Flannan’s aiming to keep double dream alive with win over Tralee

WITH their hurlers safely through to the Harty Cup final, St. Flannan’s bid to get their footballers through to the Corn Uí Mhuirí decider when they take on Tralee CBS in the semi-final at Glin tomorrow (2.30pm).

The game is a repeat of the Round Robin clash won by the Kerry school 3-16 to 3-7.

So far the double has eluded St. Flannan’s. Only Colaiste Chriost Rí in 1968 and Coláiste Iognaid Ris in 1975 have won both in the one year.

Many expected St. Brendan’s to provide the opposition for the Green in the semi-final, but Flannan’s produced a superb display to deny the Sem, and Tralee wouldn’t want to take anything for granted against the Ennis College.

Team selector Billy Duggan is confident his charges can give another good account of themselves. “We weren’t quite ready when we last met but a lot of work has been done since and there is an air of confidence in the camp that we can turn the tables.

“Our preparations have gone well and if we play to our potential I would be confident of getting a result. We have four Clare minors in Shane Ryan, Enda Lyons, Declan Clancy and Stephen O’Regan, along with Colm Madden, Stephen Hickey and Darragh Stack. The chances of playing in both Munster colleges finals in the one year don’t come around too often, and I’m expecting our lads to make a fierce effort to get to the decider.”

Tralee CBS have been shaping as potential champions all season and their quarter-final win over Criost Rí confirmed that view.

The introduction of David Moran after 20 minutes turned the game. Moran was playing his first game since last October and it looked as if he had never been away, scoring 2-1 as Tralee cruised to victory. Team mentor Eamon Walsh is a little concerned about the favourites tag. “Flannan’s finished very strongly in our last outing and we’ll be taking nothing for granted. They are physically a very big team and play good football. It’s not going to be as easy as people think. Our display against Criost Rí was, possibly, our best of the season. A repeat of that performance would go a long way towards winning tomorrow.”

The other semi is an all Cork affair between surprise packets DLS Macroom and St. Fachtnas (Skibbereen) in Dunmanway at the same time.

Macroom have been putting their team together over the last two years, winning the Cork Colleges “A” U-16 title two years in-a-row. Team official Eric Graham said the decision to have a go at the Corn Uí Mhuirí was the correct one. “This is our first year competing at this level for over 20 years and we have been riding our luck somewhat in all our games to date.

“We are going into the game with the attitude that it’s a 50/50 game. The last time we met we were fortunate to win by a point. There has been a lot of football played since and Fachtnas will be very difficult to beat.”

The Skibbereen side have no injury worries and, according to coach Colman O’Driscoll, are looking forward to getting one back on the Macroom boys. “They beat us in the preliminary round by a point, and while that will have no bearing on tomorrow’s semi-final, we know we are up against a very good side who have a number of good players.”

Fachtnas have three Corn Ui Mhuirí titles to their credit, the last won in 1991 the year they went all the way to win the All-Ireland. Tomorrow’s team will include Colm O’Driscoll and Conor O’Driscoll, both Cork minors in 2005 and eligible again this year, Mark Cahalane, Stephen Hurley, Aaron O’Regan and Colin Crowley.

St. Fachtnas will have to pull out all the stops to beat a very solid Macroom team, with a number of excellent players in Mathew McDonagh, James Ambrose and current Cork minors Sean Kiely and David Goulding.

To add a bit more spice to this fixture the Cork Colleges Simcox Cup title (sponsored by High Street Books) is also on the line.

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