Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra have qualified for their first Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-final in Mallow today. In a one-sided contest, the Rathmore school had it all too easy against a disappointing Coláiste Choilm.
Nonetheless, it was an impressive performance from the winners who have set up a mouth-watering clash with Tralee CBS in the last four.
“This is a huge achievement for a small school,” said winning manager David McCarthy. “2-16 is great kicking for January. The lads have put a lot of work in. We were in the B championship last year and were beaten in the All Ireland final. We had seven of that team started today, and two came on.”
SP Sliabh Luachra bossed this game from start to finish. Having played against the wind, they led 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval. They had five points on the board before Coláiste Choilm opened their scoring in the 15th minute.
James Darmody and Cathal Ryan were influential in attack while they also had two goal opportunities go amiss – credit to Chris Walsh for a denying Darmody for one of these strikes.
Coláiste Choilm came more into the game after Sean Leisk converted a free before Liam O’Connor made it a three-point match. However, wayward finishing was their downfall. Fergal O’Leary’s point left the Ballincollig side four points in arrears at half-time.
Coláiste Choilm were competitive after the break but a fortuitous goal from Ryan in the 40th minute put the Kerry team firmly in the driving seat, 1-10 to 0-4.
It was elementary after that. A storming finish produced 1-6 – the goal by Darmody was followed by five unanswered points from an array of scorers including Aaron Cronin, Paul O’Leary, Damien Cronin, and Ryan.
At the other end, they shut up shop. Michael Dennehy, Alan Dineen, and Damien Cronin were assured. Centre-back Paul O’Leary was ably assisted by Cian Dineen and Andrew Moynihan. In midfield, Dan Murphy and Ronan Collins proved formidable.
Much to look forward to on the first weekend in February when they lock horns with Tralee CBS.
“A big day for Rathmore, certainly,” added McCarthy. “You can say now we are in the top four in Munster. We have two clubs (Rathmore and Gneeveguilla), three Glenflesk men, and one from Knocknagree. Huge occasion, absolutely huge. Bigger than the All-Ireland in Croke Park last year.”
Scorers for SP Sliabh Luachra: C Ryan (1-5, 0-3 frees), J Darmody (1-4, 0-1 free), A Cronin and D Roche (0-2 each), D Murphy, P O’Leary and D Cronin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Coláiste Choilm: L O’Connor (0-3, 0-2 frees), S Leisk (free), L O’Connell and F O’Leary (0-1 each).
SP Sliabh Luachra: I O’Connor (Rathmore); M Dennehy (do), A Dineen (do), D Cronin (Gneeveguilla); C Dineen (Rathmore), Paul O’Leary (Gneeveguilla), A Moynihan (Rathmore); R Collins (Gneeveguilla), D Murphy (Rathmore); Paudie O’Leary (Gneeveguilla), C Ryan (Rathmore), M McSweeney (Knocknagree); J Darmody (Rathmore), A Cronin (Rathmore), D Roche (Glenflesk).
Subs: T Bowler (Glenflesk) for A Cronin (51), D Gleeson (Gneeveguilla) for P O’Leary (55), K Bowler (Glenflesk) for D Roche (56).
Coláiste Choilm: C Walsh (Ballincollig); N Vaughan (Inniscarra), N Lordan (Ballinora), S O’Donoghue (Ballincollig); M Bourke (Ballincollig), L O’Connell (do), C O’Keeffe (Valley Rovers); S Leisk (Inniscarra), S Dore (Ballincollig); O O’Driscoll (Canovee), H Murphy (Éire Óg), F O’Leary (Inniscarra); L O’Connor (do), S McCarthy (do), D O’Mahony (Ballincollig).
Subs: P O’Keeffe (Ballincollig) for N Vaughan (44), G Moynihan (Éire Óg) for D O’Mahony (46), C Cronin (Canovee) for O O’Driscoll (53), B Elliott (Éire Óg) for C O’Keeffe (55), J Kelleher (Éire Óg) for H Murphy (56).
Referee: Jonathan Hayes (Limerick).