St. Brendan’s face tough test in battle for cup survival

FOR the second year in a row, St. Brendan’s College, Killarney are on the brink of failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Irish Examiner Corn Uí Mhuirí.

Tomorrow they must beat Coláiste Choilm (Ballincollig) to stay in the championship a tough ask given the Cork college's record against them in recent years.

In 2000 they were involved in an enthralling Moran Cup final which produced eight goals, while in the 2002 Frewen Cup final, the Ballincollig side emerged winners after another marvellous.

Coláiste Choilm will field the bulk of that team, including include Daniel Goulding, Shane McCarthy and Niall Horgan who were county minors this year.

It should give them the edge, but when the chips are down Brendan's are capable of producing a performance which could yet see them survive.

It's also D Day for St. Fachtnas tomorrow. Already beaten by Críost Rí, a second defeat at the hands of Douglas Community School and their interest will be over.

The Skibb side defeated Douglas in last year's junior final and with both teams likely to include most of those players, the West Cork college will be favourites to keep their hopes alive.

Poor shooting cost Fachtna's a win over Críost Rí in their opening game. They held a four point lead at half-time but paid a heavy price for kicking 11 wides and at they finished five points adrift.

Fachtna's strenght lies in their half backline and midfield. Damien O'Neill is a superb centre back at this level, while Brian Dwyer and Shane Crowley will trouble most midfielders.

Douglas are playing in this r grade for only their second year and reached the knock out stages in 2003. Their team will include two county minors, Eoin Cadogan and Stephen Bermingham, along with Mark O'Callaghan, Alan Barry and Stephen Moylan.

The city side have a huge incentive because if they win they will qualify for the last eight irrespective of how they fare in their final game against Críost Rí.

Following their shock but thoroughly deserved victory over Tralee CBS in their opening game, Dingle will be favourites to pick up their second brace of points and claim a place in the knock out stages, when they clash with ISK in Austin Stack Park (note time change, 1.30 p.m.)

The Killorglin side are an unknown quantity as this is their opening game, but they will have to play well to deny Dingle, who will again look to Cathal Ó Suilleabháin, Jason Ó Mhurchú, Eoin MacGearailt and Marc Evans to keep them involved after Christmas.

Those involved in the promotion of football in Limerick will have more than a passing interest is the meeting of City Colleges and South Colleges at Caherconlish tomorrow.

It's a first ever outing for South Limerick while the city side are into their second year. They didn't win a game last season but raised a few eyebrows by defeating St. Flannans in their opening match this year.

A win or a draw tomorrow would be sufficient to see them into the last eight.

Defending champions St. Colman's put their Dean Ryan Cup title on the line when they play Scarriff in the second semi-final at Claughaun tomorrow with St. Flannans awaiting the winners in the final.

The Clare college edged out Nenagh CBS in a thriller in the quarter-final thanks to a late Shane O'Rourke point.

However, Colman's looked a class act in disposing of Midleton CBS in their previous outing when Adrian Mannix chalked up 1-10.

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