Back in the Munster senior colleges’ competition this season for the first time in over half a century, Rochestown now have back-to-back victories after the first two rounds, following their narrow opening day win against St Flannan’s.
Yesterday’s result was rarely in doubt, Rochestown in complete control from the outset, though Killorglin’s cause was not helped by their bus breaking down en route to the game while also missing key man, midfielder Gary O’Sullivan.
And it was in that middle third where Rochestown lorded matters, with Jack Sommers and Shane McDonald in control, and the Cork school also snaffled up the majority of the breaks, centre-forward KevinHodgins, wing back David Meaney and centre-back Alan O’Donovan all standing out.
Bossing matters from the throw-in, Rochestown built up a 1-5 to 0-2 lead by half-time — Kevin Hodgins scoring a wonderful solo goal just 10 minutes in — but the Cork city side should have had the game wrapped up as they also hit eight wides in the opening period.
The Kerry college was just clinging on to Rochestown’s coat-tails and on the rare occasion they fed the ball to their inside line, Killorglin enjoyed no luck against a solid Rochestown full-back line, marshalled impressively by Ronan Whyte.
Killorglin’s full-forward line failed to score and the Kerry team just kicked 0-2 from play. After Hodgins’ superb goal, Cathal Cormac and Graham Sheehan added points for Rochestown — scores that came from Killorglin mistakes — before Niall O’Riordan got Killorglin off the mark after 22 minutes. But that wasn’t to be the first wave of a comeback, as Rochestown stretched their lead to 1-5 to 0-2 by half-time.
Two Nathan Breen frees inside the opening 10 minutes of the second-half breathed new life into the Killorglin challenge but then Rochestown upped it a gear, with David Meaney, Kevin Hogdins and Jack Sommers excelling. Outscoring Killorglin by eight points to one, the Cork side pulled away with impressive ease, only Devan O’Flaherty carrying the fight to Rochestown.
This victory leaves Rochestown in pole position in Group A, while St Flannan’s — who beat West Clare Colleges yesterday — and Intermediate School Killorglin both have one win apiece and meet in a crunch game in two weeks’ time.
Scorers for Rochestown College: K Hodgins 1-2, C Cormac 0-3, J Sommers 0-2fs, R Whyte, G Sheehan (f), C O’Brien, G Hartnett, A Ward, E Mooney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Intermediate Killorglin: N Breen 0-3fs, N O’Riordan, D O’Flaherty 0-1 each.
ROCHESTOWN COLLEGE: E Dolan; E O’Connor, R Whyte, D Barrett; D Meaney, A O’Donovan, K Flahive; J Sommers, S McDonald; G Sheehan, K Hodgins, C O’Brien; G Hartnett, C Cormac, A Ward.
Subs: E Mooney for G Sheehan (57), M Dolan for G Hartnett (59), S O’Malley for C O’Brien (60).
INTERMEDIATE KILLORGLIN: S Lillis; C Foley, P Lehane, S Roche; S Daly, S O’Sullivan, A Gamble; F Hallissey, N Breen; D O’Sullivan, N O’Riordan, D O’Flaherty; J O’Shea, S Kennedy, M McKenna.
Subs: L Carey for M McKenna (16), L Quirke for C Foley (ht), C O’Sullvan for D O’Sullivan (56), J Brosnan for J O’Shea (57).
Referee: D Cahill (Tipperary).