A never say die attitude by our senior footballers saw us get a deserved draw away to Spa GAA last evening in the Club Championship. We got off to a great start playing high-intensity football and led 4pts to 2pts after 15 minutes with scores from James McCarthy, Seanie O’Shea, and Stephen O’Brien.
The home side came back into it with scores from David Spillane (2), Cian Murphy, Mike Foley (free), Shane Cronin (45), and Evan Cronin and by the 29th minute led 7pts to 5pts. A second yellow card saw Stephen O’Brien sent off just before the break. Both teams added another point before the break which left the halftime score Spa GAA 0-08 Kenmare Shamrocks 0-05.
Being down to 14 players, down 2 pts, and playing in very warm conditions, we needed a huge performance in the second half and boy did we get it. It wasn’t immediate as Spa had the best of the 3rd quarter with points from Kearney, and two from David Spillane & Evan Cronin. We responded with frees from Seanie(2), James McCarthy, and Paul O’Connor.
Paul was first to react on the 50th-minute mark to a poor kick-out from the Spa keeper only to see his deft chip sail over the bar and not under. We were trailing by 4 points with the clock at 59 minutes but still, we fought for every ball. Our defense was tough to breach with David Cronin and his brother Tommy standing firm. With the clock about to go red, we sent a high ball into the forward line where Tommy (Arthur) soared above everyone, turned on a sixpence, and buried it (left footed) into the back of the net. .. it was a thing of beauty.
Now trailing by one point and our tails up, we pushed forward for the equaliser and got it in the 64th minute from a Seanie O’Shea free kick. Spa had been reduced to 14 men at this stage when Mike Foley received his second yellow card. In the 65th minute, our hearts sank when Evan Cronin converted a free to put Spa ahead again but in one final attack, Paul O’Connor attempted point dropped short only for Griffin Wharton to punch it over the bar. The ref blew up on the 66th minute with the sides level.
Scorers for Kenmare Shamrocks: S O’Shea (0-9, 5 frees, 1m), T O’Sullivan (1-0), J McCarthy (0-2, 1m), S O’Brien, P O’Connor, and G Wharton (0-1 each).
KENMARE SHAMROCKS: K Fitzgibbon; T Cronin, Tommy O’Sullivan, D Cronin; D O’Shea, J McCarthy, J O’Regan; D Hallissey, S O’Shea; S O’Sullivan, K O’Sullivan, S O’Brien; Griffin Wharton, Tommy O’Sullivan, P O’Connor
Subs: D Ciuciu for Griffin Wharton (39), J Lehane for T O’Sullivan (Atlantic) (50), Griffin Wharton for K O’Sullivan (54), R O’Sullivan for J O’Regan (54), P O’Brien for J McCarthy (56).