Wednesday 24 January 2018

Third time unlucky for DLS Macroom

ANOTHER Corn Ui Mhuiri Final and unfortunately another defeat for De La Salle Macroom as they suffered their third defeat in five years in the decider against Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne in Killarney last Saturday.

While they gave it their all in terms of trying to upset the much fancied Kerry side, De La Salle were unable to build on the two goals they scored towards the end of the first-half with Pobalscoil responding almost instantly each time. They crept back into the game towards the closing stages and if not for a brave piece of Pobalscoil defending might well have upset the odds come the final whistle.

Positions meant nothing in terms of how both teams lined up from the throw-in but Macroom decided to pack their defence early in an effort to thwart their fancied opponents. Pobalscoil found themselves in the somewhat unusual position compared to the rest of their campaign of taking the iniative from the start. 0-6 to 0-2 ahead with the aid of the breeze after 22 minutes was a good start but they got a massive test of their character on two occasions prior to the half-time whistle.

A good piece of decisive goalkeeping by Macroom's Alan Duggan led to a break down the pitch that saw their full-forward Joseph Ryan hauled down by Pobalscoil's Brian O Beaglaoich while bearing down on goal and a penalty was awarded in the 25th minute. Ryan converted the spot-kick and though both teams traded points there was further drama to come in front of both goals.

O Flatharta and Seamus O Muircheartaigh combined brilliantly to set O Bambaire up for the first of his hat-trick three minutes later. De La Salle got a lucky break on the stroke of half-time when a free in was punch off the goalpost by midfielder Peter Kelliher before James Moynihan managed to scramble over the rebound to lift Macroom once more.

Pobalscoil were not deterred though as almost instantly Tomas O Se found O Bambaire for goal number two and a much different complexion on the game at half-time as the defending champions led by 2-8 to 2-3. While Pobalscoil looked to be in control of general play from the restart, they didn't stretch their advantage on the scoreboard in the same way, scoring only three points from Tomas O Se, a free from O Muircheartaigh and O Beaglaoich in the first 23 minutes of the second period.

Macroom kept chipping away at their lead in the intervening period so much that when Barry O'Leary put over a free with seven minutes left, the score was now only 2-11 to 2-9 in Pobalscoil's favour.

A fourth free from O Muircheartaigh and a much deserved point for O Flatharta steadied their side along with a brilliant piece of defending by Conchuir O Suilleabhain with three minutes left as Macroom looked like stealing through for a game changing third goal.

Pobalscoil were the ones to register a third goal first as O Bambaire completed his hat-trick with a minute of normal time left. Namesake Sean came off the bench for Pobalscoil's final score of a great encounter and though there was no denying the quality of John Murphy's finish for Macroom's third goal, it proved to be only consolation in a five point defeat.

The wait goes on for Macroom's first Corn Ui Mhuiri title since 2006. It can't be getting any easier for the school to take these defeats despite the best efforts of Eric Graham, Noel Dunne and the players alike.

The dramatic nature of their victory over St Fachtna's in the semi-final will be a memory that they will no doubt cherish but the absence of the Cup will perhaps hinder that feeling. The hope can only be that by keeping the knocking going on the door, that one day it will eventually open for De La Salle.

De La Salle Macroom: Alan Duggan (Clondrohid), Kevin Dwyer (Macroom), Dermot O'Callaghan (Aghinagh), Brian McMahon (Macroom), Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael, 0-1), Barry O'Leary (Iveleary, 0-1, 1f), William Coakley (Aghinagh), James Moynihan (Canovee, 1-1), John Murphy (Macroom, 1-1), Cian Healy (Newcestown, 0-3, 3f), Joseph Ryan (Kilmurry, 1-2, 1f), Finbarr McSweeney (Iveleary) Subs: Don Creedon (Macroom) for Healy

Pobalscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne: D O Conchuir, C O Suilleabhain, B O Beaglaoich (0-1), T O Suilleabhain (0-2), M O Flatharta (0-1), C O Beaglaoich, S O Gairbhia, B O Suilleabhain, M O Conchuir, R O Se, B O Raoill, S O Muircheartaigh (0-4, 4f), C O Geibheannaigh (0-2), C O Bambaire (3-3, 1f), T O Se (0-1) Subs: S O Bambaire for O Geibheannaigh, C O Gairbhia for R O Se, C O Muirthile for T O Se and C O Murchu for S O Gairbhia

Referee: Richard Moloney (Limerick)


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