Corn Ui Mhuiri final: Roco primed to fell the champions St Brendan's in classic Cork-Kerry showdown

Rochestown go in as underdogs in Mallow on Saturday against crack Killarney opponents in highly-anticipated game
Corn Ui Mhuiri final: Roco primed to fell the champions St Brendan's in classic Cork-Kerry showdown

St. Francis College, Rochestown's Derry Howard soloing clear of Paddy Nagel of St. Flannan’s College in the Corn Uí Mhuirí at Mallow.

EXCITEMENT levels are rising down St Francis College Rochestown direction ahead of the Corn Ui Mhuiri (Munster Colleges SFC) final against the most successful school in the competition, St Brendan’s Killarney, in Mallow on Saturday at 1pm.

The Cork school captured the title once way back in 1950 whereas the Sem are looking for a 24th triumph and a winning title defence.

Eoghan Buckley is joint-manager with Eamonn Hennessy and Liam Sheehan and Liam O Murchu are the selectors.

“There’s quite a buzz,” said Buckley. “There was good support for the semi-final and that has filtered down to the junior classes who are keen to support the lads.

“There is also a great excitement among the teachers and it has really galvanised the school. Everyone is looking forward to it.”

Rochestown have players from a variety of clubs, county minor champions Douglas, St Michael’s, Nemo Rangers, Ballygarvan, Shamrocks, Carrigaline, Cobh and St Finbarr’s.

Their general support is greatly appreciated. “They’ve been super. I’m from St Michael’s and they gave us use of their facilities this week, something we’re very grateful for.

“It has come at a good time of the year because it’s not clashing with any minor games, so we’ve had good access to the players.

“Anytime we’ve looked for anything from the clubs they’ve been very supportive.” 

Injuries, however, have hit the side hard, losing captain Bryan Hayes (Nemo Rangers), the Munster minor player of the year in 2022, Harry Quilligan (Douglas) and Micheal O’Mahony (Ballygarvan), three important forwards.

“Brian is definitely out and while Micheal and Harry are back training the game has probably come a bit too soon for them though they may make the bench.” 

Rochestown qualified by defeating Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh impressively. “We were very happy. We played it on our terms, which is something we’ve done for most of the year and everyone stuck to the game plan.

“I thought we were very solid at the back and that is due to a lot of hard work put in to defending well. We’ve only conceded one goal. We’re putting a lot of pressure on opponents when they’re taking shots.” 

The famous Kerry school, though, represent a different challenge. “We know though it will take a good bit extra to beat the Sem, but we’re confident we can reach the levels required to get over the line.

“They’re formidable, putting up big scores with attacking threats all over the field and they’ve a lot of Kerry minors and U20s so we’re going in as underdogs.

“We know the task that is in front of us, but if we stick to our game plan and go out with the right attitude and commitment, I think we won’t be far off it.

“This is our second final since 2015, when we lost to Dingle in heart-breaking circumstances. We’ve been to semi-finals since and now we’re back in a final.

“If you keep knocking at the door, you’ll eventually break it down. We’re going to give it our all and hopefully that will be enough,” Buckley concluded.

Panel: M O’Connell (St Michael’s), F Leahy (do), D Buckley (Douglas), T O’Brien (Nemo Rangers), C O’Neill (do), 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), C O’Keeffe (Douglas), T Vaughan (Carrigaline), B Fraher (Nemo Rangers), O McAdoo (St Michael’s), R Hanley (Douglas), J Lyons (Nemo Rangers), O Barry (Douglas), C Yelland (Nemo Rangers), C Buckley (St Finbarr’s), S Tobin (Douglas).

J Burke (do), E Collins (do), S Denn (Nemo Rangers), A Young (Douglas), F Gallagher (do), N O’Shea (Nemo Rangers), E O’Flynn (Douglas), C Reddington (do), S O’Rourke (do), A Sheehy (do), B Kelleher (Carrigaline), L Kenna (Nemo Rangers), P O’Dwyer (do), M O’Mahony (Ballygarvan), H Quilligan (Douglas), B Hayes (Nemo Rangers), F Twohig (do), S Healy (St Michael’s).

Paths to the final 

Rochestown 1-17 Dingle 0-13

Rochestown 4-15 Pres Miltown 0-7 

Rochestown 3-10 Skibbereen CS 0-10 

Rochestown 1-10 St Flannan’s 1-4 

Rochestown 1-10 Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh 0-7.

St Brendan’s 4-11 Colaiste na Sceilge 2-14 

St Brendan’s 3-6 Mercy Mount Hawk 0-12 

St Brendan’s 4-14 Colaiste Choilm 1-5 

St Brendan’s 2-16 Hamilton High School 0-11 

St Brendan’s 2-16 Mercy Mount Hawk 0-13.

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