Eoin Brennan watched as St Flannan’s bowed out of the Corn Uí Mhuiri at the quarter-final stage at the hands of St Francis Rochestown on a score of 1-10 to 1-4
ST Flannan’s College’s provincial senior adventure ended on a frustrating note when held at arm’s length by St Francis Rochestown in Mallow on Wednesday afternoon.
Chasing the contest for the entire hour, the Ennis college never reached the heights of previous displays but certainly weren’t helped in their task by an inadequate refereeing display that simply wasn’t good enough at this stage of such a prestigious competition.
Whether the Mallow official was an eleventh hour replacement or not, he was unable to keep up with the play and increasing lost control of proceedings as the hour elapsed, eventually dismissing a player from each side.
It still may not have fully flipped the narrative for a below-par Flannan’s who took 20 minutes to open their account amidst seven first half wides.
Darren Keane (free) and Cian Kirby did lessen the damage predominatantly inflicted by Sean Coakley by the break at 0-5 to 0-2 but Rochestown would also rue missed goal opportunities for chief threats Coakley and Billy Fraher.
Instead, it was St Flannan’s who grabbed a lifeline at the turn of the final quarter when Sean McMahon intercepted a kick-out and played in substitute James Doherty to find the net and slash the arrears to the minimum at 0-7 to 1-3.
Unfortunately, the Clare side failed to capitalise upon that shot-in-the-arm as a vengeful Rochestown responded with points through Coakley and Fraher before the former sealed a place in the last four with a counter-attack goal in the 55th minute.
St Flannan’s did carve out one final opportunity in injury-time but replacement Harry Doherty’s shot from the edge of the square was somehow kept out by goalkeeper Micheál O’Connell.
It summed up St Flannan’s entire afternoon.
St Francis College Rochestown: Micheál O’Connell (St Michael’s); Fionnan Leahy (St Michael’s), David Buckley (Douglas), Tim O’Brien (Nemo Rangers); Callum O’Neill (Nemo Rangers), Luis Dwan Fogarty (Douglas), Donnacha O’Callaghan (Douglas); Kevin Lyons (Ballygarvan), Mark O’Rourke (Cobh); Rob Hanley (Douglas), Derry Howard (Shamrocks), Oliver McAdoo (St Michael’s); Sean Coakley (Douglas), Billy Fraher (Nemo Rangers), Evan O’Connor (Douglas). Subs: Chris O’Keeffe (Douglas) for Howard (42), Neville O’Shea (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke (46), Barry Kelliher (Carrigaline) for O’Callaghan (46), Evan Collins (Douglas) for McAdoo (61). Scorers: Sean Coakley (1-4, 2f); Billy Fraher, Evan O’Connor (1f) (0-2 each); Derry Howard, Rob Hanley (0-1 each)
St Flannan’s College: Cian Howard (Éire Óg); Gearoid Barry (Inagh-Kilnamona), Conor Griffin (Clarecastle), Ronan Kilroy (Banner); Ian Williams (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield), Fionan Treacy (Éire Óg), Paddy Nagle (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield); James Hegarty (Inagh-Kilnamona), Darren Keane (Lissycasey); Fionn Cotter (Lissycasey), Sean McMahon (Banner), Cian Kirby (Clondegad); Luca Cleary (Éire Óg), Fred Hegarty (Inagh-Kilnamona), Fiachra Kirby (Clondegad). Subs: James Organ (Corofin) for F. Hegarty (26), James Doherty (Clarecastle) for Williams (HT), Ben McDonough (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Cleary (43), Harry Doherty (Clarecastle) for C. Kirby (46), Rhian Sheridan (Clarecastle) for F. Kirby (57), Darragh Hickey (Clarecastle) for Nagle (60). Scorers: Darren Keane (0-3f); James Doherty (1-0); Cian Kirby (0-1 each)
Referee: John O’Leary (Cork)