Kerry Senior Club Championship Rd 1
It was always going to be a tight affair and that is exactly what we got from our first-round match against Kerins O’ Rahilly in the long-awaited club championship.
We played against a still breeze in the first half, so a solid start was imperative and that is exactly what we got. Sean O’Shea kicked the first of his 8 points on the day, but this was quickly cancelled out with a point from Rahillys marksman Jack Savage. The first of our 2 sublime goals came on the 5th minute while Paul O’Connor nonchalantly flicked the incoming ball over his markers head before gathering and striking a pin perfect ball into the far top corner of the net. It was a top-class piece of skill and is what we have been accustomed to over the years from this sharpshooter.
Rahilly’s hit back with 3 quick points coming from Savage and O’Sullivan before we hit the net for a second time. On the 16th minute, a ball into the corner was gathered by Dan McCarthy who exchanged passes with his brother Mícheál . He found the open Paul O’Connor whose inch perfect cross-field kick found Stephen O’Brien. He sidestepped his marker and coolly slotted low passed the diving keeper. At the water break the score line was 2-01 to 4 points.
From then until the half time whistle, we added just one more point as we battled against a strong breeze. At times, our defence were under a lot of pressure but stood up to the task extremely well. Fionan and Kevin worked well as a midfield pair which was not easy when up against David Moran, who is easily recognised as one of the best midfielders in the country. Another inter-county player for the Tralee side Tommy Walsh, hobbled off after 24 minutes with what looked like an ankle injury after a coming together with Mark Crowley. When the half time whistle blew, the scoreboard read Kenmare Shamrocks 2-02, Kerins O Rahillys 0-08. Would we have taken that halftime score line before the game started …? Yes! we would, especially against that breeze.
Straight after the break, Seanie kicked a great point from a quick lay off from Paul O’Connor. Rahillys replied with 2 points of their own before Seanie struck again with a kick-off his hands. In the 43rd minute Tom Murnane replaced Stephen who picked up an injury. A minute later Seanie dropped one over the bar from 47 yards out (yes 47 yards) before Barry John Keane and Jack Savage put the Tralee side 2 points ahead with 8 minutes left.
It looked a tough task from there as these two teams were so closely matched, but our boys rallied again. Seanie brought the deficit to 1 point after being set up with a pass from Micheal Mac. Cian O’Sullivan and Rory O’Sullivan replaced Mark Crowley and Tommy Cronin who gave their everything for 55 minutes. On the stroke of 60 minutes, Seanie dispossessed the Rahillys full back and like before kicked a point to bring the two sides level. With 6 minutes of extra time to be played the game was in the melting pot. The Strand road side came forward again only this time to be disposed by our valiant back line. Dara Crowley launched a high ball which was gathered by Sean O Shea who in turn put it sailing over the bar again and put ahead by one point. Seconds later Dan McCarthy put 2 points between the side when he slotted over from 35 yards out.
That was the last score of the match, and we prevailed with a 2-point victory on a score line of 2-09 to 0-13. A very important 2 points in the bag and a great performance by all involved. Next weekend we come up against our neighbours Templenoe in round 2 which is sure to be another interesting battle.
Team; Kieran Fitzgibbon, Dara Crowley, Dara O’Shea, Tommy O’Sullivan, Shane O’Sullivan, James McCarthy, Mark Crowley, Kevin O’Sullivan, Dan McCarthy (0-01) Tommy Cronin, Sean O’Shea (0-08) Mícheál McCarthy, Stephen O’Brian (1-00), Fionan O’Sullivan, Paul O’Connor (1-00). Subs Tom Murnane for Stephan O’Brian, Cian O’Sullivan for Mark Crowley and Rory O’Sullivan for Tommy Cronin. Ray Shea, Ciaran O’Sullivan, Kevin Price, Dylan O’Connor, Tom O’Sullivan, David Cronin
Manager: D.J Brennan
Selectors: John Sullivan, Seamus MacGearailt and Shane Dalton
|July 25, 2020||12:00 am||Senior Club Football Championship||90'|