Battling Brendan’s edge Colman’s to get back in cup hunt

DEFENDING champions St Brendan’s are still in the race to retain their Corn Uí Mhuirí title, but only by the skin of their teeth.

At Carrigadrohid yesterday they stumbled past St Colman’s after a marvellous game. The result means St Fachtna’s now top the group and St Brendan’s are second.

The Killarney school came from four points down after 10 minutes, only to twice lose a five-point lead and were relieved to hear the final whistle as Colman’s searched for an equaliser.

St Brendan’s’ football was marginally better. Their slick inter-passing game got them out of trouble all afternoon and their second goal in the 22nd minute, worked from their own defence without a Colman’s player touching the ball, was a classic example of that.

St Brendan’s had a number of outstanding players. PJ Lawlor was a commanding full back; outside him Colm Tobin never pit a foot wrong, but it was in attack they really sparkled, with Gary O’Leary, Chris O’Leary, Tadhg Ryan and David O’Sullivan doing all the scoring. Better known for their hurling prowess, St Colman’s showed they can play football also, and in Liam Whelan, Sean Finn, Emmet Sheehan and David Pyne, had players well up to top standard.

After a few early let-offs, the Fermoy side began to play some excellent football and led 1-1 to 0-0 after 10 minutes, the goal coming from the boot of Darragh O’Carroll.

It took Brendan’s 12 minutes to open their account with a Tadhg Ryan point and they took over for the remainder of the half, playing the possession game to perfection.

They were level after 20 minutes, helped by an excellent goal from David O’Sullivan and when Chris O’Leary goaled after a great passing movement from their own defence, the defending champions went on to lead 2-3 to 1-3 at the break.

Two excellent points by the impressive Tadhg Ryan stretched The Sem’s lead early in the second half and they were looking good.

However, St Colman’s, inspired by the brilliance of Sean Finn at midfield, drew level at the three-quarter stage, thanks to an Emmet Sheehan goal.

The tension and excitement was palpable as both sides came in search of the winning scores, and when St Brendan’s went into a five-point lead for a second time, helped by a brilliant goal by David O’Sullivan, they looked to have finally killed off the St Colman’s challenge.

Again the Fermoy side refused to give up and after the brilliant Sean Finn landed a point, David Pyne threw the cat among the pigeons when he converted a penalty to leave a point between the sides with four minutes to go.

However, Brendan’s hung on grimly to take the spoils after a wonderful game played in tremendous spirit.

Scorers for St Brendan’s: D. O’Sullivan 2-1 (0-1 free); C. O’Leary 1-1; T. Ryan 0-4; G. O’Leary, J. Coffey 0-1 each.

St Colman’s: D. Pyne 1-4 (1-0 pen., 0-2 frees); D. O’Carroll, E. Sheehan 1-0 each; D. Curtin, L. Whelan, S. Finn 0-1 each.

ST BRENDAN’S: S. Murphy; C. O’Keeffe, PJ Lawlor, N. O’Connell; P. O’Keeffe, C. Tobin, T. Slattery; J. Coffey, S. Keane; G. O’Leary, C. O’Leary, T. Ryan; T. Moriarty, T. Maguire, D. O’Sullivan.

Subs: J. McCarthy for Keane (35th); K. O’Leary for Maguire (39th); J. Keane for O’Keeffe (48th).

ST COLMAN’S: S. Burke; J. Blackburn, B. Carroll, J. Magner; L. Whelan, S. O’Brien, G. Burke; S. Finn, D. O’Carroll; E. Sheehan, D. Curtin, H. O’Neill; R. Fenton, D. Pyne, JF O’Flynn.

Subs: J. Hurley for Curtin 20th); D. Tobin for Magner (half time); J. O’Sullivan for Tobin 33rd).

Referee: R. Moloney (Bruff).

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