By Mortimer Murphy
Champions PS Chorca Dhuibhne began their Corn Uí Mhuirí title defence with a power-packed display against Skibbereen at Kenmare this afternoon.
The Chorca Dhuibhne outfit, managed by former Kerry boss Éamonn Fitzmaurice and current selector Tommy Griffin, were on top from the start with a team that included a host of Paul McGirr and Hogan Cup winners plus seven of Peter Keane’s All-Ireland winning side.
Skibbereen got the opening score with a point by Jamie Shanahan, but Chorca Dhuibhne’s’s response was immediate and deadly, Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaíoch cut in from the sideline before setting up Dylan Ó Geibheannaigh for a clinical goal.
When Deividas Uosis added a quick point for the West Kerry side, things looked ominous for Skibb, but they rallied to add 1-2 in a four-minute spell.
The impressive Elliot Connolly nabbed 1-1 and another superb point from Gavin Foley edged them into a 1-3 to 1-1 lead. But Chorca Dhuibhne settled and began to cut through the Skibbereen defence at will, scoring points through Dylan Ó Geibheannaigh, Cathal Ó Beaglaíoch, Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaíoch, Deividas Uosis, and a cracking goal by midfielder Tomas Ó Dubháin for a 2-6 to 1-3 lead after 15 minutes.
Sam Burchill and Connolly pulled points back for Skibbereen but Chorca Dhuibhne closed out the half strongly through Tomas Ó Dubháin and man-of-the-match Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaíoch to lead by 2-10 to 1-5 at the interval.
Connolly got an early Skibbereen point but Chorca Dhuibhne immediately re-asserted their superiority with a combination of superb defending from Coilín Ó Muircheartaigh, Gearoid Ó Leidhinn, and Stiofáin Ó Conchúir.
Then Cathal Ó Beaglaíoch came out to help dominate midfield, while Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaíoch and Dylan Ó Geibheannaigh exploited the space inside to plunder some top quality scores as they recorded a 14 points win.
Scorers for PS Chorca Dhuibhne: D Ó Geibheannaigh (1-5), R Ó Beaglaíoch (0-7, 1f), T Ó Dubháin (1-1), Deividas Uosis ( 0-3, 2 frees) C Ó Beaglaíoch and C Ó Catháin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Skibbereen CS: E Connolly (1-3, 2f), S Burchill, G Foley, J Shanahan, and A Whelton (0-1 each)
POBALSCOIL CHORCA DHUIBHNE: G Mac Carthaigh; C Ó Flannúra, C Ó Muircheartaigh, S Ó Loinsigh, P Ó Cathaláin, G Leidhinn, S Ó Conchúir, T Ó Dubháin, S Óg Ó Moráin, C Ó Catháin, C Failbhe, Deividas Uosis, D Ó Geibheannaigh, Cathal Ó Beaglaíoch, Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaíoch.
Subs: M Ó Mainnín (for T Ó Dubháin (54), C Ó Riagáin for P Ó Cathaláin (54), S Ó Brosnocháin for S Ó Loinsigh (56), T Ó Sé for R Ó Beaglaíoch (56), D. Ó Illiard for D Ó Geibheannaigh (56), R Ó Suilleabháin for S Óg Ó Moráin (56)
SKIBBEREEN COMMUNITY SCHOOL: R Courtney; M McCarthy, S Burchill, L Browne: S Bohane, J Collins, R Minihane; D Hegarty, J Shanahan; D Daly, G Foley, A O’Sullivan, K O’Donovan, A Whelton, E Connolly.
Subs: E O’Neill for R. Minihane (half-time), Dylan Murray for G Foley (39), C O’Neill for M McCarthy (39), P Burke for D Hegarty (45), L Connolly for K O’Donovan (58), and M Sheehy for A O’Sullivan (58).
Referee: J. Hickson (Kerry)