Pobalscoil have the firepower required
Pobalscoil Corcha Dhuibhne v St Flannans College (Clare)
A BREAK from all the Cork opposition they have encountered in the Corn Uí Mhuirí thus far but a new challenge for Pobalscoil Corcha Dhuibhne in the form of St Flannans who have been semi-finalists in this competition in two of the last three years.
2018 ended on a mixed note for Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side, they lost their group topping decider with HHS Bandon on a Tuesday but regrouped three days later to beat SPSL Rathmore in the O’Sullivan Cup Final. Fitzmaurice agrees that the effect of the weather cramming all their games together meant something had to give.
“Those were the cards we were dealt on that front, when you throw in the West Kerry Minor Championship as well in that period we took the view it was important not to burn the players out at that time and put more focus into the Christmas break when things would be less hectic for the players,” Fitzmaurice said about preparing the players.
Next Wednesday will come too soon for Padraig Ó Cathalláin and Stefan Ó Conchúir on the injury front but Fitzmaurice remains hopeful the duo might play some part later in the campaign should they advance beyond next Wednesday. The wins over Skibbereen and Macroom were impressive to start with by the defending champions as the defeat to Bandon meant they had to go into the Runners-Up pot for the Quarter-Final draw. Although St Flannans have not been encountered a lot by the West Kerry outfit, Fitzmaurice has been impressed by their Group Stage campaign. “They scored 10 goals in the Group Stages and they have a full-forward line that will certainly need minding. St Flannans have a great tradition in both Football and Hurling and always deserve respect. When you come to the knock-out stages you always need the big performances because the games have a habit of becoming like Finals when they are close.” Pobalscoil have proven winners you could only dream of at this level in Conchúir Ó Flannúra, Tomás Ó Dubháin, Colin and Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, Gearóid Ó Leidhinn, Cillian Ó Fáilbhe, Deividas Uosis, Dylan Ó Géibheannaigh and Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoich from the Paul McGirr and All-Ireland Minor successes of the last two years and will know how to cope with difficult challenges when they present themselves. The U-19 change does allow for more physically stronger players to have an impact on games but if Pobalscoil can find the pace and precision that is their hallmark an eighth Corn Uí Mhuirí Semi-Final this decade should be in the offing for the holders.
Verdict: Pobalscoil Corcha Dhuibhne