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Tralee CBS denied Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final place after Clonakilty CC strike for late winning goal
Report by Jimmy Darcy for the Kerryman
Clonakilty CC 2-9 Tralee CBS 0-13
The prospect of an all-Tralee Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-final between Mounthawk Park and Tralee CBS has been scuppered after the latter school were beaten by a late Clonakilty Community College goal in the delayed Group A game in Ballyvourney this afternoon.
With one place remaining in the late of the competition, the meeting between Tralee CBS and Clonakilty CC was a winner-takes-all game, with the winner going through as Group A winner and the loser going out of the competition.
In the end, the west Cork school pulled off a late comeback and snatching victory to go through to a quarter-final against Mercy Mounthawk. As hard as the defeat will be for Tralee CBS, just as much will be the fact that they were the better footballing side in Ballyvpourney, but they simply left too many scoring chances after them in the third quarter, leaving them vulnerable to that late goal by Clonakilty.
Tralee made a great start, Darragh Cunnane laying off for Seán McElligott for the opening score and Ben Hanafin added another after a good run and finish. Clonakilty came straight down the field and Fergal Murphy exchanged a clever one-two with Olan O’Donovan before finishing neatly to the net from close range.
Darragh Cunnane replied with a nice point. Colm Browne took a great mark off the kick-out and Jerh Brosnan put Tralee back in front, 0-4 to 1-0. A pin-point pass by Brosnan saw Adam McDonagh fire over.
Cork minor Olan O’Donovan was looking dangerous, and he had an effort blocked down for a ‘45’ that Darragh Gough sent into Timothy Cullinane for a superb score. Luke Rochford replied neatly for Tralee, but they had a real let-off a minute later when Olan O’Donovan ghosted past the defence but was denied by a world class save from point blank range by Seán Collins.
Tralee CBS were playing much better football overall, doing especially well on Clonakilty’s kick-outs, but there was a definite sense of vulnerability around their own goal.
Liam Óg O’Connor was narrowly wide with two long range efforts but a great steal by Enda Cahill led to Adam McDonagh stretching Tralee’s lead. Jerh. Brosnan cleverly worked his way in for another. Olan O’Donovan replied with a free after Darragh Gough was fouled, but Seán McElligott had the last say of the first half for Tralee, who would have been well pleased to go to the interval with a four-point lead, 0-9 to 1-2.
At the start of the second half Timothy Cullinane pointed a beauty for Clonakilty but Ben Hanafin replied, and a good intercept by Seán McElligott saw Jerh Brosnan add another. Darragh Gough kept Clonakilty in touch with a free, 0-11 to 1-4.
Tralee had several chances to extend their lead, but were maybe a bit two ambitious in their shooting. The only score they got was when the goalkeeper fisted away a high ball and Ben Hanafin volleyed it over the bar. Cunnane also had another goal effort taken by the goalkeeper – he might have been better off to take the point on offer.
Clonakilty were mostly living off scraps but doing well with them, with Philip Flynn and Timothy Cullinane both taking good points. Just a goal between them now, 0-12 to 1-6, and the margin got even tighter when Olan O’Donovan swung over.
Then disaster struck. Olan O’Donovan cleverly read a short kick-out and intercepted, and Fergal Murphy was in for his second goal before Tralee CBS could react. Clonakilty were suddenly in front against all the odds, and they weren’t going to let an opportunity like this go. Darragh Gough put them two in front.
Ben Hanafin brought the margin back to one, and Tralee CBS were still in with a great chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages if they could just find an equaliser. Alas, it just wasn’t to be, with Joseph Bailey winning a crucial free and Olan O’Donovan slotting over to put Clonakilty through and leave Tralee’s hopes in ashes. A tough one to take for a very good team; their journey didn’t deserve to end this way.
TRALEE CBS: Seán Collins, Jack O’Donoghue, Ben Donnellan, Nathan Rogers, Jake Foley, Ciarán White, Colm Browne, Seán McElligott (0-2), Liam Óg O’Connor, Ben Hanafin (0-4), Jerh Brosnan (0-3), Enda Cahill, Adam McDonagh (0-2), Darragh Cunnane (0-1), Luke Rochford (0-1)
Subs: Maurice Lenihan for Liam Óg O’Connor (46 mins), Andrew Kerins for Enda Cahill (46 mins), Diarmuid Gavin for Luke Rochford (53 mins).
CLONAKILTY CC: Tadhg O’Neill, Diarmuid McCarthy, Dan Twomey, Shane O’Regan, Seán Bailey, Fionn McCarthy, Cilllian Twohig, Jim Twomey, Aaron Cullinane, Fergal Murphy (2-0), Timothy Cullinane (0-3), Tomás Ó Buachalla, Philip Flynn (0-1), Darragh Gough (0-2, 1f), Philip Flynn, Olan O’Donovan 0-3 (2f). Subs: Joseph Bailey for Tomás Ó Buachalla (42 mins), Eamonn Hodnett for Fionn McCarhy (42 mins), Tomás Ó Buachalla for Fergal Murphy (58 mins).
Referee: Brendan Barry Murphy (Aghabullogue)
Corn Ui Mhuiri (Munster U-19 ‘A’ Football) quarter-finals
A – St. Francis College Rochestown v St. Flannans
B – CSN Bishopstown v Skibbereen CS
C – St. Brendans Killarney v Hamilton High School Bandon
D – Clonakilty v Mercy Mounthawk Tralee
Quarter-finals – Wednesday, January 18
Semi-finals – Saturday, January 28
Final – Saturday February 11