The Killarney football side were rarely troubled in launching their Corn Uí Mhuirí campaign yesterday afternoon, a five-point advantage constructed inside the opening quarter laying the foundation for a comprehensive win.
Featuring six players who lined out in last spring’s semi-final defeat to St Francis’ College, Rochestown, the winners had excellent performances across the field. Kerry All-Ireland minor-winning goalkeeper Billy Courtney enjoyed a fine hour at midfield, and was well assisted by Finbar Murphy.
Centre-forward David Clifford, who is still U16, was an able conductor of ‘The Sem’ attack. Clifford and full-forward David Shaw kicked four apiece, with Spa’s Evan Cronin top-scoring with six white flags.
Their opponents, competing in the top tier by virtue of their Munster colleges B success last spring, struggled to adapt to the step-up in pace, movement and scoring ability of their opponents.
The Tipperary town side were held scoreless for the opening 23 minutes and when Daire Egan eventually got them off the mark, they found themselves 1-3 to 0-1 in arrears.
Dara Moynihan, set up by Clifford, struck the opening goal of the contest on 10 minutes. There followed two David Shaw points to put St Brendan’s well on the road to victory.
Cronin (free) and Caolán Hennessy swapped efforts following Abbey CBS’s opener, with three on the bounce from Billy Courtney (free) and Clifford (two frees) close to ending the game as a contest approaching the break — 1-7 to 0-2 the interval difference.
A Shane Ryan point 11 seconds after the change of ends hinted at an Abbey CBS revival. It proved anything but. They would not score in the subsequent 20 minutes and when Tommy Lowry landed a consolation goal on 50 minutes, the gap had stretched to 11 (1-14 to 1-3).
Cronin (0-4), Clifford (0-2), Shaw (0-2), Finbar Murphy, and subs Adam O’Shea and Mikey Casey all added to St Brendan’s tally as the game petered out in the final quarter.
E Cronin (0-6, 0-1 free); D Clifford (0-2 frees), D Shaw (0-4 each); D Moynihan (1-0); B Courtney (0-1 free), F Murphy, A O’Shea, M Casey (0-1 each).
S Ryan (0-3); T Lorwy (1-0); C Hennessy, D Egan, A Vance (0-1 each).
D Carroll (Spa); C Courtney (Dr Crokes), C O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), C Gammell (Legion); D Naughton (Dr Crokes), D O’Brien (Glenflesk), D Spillane (Spa); B Courtney (Dr Crokes), F Murphy (Legion); D Moynihan (Fossa), D Clifford (Spa), W Courtney (Firies); C O’Shea (Firies), D Shaw (Fossa), E Cronin (Spa).
C O’Callaghan (Firies) for C Courtney (40 mins), A O’Shea (Dr Crokes) for C O’Shea (46), N O’Donoghue (Firies) for Spillane (51), M Casey (Dr Crokes) for W Courtney (55), J O’Donoghue (Kilcummin) for B Courtney (57), M O’Shea (Dr Crokes) for Gammell (59).
J Comerford (Arravale Rovers); N Heffernan (Golden-Kilfeacle), C Ryan (Arravale Rovers), D Buckley (Arravale Rovers); T Lowry (Arravale Rovers), S Power (Galtee Rovers), D Byron (Galtee Rovers); J Ryan (Oola), S Ryan (Galtee Rovers); C Hennessy (Oola), D Egan (Galtee Rovers), C Maher (Arravale Rovers); A Vance (Emly), S Neville (Lattin-Cullen), K Breen (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams).
N Crowe (Arravale Rovers) for Maher (20 mins, inj).