The success ensures they will top the group, whereas Críost Rí must now prepare for a showdown with Coláiste Spioraid Naoimh to decide who claims the second quarter-final berth.
The powerful burst De La Salle made for the finishing line succeeded in settling this clash as they outscored their opponents 1-6 to 0-1 in the closing 11 minutes. The key score came in the 54th minute when corner-forward David Horgan knocked the ball to the net after DanielTwomey’s blistering drive had been parried by goalkeeper Colm Keane.
It was fitting that both Horgan and Twomey were involved in De La Salle’s crucial strike as they were instrumental overall in tipping the balance their way, registering 1-8 between them from play. Horgan whipped over a few great points while Twomey was a constant threat at full-forward with his pace and trickery frequently carving open the Críost Rí rearguard.
Indeed it was the problems that Twomey posed in the first-half that forced Críost Rí to withdraw midfielder Alan Nolan to the full-back position for the second-half. Nolan was a driving force in the opening period but, after the break, both Peter Kelleher and Cork minor Cathal Vaughan grew in stature in that sector.
Críost Rí, who had to play against the fierce wind in the second-half, ultimately succumbed to the strong pressure they were under in the closing stages. Until that juncture they had been playing impressive football as they overcame the loss through injury of midfielder Paul Fitzgerald and were assisted by a magnificent attacking display by centre-forward Conor Horgan. The Nemo Rangers played scored 0-10, 0-8 from placed balls.
The impact of Horgan succeeded in helping Críost Rí atone for a sluggish start to the game when they had trailed 0-4 to 0-1 by the seventh minute. They reeled off six points in succession after that, Horgan notching a quartet of those scores, while David Scannell and Alan Nolan also fired over wonderful points. Trailing 0-7 to 0-4 with nine minutes remaining in the half, De La Salle managed to regain a foothold and stemmed the volume of scores they were leaking.
At the interval the deficit was manageable for De La Salle as they trailed 0-8 to 0-6, but despite turning to play with the wind at their backs, it was Críost Rí who stayed in the ascendancy early in the second-half. With Enda Dennehy and Stephen Cronin anchoring their defence, and Horgan continuing to pop frees over the bar, Críost Rí maintained their position of control on the scoreboard.
De La Salle’s shooting had been erratic for long stages — they amassed 13 wides over the hour- yet they improved the accuracy of their kicking entering the final quarter. The outstanding Twomey tied the teams at 0-12 apiece in the 52nd minute before Darren Kelly nudged them into the lead moments later.
Then came the Horgan goal and De La Salle, who had prominent defensive displays from Robbie O’Dwyer and James Moynihan, finished splendidly with a string of points.
Scorers for De La Salle (Macroom): D Horgan 1-3, D Twomey 0-5, C Vaughan (0-2f), J Murphy 0-2 each, P Lucey (0-1f), J Moynihan, D Kelly 0-1.
Scorers for Coláiste Chríost Rí: C Horgan 0-10 (0-8f), E Dennehy, D Scannell, A Nolan 0-1 each.
DE LA SALLE (MACROOM): D Dineen (Macroom); S Kelleher (Aghinagh), R O’Dwyer (Macroom), K Manning (Iveleary); J Moynihan (Canovee), S O’Leary (Iveleary), F Buckley (Kilmichael); P Kelleher (Kilmichael), C Vaughan (Iveleary); P Lucey (Macroom), S O’Sullivan (Aghinagh), D Kelly (Macroom); J Murphy (Macroom), D Twomey (Kilmichael), D Horgan (Macroom).
Subs: P Berhanu (Kilmurry) for Lucey (inj) (37), M Cronin (Macroom) for Murphy (58).
COLÁISTE CHRÍOST RÍ: C Keane (St Finbarr’s); I Lucey (Douglas), J Daly (Nemo Rangers), D O’Neill (Nemo Rangers); E Dennehy (St Finbarr’s), S Cronin (Nemo Rangers), P Kelleher (St Finbarr’s); A Nolan (St Michael’s), E Smith (St Michael’s); G Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), C Horgan (Nemo Rangers), D Scannell (St Finbarr’s); R Haines (St Finbarr’s), B Madden (Nemo Rangers), P Kerins (St Finbarr’s).
Subs: TJ Murphy (Sliabh Rua) for Daly (25), L Corry (Sliabh Rua) for Haines (half-time), E Compagno (Nemo Rangers) for Joyce (53), C Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Smith (55).
Referee: Michael Collins (Clonakilty).