St Francis College Rochestown 1-10 St Flannan’s 1-4
ST FRANCIS overcame the considerable handicap of playing without two major scoring powers, Bryan Hayes and Harry Quilligan, to progress to the semi-finals of the Corn Uí Mhuirí following a deserved win over St Flannan’s in Mallow on Wednesday.
They were pillar-to-post winners in a game which became quite tetchy in the closing stages with several off-camera niggles, which eventually tested the patience of referee John O’Leary, who showed red cards to Rochestown’s Callum O’Neill and Sean McMahon of St Flannan’s in injury-time.
The crucial score arrived five minutes from the end of regulation time with a much-needed Rochestown goal after St Flannan’s substitute James Doherty dragged his side back into contention with a similar score entering the final quarter.
Rochestown captain Louis Dwane-Fogarty instigated the move from midway with substitute Barry Kelleher carrying it on before Tim O’Brien darted forward to make the decisive incision in their opponents’ defence.
Fittingly, the chance fell to their most dangerous forward, Sean Coakley, who applied the appropriate finish low into the far corner of the net to make it a six-point game.
In the first half, Rochestown were quicker to settle and overcame the loss of those key forwards by claiming the opening four points as St Flannan’s chalked up wide after wide at the other end.
Two newcomers, Danny Howard and Billy Fraher, had the satisfaction of finding the range in quick succession, scores which helped the Cork side grow in confidence, reflected in another mini-burst approaching the end of the first quarter.
Both came from the left feet of Coakley and his Douglas colleague Evan O’Connor as Roco moved 0-4 to 0-0 in front after a quarter-of-an-hour as their opponents registered five wides in the same period.
But Roco squandered a golden opportunity to seize almost total control from the re-start following O’Connor’s point, Coakley shooting weakly from point-blank range, allowing keeper Cian Howard fall easily on his effort.
The Clare side eventually got off the mark after 20 minutes via Cian Kirby though Coakley cancelled it out with a free, his side’s only score in the second quarter and a measure of how St Flannan’s were growing into the tie.
However, they could only add one more point, courtesy of a free from Darren Keane and the Ennis outfit were grateful for Roco missing a second goal-scoring chance, three minutes from the interval.
A probing right-wing cross was met by Fraher, who got their ahead of Howard only for his palmed attempt to go the wrong wide of the uprights from Roco’s perspective.
Still, they were 0-5 to 0-2 ahead with their opponents’ wide count stretching to seven by the break, three more than the Cork side.
Rob Hanley extended Roco’s advantage inside the opening minute of the resumption and it was a four-point lead following a fine Coakley point after 41 minutes.
Doherty, who had proved such an influential figure off the bench in the win over Clonakilty Community College, availed of a poor turnover in the Rochestown defence to finish impressively and at 0-7 to 1-3, it was game on once more.
Points from a Coakley free and a superb Fraher score calmed Roco’s nerves before Coakley’s goal clinched victory.
Scorers for Rochestown: S Coakley 1-4, 2f, B Fraher 0-2, E O’Connor 0-2, 1f, D Howard, R Hanly 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Flannan’s: J Doherty 1-0, D Keane 0-3f, C Kirby 0-1.
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: M O’Connell (St Michael’s); F Leahy (do), D Buckley (Douglas), T O’Brien (Nemo Rangers); C O’Neill (Nemo Rangers), L Dwane-Fogarty (Douglas), captain, D O’Callaghan (do); K Lyons (Ballygarvan), M O’Rourke (Cobh); E O’Connor (Douglas), S Coakley (do), D Howard (Shamrocks); B Fraher (Nemo Rangers), O McAdoo (St Michael’s), R Hanley (Douglas).
Subs: C O’Keeffe (Douglas) for Howard 40, N O’Shea (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke 52, B Kelleher (Carrigaline) for O’Callaghan 53, E Collins (Douglas) for McAdoo 54.
ST FLANNAN’S: C Howard (Eire Og); G Barry (Ennistymon), C Griffin (Clarecastle), R Kilroy (The Banner); I Williams (Doora-Barefield), F Treacy (Eire Og), P Nagle (Doora Barefield); J Hegarty (Ennistymon), F Hegarty (do); F Cotter (Lissycasey), S McMahon (The Banner), C Kirby (Clondegad); L Cleary (Eire Og), Keane (Lissycasey), F Kirby (Clondegad).
Subs: J Organ (Corofin) for Hegarty injured 26, J Doherty (Clarecastle) for Williams half-time, B McDonough (Doora Barefield) for Cleary 41, H Doherty (do) for C Kirby 45.
Referee: J O’Leary (Mallow).