoi (Valley Rovers) and Michael Maguire (Castlehaven).

Others to look out for are Eoin Guinnane (Valley Rovers), Jack Calnan (Bandon) and Evan O’Connor (Ballygarvan) and while the odds are stacked against them, the west Cork school can certainly make it difficult for the Sem.

The second part of the Banteer double-bill seems to be a wide-open affair, Clonakilty starting brilliantly against PS Rathmore before losing to Flannan’s and then catching Tralee with a late goal in a 2-9 to 0-13 victory to end the Kerry school’s season.

Clon have Cork minors in Aaron Cullinane and Darragh Gough from the local club, Dan Twomey (Owen Gaels) and key forward Olan O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels). Fergal Murphy (Clonakilty) and Gough have a nose for goals, too.

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