O’Driscoll and Davis fire Fachtna’s into last eight

St Fachtna’s, Skibbereen 0-13 Coláiste na Sceilge 0-9

IT took a second-half tour-de-force before St Fachtna’s, Skibbereen guaranteed their place in the Corn Uí Mhuirí quarter-finals at the expense of Coláiste na Sceilge at the Rathmore GAA Grounds yesterday.

In this winner-take-all Group A duel — the victor joining St Brendan’s, Killarney in the last eight — St Fachtna’s held all the aces in the shape of the game’s two star players.

With powerful Cork minor Brian O’Driscoll a colossus at midfield and excellent centre-forward Kevin Davis easily the best attacker on show, tormenting Sceilge throughout, both players bagged 0-5 apiece.

Despite their flying start that saw St Fachtna’s race into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead, the Skibbereen school found themselves trailing 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time. They looked to be in trouble when early second-half scores from Darran O’Sullivan (free) and Denis Daly pushed Sceilge 0-8 to 0-5 ahead. But then Skibbereen took over, outscoring the Kerry school 0-8 to 0-1 in the rest of the half.

The comeback was kick-started by a strong run and point from Brian O’Driscoll, who bossed the midfield exchanges, with Sceilge living off scraps for long periods of the second-half.

Playing with the momentum, points from O’Driscoll and three-in-a-row from the impressive Davis saw St Fachtna’s move 0-10 to 0-8 clear with 10 minutes to go, before na Sceilge lifted the siege with a Denis Daly effort from distance.

By now Sceilge had moved full-forward Michael Keating back to act as a sweeper in an effort to break up the waves of St Fachtna’s attacks but it proved in vain, as O’Driscoll — despite picking up a heavy knock midway through the half — added two points, sandwiching a Mark O’Driscoll effort, as the Cork side booked their place in the quarter-finals.

It was what the Skibbereen outfit deserved as, bar the second quarter, when Sceilge thundered back into the game on the back of five points in a row to lead 0-6 to 0-4, St Fachtna’s made most of the running and looked solid at the back. Davis, Damien O’Brien, Timmy McCarthy and Brendan Hayes all threatened in attack, while Rob Hayes was denied a first-goal due to a reaction save from Sceilge keeper Damien Murphy.

Scorers for St Fachtna’s, Skibbereen: K Davis, B O’Driscoll (1f) 0-5 each, R Hayes, B Hayes, M O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

Coláiste na Sceilge: D Daly (2f), C O’Shea (2f) 0-3 each, D O’Sullivan 0-2f, M O’Donoghue 0-1.

ST FACHTNA’S, SKIBBEREEN: P Rossiter; D Kingston, B Nolan, R Fitzgerald; B Leonard, P O’Brien, S Horan; B O’Driscoll, P O’Shea; T McCarthy, K Davis, R Hayes; B Hayes, M O’Driscoll, D O’Brien.

Subs: C Newman for P O’Shea (22); D O’Callaghan for D Kingston (36); M Hurley for D O’Brien (41); P Hickey for B Hayes (60).

COLÁISTE NA SCEILGE: D Murphy; K Curran, O O’Mahony, R O’Shea; F Clifford, D Scanlon, J Lynch; K O’Driscoll, D O’Sullivan; S O’Sullivan, D Daly, C O’Leary; C O’Shea, M Keating, M O’Donoghue.

Subs: S O’Dwyer for C O’Leary (44); C Brennan for J Lynch (47).

Referee: Michael Meade (Limerick).

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