Powerhouse O’Donnell blasts Flannan’s to impressive victory

ST FLANNAN’S caused one of the first shocks in this year’s Corn Uí Mhuirí at Newcastlewest yesterday where they saw off the challenge of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in a keenly contested first-round tie.

The Ennis College had corner forward PG O’Donnell to thank for their victory. Standing at 6’3’’, he tormented the Dingle defence all afternoon with his physical strength and reach, and finished the game as his side’s top scorer with 1-6.

While he did the bulk of the scoring, Flannan’s were also grateful to goalkeeper Tony Kelly, who made a number of magnificent saves, particularly in the second half when Dingle pressed strongly.

Kelly who won’t be 15 years old until December, was brilliant between the posts and on three occasions he denied the Dingle forwards certain goals, one a wonder save with 10 minutes to go, to prevent Pól Ó Greanaí from five metres out.

Flannan’s played with wind advantage in the opening half and went about building a substantial lead from the throw in. Aaron Considine and Stephen Collins gave them control at midfield, and with the towering figures of O’Donnell and team captain Sean Crotty sparkling in attack, the scores began to flow.

O’Donnell’s excellent free taking helped Flannan’s into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after 10 minutes before Dingle won a penalty three minutes later, but Pól Ó Greanaí went for power and his effort thundered off the crossbar before being cleared.

It was a huge blow to the Kerry side and Flannan’s took full advantage. Playing excellent inter-passing football, they laid siege to the Dingle goal and O’Donnell added two more points before Darren Malone set up Sean Crotty for a cracking goal, which helped the Ennis college to a half-time lead of 1-7 to 0-2.

Dingle were expected to do well on the changeover but it was Flannan’s who scored first, a point from the excellent Steven Collins. However the wind was an advantage and when Ó Greanaí was fouled going through, he made no mistake with a second penalty.

For the next 10 minutes Dingle pinned Flannan’s in their own half but couldn’t find a way past outstanding goalkeeper Kelly, and when O’Donnell won the jump for possession with Dingle full back Eoin Ó Grifin, he billowed the net to put his side six points clear as the fourth quarter dawned.

Back came Dingle and a superb double save by Tony Kelly denied them a goal. The incessant pressure yielded four points in a row, but they needed a second goal if they were to turn the game around.

Goalkeeper Kelly continued to thwart the Dingle forwards with a string of great saves, and at the final whistle Flannan’s were deserving winners.

Scorers — St Flannan’s: PG O’Donnell 1-6 (0-5 frees); S. Crotty 1-0; D. Malone, D. Smyth, S. Collins 0-1 each.

Chorca Dhuibhne: P. Geaney 1-4 (1-0 pen., 0-3 frees); D. O Suilleabhain 0-2; C. O Ceallachain 0-1.

ST FLANNAN’S: T. Kelly; K,. Ryan, E. Malone, E. Fitzgerald; C. Russell, S. Doohan, D. Sexton; A. Considine, S. Collins; D. Smyth, F. Ryan, C. Duggan; PG O’Donnell, S. Crotty, D. Malone.

Subs: S. O’Connor for Doohan (44th); D. Deloughery for O’Connor; G. Colleran for Sexton.

CHORCA DHUIBHNE: S. O Flatharta; L. O Flannura, E. O Grifin, A. O Dubhain; C. O Gealbhain, C. O Fiannachta, M. O Flatharta; D. O Suilleabhain, T. O Caomhanaigh; G. Durrant, C. O Conchuir, P. O Murchu; C. O Culleachar, P. O Greanai, C. O Suilleabhain.

Subs: M. O Grifin for C. O Suilleabhain; G O Caomhanaigh for Durrant; C. O Conchuir for O Gealbhain.

Referee: S. Hourigan (Rathkeale).

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