Doolan the driving-force as Brendan’s beat plucky Macroom

WHILE there was no disputing the better team won, the final scoreline in this Credit Union Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-final in Knocknagree yesterday is a bit hard on the defending champions.

The ability of the St. Brendan’s forwards to score goals was the principle difference between the sides but had James O’Leary scored from a penalty midway through the second half while playing with the aid of the strong wind, this game could have turned out very differently.

The miss – O’Leary blazed wide – came at a stage in the game when the defending champions were two goals down – 2-8 to 0-8 – but they had Brendan’s pinned in their own half, and had huge momentum going having kicked four points without reply.

It was a big let off for the Killarney side and they took full advantage when Damien O’Sullivan raced away before setting Jamie O’Donoghue up for a third goal two minutes later and there was no way back for Macroom.

When these two sides met in the opening round back in October 2006, Jamie Doolan almost single-handedly beat Macroom on his own scoring 1-8 out of 4-13. While he was never going to repeat that feat, he was again hugely influential.

Playing great football, he orchestrated matters in attack, spraying inch perfect passes to his colleagues who invariably finished with a score. While kicking only two points on this occasion, he did create the two goal chances which Ruairi Mangan finished to the net, and he will have a major say in the destination of this year’s title in the all Kerry final on March 18 next.

Apart from Doolan, Brendan’s had excellent players also in centre back Brian Russell, and forwards Jamie O’Donoghue who finished top scorer with 1-4, Cian Tobin, and Ruairi Mangan who took his goals in style and only an excellent save by Macroom keeper Dean Knight denied him his hat-trick.

Understandably Macroom were hugely disappointed at losing their title. They had gone into the game as no hopers after being on the wrong end of an 18-point defeat the last time the sides met, but proved more than a match for Brendan’s on this occasion and cannot be faulted for effort.

Mark Golden was outstanding at full back, Rory Buckley won the midfield battle for them while in attack, Conor O’Sullivan and Con Dunne gave the Brendan’s defence a torrid time.

However when all is said and done there is no substitute for class and the Killarney side had it in abundance. Their excellence on and off the ball was a joy to watch; their handling of the leather was another massive feature of their game while their ability to capitalise on the half chance earned them earned them several scores, on occasions against the run of play.

While Brendan’s played with the elements in the opening half it was Macroom who made the more positive start when James O’Leary rattled the upright from a free. However the wind was always going to be a factor and in a great passing movement down field involving Jamie Doolan and Andrew Cronin, the ball was played across the face of the Macroom goal for Ruairi Mangan to fist home.

Brendan’s needed a sizeable half time lead if they were to have any chance of dethroning the champions but Mangan’s second goal, created by Doolan, helped his side to a 2-6 to 0-4 lead at the interval. Significantly all the Macroom scores coming from the boot of midfielder James O’Leary, three of them from frees.

The champions threatened to make a match of it in the second half when they kicked four points in a row to reduce the deficit by half and it took Brendan’s until the 42nd minute to stop the rot with a Jamie O’Donoghue point.

Macroom’s use of the long ball won them a penalty in the 45th minute but O’Leary wasted it by shooting wide and when Jamie O’Donoghue finished a great run by Damien O’Sullivan to the net, it was game, set and match for St. Brendan’s.

Scorers: St. Brendan’s: J. O’Donoghue 1-4 (0-2 frees, 0-1 45); R. Mangan 2-0; C. Tobin, J. Doolan 0-2 each; K. Breen, D. O’Sullivan 0-1 each. Macroom: J. O’Leary 0-5 (0-4 frees); R. Buckley, C. Dunne (frees) 0-2 each; P. Dineen, I. Casey 0-1 each.

St. Brendan’s: B. Kelly; F. Fitzgerald, D. O’Leary, J. O’Mahony; J. Lynch, B. Russell, D. O’Sullivan; K. Regan, K. Breen; J. O’Donoghue, P. O’Connor, D. Brosnan; C. Tobin, R. Mangan, J. Doolan.

Subs: J. Bartlett for Fitzgerald; P. O’Connor for Mangan; D. Twomey for Tobin.

DLS MACROOM: D. Knight; G. O’Riordan, M. Golden, I. Casey; D. Murphy, B. Healy, G. Angland; R. Buckley, J. O’Leary; C. O’Sullivan, A. Cronin, D. O’Riordan; P. Dineen, S. Casey, C. Dunne. Sub; I. Wiseman for O’Riordan.

Referee: D. O’Mahony (Tipperary).

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd