Moved to midfield midway through the first-half to try and break the stranglehold of St Brendan’s Mike O’Donoghue, O’Sullivan gave an exhibition of point scoring as the city side booked their place in the semi-final against Intermediate School Killorglin in 10 days time. Críost Rí had excellent defenders in goalkeeper Denis O’Sullivan, Chris Murphy, Ray Keating and Jonathan Lane while, up front, Peter McCabe, and David Coughlan did well.
It was no fault of keeper Colin Myers, Luke Quinn, Brian Looney and Kieran O’Leary that St Brendan’s failed to make it an all Kerry semi-final. Despite monopolising first-half possession, Críost Rí were obsessed with shooting for goals and a combination of superb goalkeeping by Colin Myers and dreadful finishing cost them scores. In contrast, Brendan’s made maximum use of limited possession to lead 0-3 to no score after 10 minutes with the highly talented Brian Looney, Michael O’Donoghue and Kieran O’Leary pointing.
Críost Rí struggled y at midfield but the switch of O’Sullivan worked well and, after Peter McCabe knocked over two points in a row, the Cork side’s persistence paid off. McCabe was denied a certain goal with a leg block by corner-back Padraig Sheehan and, with the resultant penalty, Ray Keating sent Brendan’s keeper the wrong way to tie the game for the first time after 25 minutes.
Jonathan O’Sullivan, with the first of his five points, edged Críost Rí in front 1-3 to 0-5 at the interval.
The second half developed into a great struggle. The sides were level four more times as the highly impressive Brian Looney and Kieran O’Leary swopped points with Roy Leahy and O’Sullivan.
With 10 minutes to go, the sides were deadlocked 1-7 to 0-10, but then Críost Rí hit a purple patch. Jonathan O’Sullivan kicked four glorious points on the run to put his side in the clear.
Críost Rí: J. O’Sullivan 0-5; R. Keating 1-0; R. Leahy 0-3 (0-2 frees); P. McCabe 0-2 (0-1 free); E. O’Sullivan, E. Hegarty 0-1 each. St. Brendan’s: M. O’Donoghue, K. O’Leary 0-3 each; N. O’Mahony, B. Looney 0-2 each; J. Falvey, M. O’Grady 0-1 each.
D. O’Sullivan, G. O’Shea, C. Murphy, C. O’Brien; M. O’Leary, R. Keating, J. Lane; F. Lynch, E. O’Sullivan; R. Leahy, P. Kerrigan, P. McCabe; D. Coughlan, J. O’Sullivan, E. Hegarty. Sub: R. O’Keeffe for M. O’Leary.
C. Myers; P. Sheehan, L. Quinn, K. Foley; L. Austin, K. Murphy, K. Clifford; M. O’Donoghue, J. O’Sullivan; B. Looney, A. Kenneally, N. O’Mahony; K. O’Leary, M. O’Grady, J. Falvey. Subs: M. Moloney for Austin; K. O’Grady for Kenneally.
M. Meade (Ballylanders).