U21 Co. Championship Rd 1: Austin Stacks 4-18 (30); Gneeveguilla 2-6 (12).
We were always in control of this first round Co. Championship game played in ideal conditions in Connolly Park on this Tuesday evening (6th Aug). Leading by five points to two at the end of the first quarter we totally dominated the rest of the half, adding a further 2-5 to just one more point for the opposition. This left us with a 13 points lead at half time (2-10 to 0-3). Our first goal came in the 17th minute from a Ferdia O’Brien penalty. Eight minutes later good work by Donagh McKivergan and Seán Quilter saw our second goal tucked away beautifully into the corner of the net by Joseph O’Connor. Both Joseph and David Fitzmaurice were outstanding all through at centre-field. Our ten first half points were shared equally by Ferdia and Seán, with three of Ferdia’s five coming from frees and Seán putting over three from play and one each from a free and a forty five.
Gneeveguilla opened the second half with a point inside the first minute but they didn’t score again until the 52nd minute while, at that stage, we had added a further goal and eight points to our first half total. Again Seán Quilter with four points (two frees; two superb forty fives) and Ferdia O’Brien with a free got on the score sheet but four more players were also on target in this half. Michael O’Gara added a goal and a point, with the two other points coming from David Fitzmaurice and Conor Lowe. With ten minutes to go we were ahead by a whopping 23 points, so it was understandable that we eased off somewhat. In those closing minutes the opposition scored 2-2 to one goal for us – our goal a beautiful effort created by Ferdia O’Brien and tapped into the net by Michael Linnane.
It would be unfair to suggest that the visitors were poor upfront as every time they attacked they looked dangerous. But our seven defenders were just superb. We ran out of ink trying to record every time they turned over dangerous attacks and that’s not taking into account at least three superb goal-scoring saves by Robbie Murphy.
Wayne Quillinan and his co-mentors (Mikey Collins, Jonathan Conway, Paudie McQuinn, Eamonn O’Reilly and John O’Sullivan) would be happier, we are sure, with a sterner test in preparation for more tougher games to come, but they will be satisfied with a near perfect performance by the 21 players who lined out on this evening.
Team: Robbie Murphy, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey, Dara Barry Walsh, Shane Walsh, Ciarán O’Reilly (Capt), Rory Forbes, Joseph O’Connor (1-0), David Fitzmaurice (0-1), Michael O’Gara (1-1), Ferdia O’Brien (1-6 – penalty goal; four frees), David Couchman, Seán Quilter (0-9 – three frees, three forty fives), Donagh McKivergan, Conor Myers. Subs used: Gearóid Sheehan, Michael Linnane (1-0), David Burke, Conor Lowe (0-1), Podge Looney, Eoghan Carroll.
Of the six games played on this opening round only one other team scored as much as we did – and that was West Kerry in their double-score victory over Dr. Crokes (2-24 to 1-12). But no other winning team had as much of a winning margin as we had. Our winning margin was 18 points with the next winning biggest margins being 15 points – achieved by that big win by West Kerry over Dr. Crokes and by East Kerry’s win over Mid Kerry (3-17 to 1-8).
Photographs Compliments of Adrienne Mc Loughlin