Glory at last for Corca Dhuibhne

They have lived in the shadows of other Kerry football schools in previous seasons, but yesterday was a golden afternoon for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne as they claimed their first Corn Uí Mhuirí title.

The Dingle based school atoned for their final defeat by Coláiste Chríost Rí 12 months ago with a formidable first-half display, backed by a fierce breeze, which laid the foundations for their ultimate triumph. De La Salle (Macroom) fought back strongly in the second-half and were only three points adrift with six minutes remaining. But Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne closed out the game impressively as they struck 1-2 without reply. Shane Ó hUallacháin’s late goal copperfastened their victory and consigned De La Salle to a second final loss in three years.

“It’s a massive win for the school,” enthused Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne manager John Flannery. “We are now preparing for an All-Ireland semi-final and when I was in school my group never actually got to that stage. There were a few B All-Irelands alright and the next step was to try and win a Corn Uí Mhuirí. We have been trying hard to win this for almost 10 years. It’s a huge achievement and we are delighted.”

Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne warmed to their task from the start and settled into a style of flowing football. That was reflected in the four points they chalked up without reply in the opening seven minutes as Dara Ó Sé, Jack Ó Súilleabháin, Shane Ó hUallacháin and Tomás Ó Ciobháin scored classy points.

With Pádraig Ó Sé orchestrating play from his centre-back berth, feeding his attack with assured passes, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne were in a strong position. The control exerted by Barra Ó Súilleabháin and particularly Éanna Ó Conchúir at midfield was also instrumental to their dominance.

De La Salle battled away and were rewarded by a pair of great points from captain Daniel Twomey which helped calm their challenge. By the 16th minute they were only trailing by 0-4 to 0-2, but Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne resumed control before the interval with Brian Ó Raoill crashing the ball to the net in the 18th minute after Éanna Ó Conchúir palmed down a high cross by Tomás Ó Ciobháin. The impetus from that strike was maintained courtesy of sublime points from Ó Ciobháin and Jack Ó Súilleabháin, and while Cathal Vaughan burst forward to fire over off his left, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne headed for the dressing-rooms at half-time in buoyant fashion with a 1-7 to 0-3 lead.

De La Salle’s task was extremely difficult as they faced into the second-half. But they approached it an admirable manner. Full-back Darren Kelly anchored their challenge superbly, centre-back Sean O’Leary began to make several incisive runs forward, while Vaughan and Peter Kelleher began to get their hands on primary possession around the middle third.

The comeback was initiated by John Murphy, who fisted over a neat point, then James Moynihan lofted over from the wing and Kelly capped a brilliant run forward with a stunning point from distance. When Pa Lucey curled over a free in the 44th minute, De La Salle were behind 1-7 to 0-7 with a quarter of an hour still to play.

But errant shooting cost De La Salle as they attempted to make further inroads into Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne’s advantage. Despite having the wind at their backs, they only managed to notch one point in the last quarter. That was largely down to the improved defending of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne with Tomás Ó Súilleabháin and Pádraig Ó Sé helping soak up the pressure to ensure Gavin Ó Curráin’s goal was never threatened.

They managed to successfully break out of defence in the closing stages with a superb run by substitute Tomás Ó Sé in the 59th minute paving the way for Ó hUallacháin to finish expertly to the net. That was the clinching score and ensured Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne become the fifth Kerry school to inscribe their name on the Corn Uí Mhuirí roll of honour.

Scorers for Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: S Ó hUallacháin 1-1, D Ó Sé 0-4 (3fs), B Ó Raoill 1-0, T Ó Ciobháin, J Ó Súilleabháin 0-2 each, T Ó Súilleabháin 0-1.

Scorers for De La Salle (Macroom): D Twomey 0-2, C Vaughan, J Murphy, J Moynihan, D Kelly, P Lucey (f), P Kelleher 0-1 each.

PS CHORCA DHUIBHNE: G Ó Curráin (Dingle); P Ó Conchúir (Dingle), C Ó Luing (An Ghaeltacht), T Ó Súilleabháin (Dingle); P Ó Dubháin (Dingle), P Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), M Ó Flatharta (Dingle); B Ó Súilleabháin (Dingle), E Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht); B Ó Raoill (Lispole), D Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), J Ó Súilleabháin (Dingle); S Ó hUallacháin (An Ghaeltacht), T Ó Ciobháin (Lispole), M Ó Flannúra (Dingle).

Subs: T Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht) for B Ó Súilleabháin (41), C Ó Bambaire (Dingle) for Ó Flannúra (60), M S Ó Grifin (Lispole) for Ó hUallacháin (60), D Ó Súilleabháin (Lispole) for Ó Raoill (60).

DE LA SALLE (MACROOM): D Dineen (Macroom); S Kelleher (Aghinagh), D Kelly (Macroom), K Manning (Iveleary); S O’Sullivan (Aghabullogue), S O’Leary (Iveleary), F Buck (Kilmichael); P Kelleher (Kilmichael), C Vaughan (Iveleary); P Berhanu (Kilmurry), J Moynihan (Canovee), P Lucey (Macroom); J Murphy (Macroom), D Twomey (Kilmichael), D Horgan (Macroom).

Subs: B O’Leary (Iveleary) for Berhanu (38).

Referee: Michael Meade (Limerick).

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