Skibbereen Community School 2 - 1 Coláiste Choilm
Report by Sean Spenser.
The first year Munster Cup consisted of a 3 team group for the first round. With a well earned point against Kinsale all Skibbereen needed was to go away to Ballincollig and get a point to proceed through.
With neither team having any major chances early on, it was looking like Skibbereen may try and grind out a point. However 15 minutes in, James O'Neill stepped up to put in a corner. The delivery was great, right in the corridor of uncertainty. Captain Robbie Minihane met it well and rippled the roof of the net with a header. 1 - 0 - a goal arguably against the run of play. Going into half time it was 1 - 0 and Skibbereen were happy with the lead, but would have liked a second to make sure.
There was a few chances in the second half with Ballincollig on top and both goalkeepers making some great saves. 49 minutes into the game Isaac Harte managed to break the defensive line with the ball. When he went one on one, a small bit of hesitation allowed the defender to recover. Isaac somehow managed to slip the ball through to the oncoming James O'Neill who placed it down low to the keepers right. A great counter attacking move to make it 2 - 0. It looked like Skibbereen had saved themselves from any complications to finish the game, however Ballincollig wanted to make life as tough as possible throwing everything they had left. The Skibbereen defence made a couple of crucial blocks and more importantly Cormac McCarthy making some fantastic saves. However, one minute before the final whistle was scheduled to blow, a Ballincollig player took a hopeful shot which looked like it would bounce before reaching the goal. This played into his favour as it left the keeper with an awkward situation - presume the ball would take a normal bounce and dive, or hope it would bounce awkwardly and stay feeted. He took the former and unfortunately he was incorrect. I think Cormac McCarthy had earned his right to let in a goal as he had an outstanding game. That's how it finished, 2 - 1.
Man of the Match: James O'Neill - A number of people could have won Man of the Match with brilliant team performace rather than a few individuals. With the center midfielder looking a bit tired early on he picked up the pace and as the game went on, he turned out to have a fantastic game. He played a couple of long balls which split the defence apart. His delivery for the corner which got Skibbereen their first goal was inch perfect and his finish for the second was equally as well placed. As Ballincollig began their onslaught he was equally adept with his defensive work.
Starting XI: Cormac McCarthy, Feilim O' Donovan, John Leahy, Robbie Minihane, Tomás O'Mahony, James McCarthy, James O'Neill, Jamie O'Driscoll, Liam McCarthy, Isaac Harte, Donnachadh Maguire.
Substitutes: Steven Redmond (Liam McCarthy), Jack O'Brien (Jamie O' Driscoll), Cillian Gray (Steven Redmond), Matthew Murnane (Feilim O' Donovan).
Thanks to Coláiste Choilm for having us and we wish you the best of luck in the Cork Cup!