Corn Uí Mhuirí: Majestic O'Sullivan ensures Spioraid Naoimh progress into final-four 

The Ballinhassig dual player scored 2-5 - 2-4 from play - his 65th minute goal, after a brilliant one-two with Odhran Foley, was the icing on the cake.
Corn Uí Mhuirí: Majestic O'Sullivan ensures Spioraid Naoimh progress into final-four 

SILKY OPERATOR: Adam O'Sullivan with possession for Colaiste an Spioraid Naoimh. Pic: Larry Cummins.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh 2-12 Skibbereen CS 1-8 

Adam O’Sullivan’s spellbinding skills ensured Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh progressed to the last four of the TUS Corn Uí Mhuirí (U19 AF) at a sunny 4G in Páirc UÍ Chaoimh on Thursday. 

The Ballinhassig dual player scored 2-5 - 2-4 from play - his 65th minute goal, after a brilliant one-two with Odhran Foley, was the icing on the cake.

It was a fitting end for the number 10, as he rolled the ball into the back of the net.

This was a terrific outcome for a well-drilled Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh and their management team of Anthony Seymour, Sophie Long and Brian Coffey, the Bishopstown school back in this competition for the first time since 2011.

They finished top of their group before Christmas, and can now look forward to a tasty fixture against fellow-Cork school St Francis College of Rochestown on Saturday week.

It also means a Cork team will contest the final for the first time since St Francis College lost to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in 2015.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh were quick to settle, they kicked the first two points in as many minutes. O’Sullivan registered from a placed ball after he was fouled himself, and this was quickly followed by one from play by Gary Holland.

Niall Collins raised a white flag for Skibbereen CS in the fourth minute to get his side up-and-running. A Luke Shorten mark four minutes later left just a single point between them, 0-3 to 0-2.

The first decisive moment arrived in the 10th minute when Collins was fouled after Sean Cronin’s kick-out went astray. Collins dispatched the resultant penalty for Skibbereen to lead. Shorten stretched the lead, 1-3 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh weren’t fazed, their emphatic response was to rifle over the next four points unanswered. Their revival was led by hard-working wing-back Darragh O’Donovan. Adam Laverty, O’Sullivan - following great work by corner-back Matthew Ahern - and Robert Quirke.

The west Cork side squandered a decent opportunity to regain the advantage a minute from the break when Kevin O’Driscoll’s effort for a goal went wide.

As they went to the dressing-room 1-3 to 0-7 in arrears, Skibbereen CS had failed to score for the entire second quarter. Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, meanwhile, had five different scorers on the board.

Two quick-fire points - both superb efforts from O’Sullivan - started the second-half.

Jack O’Neill (who picked up a knock early on in the game) got the Skibbereen scoreboard working again in the 37th minute. And while they hadn’t scored for over 20 minutes, a Daly free from a tight angle left them in contention, 0-9 to 1-5.

However, they only added one more point, to three for Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh, with Quirke, O’Donovan and O’Sullivan on target.

Skibbereen CS needed a goal, but an indication of the Bishopstown tenacity came in the form of a vital interception from Kevin Murphy.

At the other end, Joseph Bohane did similar. But it was evident, Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh were making greater strides.

With the match still delicately poised (1-6 to 0-12) O’Sullivan stood up when needed. He sent a quickly taken ’45 Quirke’s way, and was on hand for the return pass, which he duly blasted to the net six minutes from time.

Skibbereen CS, who lost last season’s semi-final to CBS Tralee, reduced the margin to four points.

O’Sullivan then capped a marvellous performance with his second major in stoppage time.

Scorers for Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh: A O’Sullivan (2-5, 0-1 free), R Quirke, G Holland and D O’Donovan (0-2 each), A Laverty (0-1).

Scorers for Skibbereen CS: N Daly (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-2 frees), L Shorten (0-2, 0-1 mark), J O’Neill, K O’Driscoll and S Connolly (free) (0-1 each).

COLÁISTE AN SPIORAID NAOIMH: S Cronin (Bishopstown); M Ahern (St Finbarr’s), J Byrne (Ballinora, Capt), C Dineen (Inniscarra); D O’Donovan (Bishopstown), M O’Brien (Ballinora), K Murphy (Bishopstown); T O’Keeffe (St Finbarr’s), M O’Connor (Éire Óg); A O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig), O Foley (Bishopstown), A Laverty (Ballinora); S Connolly (Inniscarra), G Holland (Bishopstown), R Quirke (Ballinora).

Subs: S Sheridan (Bishopstown) for S Connolly (48), K McFadden (Bishopstown) for G Holland (54), D O’Brien (Inniscarra) for M O’Connor (59).

SKIBBEREEN CS: S O’Shea (Ilen Rovers); D Hourihane (O’Donovan Rossa), J Bohane (Castlehaven), H O’Donovan (Clann na nGael); F Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa), S Carey (Ilen Rovers, Capt), S O’Connell (Castlehaven); T Ó Donnabháin (Clonakilty), J O’Neill (Castlehaven); B O’Driscoll (O’Donovan Rossa), N Daly (do), K O’Driscoll (Ilen Rovers); S Connolly (do), L Shorten (Tadhg MacCárthaigh), L Harte (O’Donovan Rossa).

Subs: D O’Donovan (Castlehaven) for B O’Driscoll (half-time), C Coombes (O’Donovan Rossa) for L Harte (49), D O’Callaghan (Castlehaven) for H O’Donovan (52).

Referee: C Dineen (Douglas, Cork).

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