Colaiste Chriost Rí defeated St Francis College Rochestown by 0-8 to 0-6 in the Corn Ui Mhuiri Football Quarter-Final on Wednesday at Church Road, Blackrock.
Paul Kerrigan content as Críost Rí dig it out
Report by Denis Hurley for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Coláiste Chríost Rí 0-8 St Francis College, Rochestown 0-6: While this southside derby veered more towards the tense than the exhilarating at Church Road in Blackrock yesterday, Coláiste Chríost Rí could yet look back on it as being very beneficial.
The Turner’s Cross school, featuring nine of last year’s Frewen Cup (U16½AFC) winning squad, didn’t score after Mark Cronin made it 0-8 to 0-4 in the 46th minute, but crucially they only conceded two more points as they dug in strongly to claim this Corn Uí Mhuirí (Munster PPS U18½ AFC) victory.
For joint-manager, Cork captain Paul Kerrigan, it was the kind of win that could stand to them.
“It was a unique situation, you could cut the tension with a knife,” he said.
“There was a lot of familiarity here, a lot of the players are probably on Rebel Óg squads together.
“We’re not going to play sparkling football all the time, and it’s good for them to know that they can come out of a battle too.
“Rochestown came with a good gameplan and for a lot of the first half they frustrated us. We had to work very hard for the scores, in fairness to Rochestown, and they had to work hard for theirs too.
“It was a game that felt like a draw all the way through, until the end.”
Críost Rí’s 2011 win remains Cork’s last triumph in the competition, while 2013 was the last time they had been in the semi-finals. Rochestown’s recent pedigree is stronger and, while Críost Rí had the better of the play for much of the first half, just a point separated the sides at half-time, 0-4 to 0-3 the score.
At midfield, Críost Rí captain Jack Ryan was very impressive with corner-back John Corcoran a stand-out too, but the swelled defensive ranks of ‘Roco’ made them difficult to break down while the switching of Eoghan Riordan and Nathan Walsh to the full-back line to pick up Cillian Myers Murray and Mark Cronin respectively did much to limit their influence.
When James Holland tied the game within 30 seconds of the restart, it appeared that the same even pattern would pertain for the second period, but slowly Críost Rí began to get a handle as they benefited from the greater space available.
Daniel Lucey put them ahead with a well-taken point while Cronin’s free to make it 0-6 to 0-4, following a flowing move, was the biggest lead the game had seen up until then. Mark Brosnan might have got the goal to put them out of sight, but when he and Cronin added further points, they looked relatively safe anyway, four clear with a quarter of the game left.
Dylan Ward pulled one back for Roco, but Críost Rí might have been in for a goal again, only for Brosnan’s pass to put Cronin through to be deemed illegal. In the next play, Cian Denn had a sight of goal for Rochestown but Barry Cripps’ heroic block denied him.
That was emblematic of Críost Rí’s desire not to allow a green flag and for the remaining seven points Roco could only muster a Holland free. Ward had a quarter-chance at the death but he fired across goal and Críost Rí prevailed.
Tralee CBS will be the semi-final opponents, on Saturday, February 4.
“The target for our lads was that we haven’t played in a semi-final or a final for a few years,” Kerrigan said. “We wanted to make sure that they played on a weekend for the school. We won’t fear anyone and I don’t think anyone will fear us. We spend a lot of the time working on ourselves, we have two weeks now to build it up.”
Scorers for Coláiste Chríost Rí: M Cronin (0-3, 1 free), C Myers Murray (0-2, frees), J Ryan, D Lucey M Brosnan (0-1 each).
Scorers for St Francis College: J Holland 0-3 (1 free), D Ward, C Russell, M McAuliffe (0-1 each).
COLÁISTE CHRÍOST RÍ: D Moran (St Finbarr’s); A McGowan (Nemo Rangers), B Cripps (Nemo Rangers), J Corcoran (Nemo Rangers); M Hitchmough (Shamrocks), P Cummins (St Michael’s), D Kelly (Douglas); J Ryan (Sliabh Rua), K Forde (Nemo Rangers); J Coughlan (Nemo Rangers), D Lucey (Mayfield), J O’Brien (St Finbarr’s); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), M Brosnan (Carrigaline), C Myers Murray (St Finbarr’s).
Subs: R Dalton (Nemo Rangers) for Forde (30, injured), J O’Brien (Nemo Rangers) for Coughlan (58).
ST FRANCIS COLLEGE: D O’Keeffe (Douglas); E Riordan (Carrigaline), R Ó Colmáin (St Michael’s), N Walsh (Douglas); D Corkery (St Michael’s), D Ward (Douglas), J Golden (St Michael’s); J Lyons (Nemo Rangers), C Denn (St Michael’s); D Andrews (Shamrocks); M McAuliffe (Douglas), L Grainger (St Michael’s); J Holland (Douglas), C Russell (Douglas), C O’Mahony (Douglas)
Subs: A Hennessy (St Michael’s) for Golden (27, injured), S Hilliard (Cobh) for Corkery (half-time), D Cormack (St Michael’s) for Andrews (45, injured), B Powter (Douglas) for Denn (57).
Referee: M Meade (Limerick)
When – Wednesday January 18th at 1:30pm
Where – Church Road, Blackrock
Referee – Mike Meade (Limerick)
Next Round – The winners will play the winners of Tralee CBS and IS Killorglin in the Semi-Final on Saturday February 4th.
Adults – €5
Students / OAP’s – €3
Results to Date
Colaiste Chriost Rí
Group B Round 1 – Colaiste Chriost Ri 0-22 Clonakilty Community College 1-4
Group B Round 2 – Colaiste Chriost Ri 3-12 Mercy Mounthawk 0-10
Group B Round 3 – Colaiste Chriost Ri 2-9 Clonmel High School 0-6
St Francis College Rochestown
Group A Round 1 – St. Francis College Rochestown 2-13 Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig 2-11
Group A Round 2 – St. Francis College Rochestown 3-10 Tralee CBS 1-16
Group A Round 3 – St. Francis College Rochestown 1-12 Coláiste na Sceilge 2-8
The meeting of Cork schools Colaiste Chriost Rí and St Francis College Rochestown in Church Road Blackrock is the only Quarter-Final game between two undefeated teams. Rochestown secured victories over Coláiste Choilm Ballincollig, Tralee CBS and Coláiste na Sceilge but only by an aggregate margin of six points showing the competitive nature of their games. Rochestown will look to progress to the semi-finals for the third consecutive year having lost out in the 2015 final to P.S Chorcha Dhuibhne and the 2016 semi-final to Clonmel High School.
Colaiste Chriost Rí are 15 times winners of this competition, the last success coming in 2011. Their march to the Quarter-Finals are much more straight-forward as they accounted for Clonakilty Community College, Mercy Mounthawk and Clonmel High School by an aggregate 35 points. This pales in comparison to the last two seasons where they failed to progress from the Group stages, finishing bottom in their respective groups in both seasons. The influx of young talent from the side which captured last season’s Frewen Cup (U16.5 A Football) has boosted the current side and they will look to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time since 2013.
Mike Meade (Limerick) will referee this game on Wednesday with a 1:30pm throw-in.