Congratulations to our Under 14 Boys Soccer Team on reaching the final of the 'Cork Cup' yesterday. They will now face Rochestown College in the final.
Skibbereen Community School 4 - 2 Presentation College
Report by Sean Spenser
A Cork Cup semi-final, what a day. A place at Turner's Cross at stake, neither team wanted to give that up. Skibbereen's last obstacle before they could get to the sacred turf! It had been raining all morning, but it stopped just as the teams arrived at the pitch. The sun came out but it still left a soft, wet ground after the rain.
Ten minutes into the game, Skibbereen's attack broke down. Pres launched a quick counter attack through their pacey right winger, who got to the byline and whipped in a cross. Skibbereen failed to clear the ball numerous times and eventually it fell to Pres' attacker who was onrushing and he smashed it into the net on the right side. That's the big problem when the ball isn't cleared from the box, however captain Robbie Minihane within a second of conceding threw the ball right back to the centre circle, shouting at his teammates to keep their heads up and forget about it. A mere three minutes later, a long ball was launched to Isaac Harte. He had it out on the right side of the pitch. He slowed down as the full back came out to him, however after a bit of trickery he paced past him and whipped a ball to the far post. It fell to Jamie O'Driscoll who looked to cut it inside onto his favoured right foot, however just as it looked like he'd try to curl it far post, he dropped the shoulder and beat his man. With one more touch he fired the ball near post into the top left corner with his left foot! That is why Skibbereen are the quintessential comeback kings! They never give up and have great team spirit!
Going into half time a 1-1 scoreline was fair. Tomás O'Mahony had cleared a corner off the line for Skibbereen, so you could argue Pres were on top, but 1-1 was an accurate representation of the game so far. Three minutes into the second half Pres launched another attack down their right side. Their striker had a speculative effort which looked like it might trouble Cormac McCarthy in goal, however as it was going towards goal it hit off of Tomás O'Mahony and looped over Cormac's head into the back of the net. Just like that Skibbereen were behind again! Soon after Pres had taken the lead, Jamie O'Driscoll made a lovely run down the left side. All the Pres defenders crowded the 18 yard box, allowing no room for a cross, however there were no Skibbereen players in the box and they had allowed Isaac Harte completely unmarked on the edge of the box. Jamie cut the ball back to him and he finished first time in the bottom right with a low down bullet finish! A fantastic goal from two excellent players, both on fire! In the 40th minute James O'Neill played a short pass to Isaac Harte. Isaac's first instinct was to have a look at goal, to see if a shot was realistic. He was about 25 yards and the keeper was a few steps off his line. What had he to lose? He decided to have an effort and he managed to loop it over the keepers head, into the net! What a goal! Skibbereen had taken the lead for the first time this game! 5 minutes later Donnachadh Maguire picked it up on the edge of the D. About 20 yards out, he had his back to goal. There wasn't much support for him, so he decided to go himself. He managed to turn his man and strike it from about 20 yards out. It was a bullet of a strike which cannoned off the the bar, onto the line and back off the bar again! So unlucky not to score! Jamie O'Driscoll had a chance to follow it up, but the keeper made a fantastic save, to beat him to the ball and the defender cleared it away! Did the ball cross the line? Who knows, probably not, but so close from Donnachadh none the less!
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Skibbereen won a free kick from 35-40 yards out. There seemed to be a bit of confusion over who would take it, Robbie Minihane or James O'Neill, but they eventually followed the instructions from before the game and James stepped up to take it. It certainly isn't out of his range to shoot from here, but I imagine if he did, the defence and keeper would be a little surprised. He decided to take a shot and it went very high towards the centre of the goal, however as it was heading towards the goal it dipped and curled and landed right into the top corner, probably further into the corner than he could reach with his hands! The best free kick I've ever seen in my life, and that's including David Beckham's vs Greece in 2001! An amazing goal that made everyone in the ground applaud. All the Pres players looked at each other in disbelief, while the Skibbereen players went crazy! Celebrating like they'd won the World Cup! While there was still time to be played, it didn't seem like Skibbereen could be beaten at this point. They started playing very fluid attacking free flowing football, full of confidence and belief! It seemed in an instant the full time whistle was blown, that was it, a place at Turner's Cross vs the team who knocked Skibbereen out of the Munster Cup!
Man of the Match: Isaac Harte - A great team performance, with a few players really standing out. It could have gone to Jamie O'Driscoll who had a fantastic game on the left, Tomás O'Mahony cleared two shots off the line and could have won it or even the captain Robbie Minihane who had is typical solid game, cutting out all attacks that came his way, but for me, Isaac Harte was the pick of the bunch. Starting out up front he provided a great threat with his pace in behind, combined with his ability to hold up the ball and drift out wide onto the wings. He got a goal and an assist while playing up front, however when he dropped into his preferred number 10 role, his light didn't seem to flicker. He still created many a chance and managed to score a fantastic long range effort, while still offering the pace in behind when he was needed. A brilliant performace, which really showed his quality, on the day!
Starting XI: Cormac McCarthy, Tomás O'Mahony, John Leahy, Robbie Minihane, Feilim O'Donovan, James McCarthy, Eoin Murran, Jamie O'Driscoll, Jack O'Brien, James O'Neill, Isaac Harte.
Substitutes: Liam McCarthy (John Leahy), Donnachadh Maguire (Jack O'Brien), Matthew Mulcahy (Eoin Murran).