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Corn Uí Mhuirí: The Sem reach last four after edging Colaiste na Sceilge in epic battle

No quarter given as St Brendan’s Killarney are pushed all the way by Cahersiveen school


St Brendan's Killarney are into the last four of the Corn Uí Mhuirí after a one-point win over Colaiste na Sceilge in Cromane this afternoon

St Brendan's Killarney are into the last four of the Corn Uí Mhuirí after a one-point win over Colaiste na Sceilge in Cromane this afternoon

St Brendan's Killarney are into the last four of the Corn Uí Mhuirí after a one-point win over Colaiste na Sceilge in Cromane this afternoon



St. Brendans Killarney 2-8

Colaiste na Sceilge 2-7

Narratives are rarely perfect. St Brendan’s College, Killarney have racked up impressive scores in this year’s Corn Uí Mhuirí competition but their defeat to Colaiste na Sceilge in the semi-final of the O’Sullivan Cup was said to be the warning they needed. That assumes sport is predictable.

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Certainly few predicted the ferocity of the challenge of the Cahersiveen school in this riveting quarter-final at Cromane GAA grounds on Saturday.

The Sem were hanging on to a precarious one point lead in injury time, batting away two ‘45’s in a row until referee Eddie Walsh called time.

The underdogs played with incredible passion. They also set up to frustrate St Brendan’s whose forward line of McMahon, Hennigan and Shine struggled for any space inside.

Time and again they ran down cul de sacs as the retreating southerners’ blanket defence forced poor shooting options.

That said it really does not explain the favourites’ incredible inaccuracy from frees, six of which were wide by some margin from inside their opponents’ 30-metre line.

Had a fraction of these been taken The Sem might not have been in trouble…but in trouble they were.

Only once did the eventual winners put together a wonderful passing move with runners choosing their moments to find pockets of space to finish with a score.

Yet it looked so easy in the first quarter as Shine (free) and a super Hennigan point answered the free by Kain O’Shea, before Liam Randles cut in from the right touchline to bury his shot to the roof of the net – (1-2 to 0-1).

But man of the match Donagh O’Sullivan’s direct running was cutting holes in the Brendan’s cover defence. And Ian O’Sullivan popped over another free. Two more were to follow from the boot of O’Shea as an uncertain Sem defence drew the ire of the referee.

Luke Crowley crashed over the best point of the half to open a two point gap swiftly followed by a McMahon free. Then just on the stroke of half time sub Charlie Keating cut in from the left wing to hit a searing shot high into the net to give St Brendan’s a six-point half time lead, 2-4 to 0-4.

“Well see a different performance in the second half,” said a relieved Sem supporter. They did, but not the one they imagined.

O’Sullivan notched an early free. Then after a high free kick landed around the square Donagh O’Sullivan finished off the good work initiated by William Galvin. Sem’s Cian Foley scored a brave point in the face of frantic defenders to steady the ship but the growingly impressive Kieran Corcoran had a goal ruled out for a square ball offence.

Hennigan stretched that lead to four (2-6 to 1-5) but the Cahersiveen men replied in fine style with Corcoran fielding a long high ball and hit a blistering shot to the keeper’s left into the corner of the net. This was not going to script!

McMahon pushed his side out to a two point gap with a free just before the water break. Kain O’Shea replied on the restart…one in it and the sizeable crowd waiting with baited breath.

Ian O’Sullivan levelled with eight minutes remaining – the longest eight minutes of the year so far.

With four minutes remaining Cian Foley pointed. Colaiste Na Sceilge threw caution to the wind releasing the impressive full back Cian O’Donoghue. They had two chances from the 45-metre line but simply could not convert. So despite their tigerish play Colaiste na Sceilge exited the competition but with heads held very high.

St Brendan’s College will meet Hamilton High School Bandon, conquerors of Mercy Mounthawk, in two weeks. They have much talent…and much to work on.

ST BRENDAN’S KILLARNEY: Aaron O’Sullivan (Legion), Cian Lynch (Glenflesk), Rian Colleran (Fossa), Harry Byrne (Dr.Crokes), Darragh Fleming (Legion), Dara O’Callaghan (Kilcummin), John Kelleher (Glenflesk), Liam Randles (Dr Crokes) 1-0, Killian O’Sullivan (Glenflesk), Mikey Moriarty (Beaufort), Cian Foley (Kilcummin) 0-2, Luke Crowley (Glenflesk) 0-1, Cian McMahon (Dr Crokes) 0-2f, Alex Hennigan (Dr Crokes) 0-2, William Shine (Legion) 0-1f. Subs: Charlie Keating (Dr Crokes) 1-0 for Moriarty (16), Mark O’Shea (Kilcummin) for Crowley (52), Darren Cronin (Fossa) for Shine (58).

COLAISTE NA SCEILGE: Cian O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers), Josh O’Sullivan (St Mary’s), Cian O’Donoghue (St Mary’s), Sam O’Driscoll (Renard), Sean Kennedy (Skellig Rangers), Oisin O’Sullivan (St Michaels/Foilmore), Tomas Kelly (Renard), Kain O’Shea (St Mary’s) 0-4f, Alex Coffey (St Mary’s), Breece O’Sullivan (Renard), Donagh O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) 1-0, William Galvin (Renard), Ian O’Sullivan (St Michaels/Foilmore) 0-3 (2f), Kieran Corcoran (Renard) 1-0, Emmet Daly (Valentia). Subs: Oisin Galvin (Sneem/Derrynane) for B.O’Sullivan (27), Padraig Mangan (Dromid Pearses) for Kelly (H/T)

Referee: Eddie Walsh (Rathmore)