An all-Cork TUS Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-final against St Francis College Rochestown awaits Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh after they emerged victorious at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G pitch on Thursday.
In a game postponed by a day from its initial Wednesday setting, the Bishopstown school led for most of the contest. They benefited from excellent midfield play by Tomás O’Keeffe and Marc O'Connor while Cork minor Darragh O’Donovan was a constant presence pushing on from the half-forward line.
Cork minor hurler Adam O’Sullivan finished with 2-5 for the winners, including the two late goals to give them breathing space and Cormac Dineen – who shares his name with the match referee – was always good in a strong defensive effort.
A strong finish to the first half was ultimately the main foundation of the victory. After enjoying a strong start with Gary Holland kicking a pair of early points to move them 0-3 to 0-1 ahead, CSN found themselves pegged back.
First, Luke Shorten pointed for Skibbereen after a mark and then they moved in front as Brian O’Driscoll won a Spioraid Naoimh kickout and fed Niall Daly, whose run towards goal was illegally halted for a penalty. Daly slotted home and then Shorten added another to move them three in front but O’Donovan had an immediate reply for the city school.
With Skibbereen unable to further build on their advantage – Spioraid Naoimh got bodies back well and then their attacking capabilities were shown with three consecutive points to finish the half.
Adam Laverty scored one and was heavily involved as O’Sullivan and Robert Quirke kicked the others, a half-time lead of 0-7 to 1-3 augmented as two more from O’Sullivan moved them further ahead on the restart.
Jack O’Neill and Daly brought Skibb back to within a point as CSN wasted chances, though they were unlucky not have a goal opportunity as a free for over-carrying was awarded just after a pass to Holland that would have put him through.
Even so, Quirke, O’Donovan and O’Sullivan moved them four ahead and, while Seán Connolly replied with a Skibb free, O’Sullivan goal – after claiming a Quirke 45 – put the issue beyond doubt.
In injury time, the same player netted again after a good move involving Matthew Ahern, sub Kieran McFadden and Odhran Foley, giving them a seven-point cushion at the end.
A O’Sullivan 2-5 (0-1 f), G Holland, R Quirke, D O’Donovan 0-2 each, A Laverty 0-1.
Skibbereen CS: N Daly 1-3 (1-0 penalty, 0-2 f), L Shorten 0-2 (0-1 m), K O’Driscoll, S Connolly (f), J O’Neill 0-1 each.
S Cronin (Bishopstown); M Ahern (St Finbarr’s), J Byrne (Ballinora), C Dineen (Inniscarra); D O’Donovan (Bishopstown), M O’Brien (Ballinora), K Murphy (Bishopstown); T O’Keeffe (St Finbarr’s), M O’Connor (Éire Óg); A O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig), O Foley (Bishopstown), A Laverty (Ballinora); S Connolly (Inniscarra), G Holland (Bishopstown), R Quirke (Ballinora).
S Sheridan (Bishopstown) for Connolly (47), D O’Brien (Inniscarra) for O’Connor, K McFadden (Bishopstown) for Quirke (both 58).
S O’Shea (Ilen Rovers); D Hourihane (O’Donovan Rossa), J Bohane (Castlehaven), H O’Donovan (Clann na nGael); F Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa), S Carey (Ilen Rovers), S O’Connell (Castlehaven); T Ó Donnabháin (Clonakilty), J O’Neill (Castlehaven); B O’Driscoll (O’Donovan Rossa), N Daly (O’Donovan Rossa), K O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers); S Connolly (Ilen Rovers), L Shorten (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh), L Harte (O’Donovan Rossa).
D O’Donovan (Castlehaven) for O’Driscoll (half-time), C Coombes (O’Donovan Rossa) for Harte (46), D O’Callaghan (Castlehaven) for H O’Donovan (51).
C Dineen (Douglas).