Pobalscoil have the fire­power re­quired

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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