When these two colleges collided at the quarter-final juncture 12 months ago, it was Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne who arrived into Dr Crokes’ field as reigning Corn Uí Mhuirí and Hogan Cup champions. St Brendan’s, the challengers on that occasion, brought to an end the Dingle school’s four-year dominance within Munster with a powerful display and the roles were very much reversed yesterday as Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne came as challengers, hoping to unseat last year’s provincial and All-Ireland champions.
Alas, their challenge ran aground early in the second period. With this quarter-final finely poised at 0-8 to 0-7 at the break, St Brendan’s cut loose upon the restart and hit 1-4 without reply between the 33rd and 40th minute to move 1-13 to 0-8 clear.
Dara Moynihan and Donnchadh O’Sullivan, who terrorised the Dingle defence throughout, established the first bit of daylight when kicking successive points to leave the scoreboard reading 0-11 to 0-8 in their favour. It was the first time more than two points had separated the sides – the teams were level on six occasions during a somewhat stop-start opening.
O’Sullivan would provide the contest’s opening goal on 35 minutes, collecting and finishing Cian Gammell’s through ball. A placed ball effort from the Firies centre-forward and a fantastic score involving the lively Jack Griffin, Ciaran Flynn and finished by corner-back Sean O’Leary followed thereafter to leave Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in serious bother.
The Dingle outfit had delivered a rousing second-half performance to push St Brendan’s to a point in last October’s Kerry colleges final, but no such resistance was offered here and a Cathal Firtéar free on 43 minutes woule prove their last score of the afternoon. O’Sullivan (0-2, 0-1 free) and Moynihan continued to wreak havoc and the former, along with full-forward Mark O’Shea, was centrally involved in sub Michéal Devlin’s 56th minute goal.
Half-back Jack Griffin was rewarded for his many darting runs with a point late on. He was part of a defence which, having been stretched early on, completely shut up shop upon the change of ends. Most noticeable was the sight of three green shirts on the St Brendan’s 20-metre line each time Chorca Dhuibhne sought to engineer a score.
Ruadhán MacCárthaigh and Mícheál Ó Beoláin had enjoyed plenty of success when attacking down the right; the latter knocked over four first-half frees, while MacCárthaigh notched two fine points from distance. Their failure, however, to raise a gallop in the second-half was to prove their downfall.
Gary McGrath’s students now advance to meet St Flannan’s in the semi-final for a second successive season. Full-forward David Shaw, who missed yesterday’s game due to his presence in Florida at an AFL Academy camp, is expected to be home for the fixture.
D O’Sullivan (1-7, 0-4 frees); D Moynihan (0-5); M Devlin (1-0); S O’Leary, J Griffin, B Courtney (0-1 free), N McCarthy, M O’Shea, M Hartnett (0-1 each).
M Ó Beoláin (0-4, 0-4 frees); R MacCárthaigh (0-2); C Firtéar (0-1 free), L Ó Bambaire, D Uosis (0-1 each).
R Osborne (Legion); C Callaghan (Firies), C O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), S O’Leary (Kilcummin); J Griffin (Dr Crokes), M Potts (Dr Crokes), E Cosgrave (Firies); B Courtney (Dr Crokes), C Gammell (Legion); D Moynihan (Spa), D O’Sullivan (Firies), N Donoghue (Firies); N McCarthy (Spa), M O’Shea (Dr Crokes), C Flynn (Firies).
L McMonagle (Dr Crokes) for Cosgrave (47 mins); M Devlin (Legion) for McCarthy (53); M Hartnett (Dr Crokes) for Flynn (56); B Keane (Listry) for Donoghue (56); B Slattery (Legion) for Callaghan, O O’Donoghue ( Glenflesk) for Griffin (both 60).
E Ó Brosnacháin (Daingean Uí Chúis); G Ó Leidhinn (Abha na Scáil), C Ó Muircheartaigh (Abha na Scáil), F Ó Cuanaigh (An Ghaeltacht); M Ághas (Daingean Uí Chúis), B Ó Conchúir (Daingean ÚI Chúis), F Sauerland (An Ghaeltacht); P Pól Sauerland (An Ghaeltacht), R MacCárthaigh (Daingean Úi Chúis); M Ó Beoláin (Daingean Uí Chúis), C Firtéar (Abha na Scáil), T Ó Dubháin (Daingean Uí Chúis); C Ó Failbhe (Abha na Scáil), L Ó Bambaire (An Ghaeltacht), D Uosis (Daingea Uí Chuis).
A MacAmhlaoibh (An Ghaeltacht) for Ó Beoláin (47); R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht) for Uosis (53); S Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht) for Ó Failbhe (56)
E Walsh (Kerry).