COUNTY U-19 AFC SEMI-FINAL
St Colmcilles 4-8
Mallow were forced to see off a gallant St Colmcilles side in the County Under 19 AFC semi final at the 4G pitch at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday. Played in wintry conditions the issue was in the balance right to the end.
The opening stages saw both teams quick into the action. St Colmcilles struck for the first of their four goals in the seventh minute when Sean O'Donoghue was first to react to finish to the net after Harry Coughlan's effort at goal was well saved by the Mallow keeper Devon Fray 1-1 to 0-2. Two minutes later Mallow breached the St Colmcilles backline for a goal when a delivery by Mark Tobin deceived all with the ball making its way to the net.
The sides were level at 1-2 each soon after when St Colmcilles wing back Kevin Fitzpatrick kicked over a great point. Over the next couple of minutes Mallow gained a foothold on proceedings and rapid points by Mark Tobin, Ronan O'Sullivan and Andrew Leneghan pushed them 1-5 to 1-2 in front. St Colmcilles regrouped well. The impressive Harry Coughlan set up Sean O'Donoghue for a point before they struck for their second goal in the 17th minute when Billy Connolly finished to the net 2-3 to 1-5.
At the other end Mallow came close to scoring a second goal when Mark Tobin was denied by a great save by Rory Teehan at the expense of a '45'. The Avondhu side forced level when Mark Kelleher pointed a free while two more points by Mark Tobin moved them two clear as the half time whistle approached. St Colmcilles rallied well in the closing moments. Good work by Sean Twomey and Rory Quinlan resulted in Billy Connolly kicking over and in injury time they forced level when Sean O'Donoghue pointed a free that left it all to play for when tied at 2-5 to 1-8 at the interval.
The second half saw Mallow start brightly with Ronan O'Sullivan, Mark Tobin and Mark Kelleher getting early scores that moved them three clear by the 35th minute. Back again came St Colmcilles and a great movement involving Robert Doherty, P.J O'Donovan and Sean O'Donoghue saw Rory Quinlan score their third goal to force parity at 1-11 to 3-5. From the resultant kick-out the Imokilly side hit the front when Harry Coughlan pointed but the lead was short-lived with Mallow responding immediately when Adam O'Reilly and Mark Kelleher combined well to set up Ronan O'Sullivan who kicked over 1-12 to 3-6.
In a thrilling finale St. Colmcilles struck for their fourth goal in the 47th minute when a great solo run out of defence by Martin Murphy saw substitute Eddie Coughlan score a cracking goal and they looked in a great position. However Mallow dug deep in the last quarter as they found scores much easier to come by.
Mark Kelleher, Cathal Mullins and Mark Tobin reeled off points that had sides level for the sixth and last time at 4-6 to 1-15. In the 54th minute Mark Kelleher with a well taken point gave Mallow a lead they would not surrender. Two minutes later Mark Tobin with a goal from a penalty helped put a bit of daylight between the teams 2-16 to 4-6. St Colmcilles rallied to the end. Stephen Whooley had a point from a free at the end of normal time but it was Mallow that held on for a close win in the end.
Over the hour the winners had some very good displays by Declan Copps, Liam Walsh, Sam Copps, Gearoid Daly, Billy Kingston, Cathal Sheehan, Mark Kelleher, Mark Tobin and Fionn Heffernan while Ethan Ryan, Kevin Fitzpatrick, Rory Quinlan, Robert Doherty, Harry Coughlan, PJ O'Donovan, Stephen Whooley and Sean O'Donoghue were equally as effective for the Whitescross/Carrignavar outfit.
MALLOW: D Fray, S O'Connell, D Copps, A O'Rahilly, G Daly, S Copps, L Walsh, B Kingston, C Sheehan, K O'Connell, M Kelleher 0-4 (2f), R O'Sullivan 0-2, A Leneghan 0-1 m, F Heffernan 0-2, M Tobin 2-6 (0-3f, 1-0 pen). Subs: C Mullins 0-1 for A Leneghan, D Dwane for R O'Sullivan,
ST COLMCILLES: R Teehan, M Murphy, R McCarthy, S Ryan, S Twomey, E Ryan, K Fitzpatrick 0-1, R Quinlan 1-0, R Doherty, H Coughlan 0-1, P.J O'Donovan, S Whooley 0-2f, S O'Donoghue 1-3 (0-1f), B Connolly 1-1, B Quain. Subs: E Coughlan 1-0 for B Quain, A Ryan for PJ O'Donovan, D Kelleher for R Quinlan (inj).
Referee: Peter O'Leary (Castletownbere)