U21 FOOTBALL: Austin Stacks 2-8; Dr. Crokes 1-13.
This Co. Championship Quarter Final played in ideal conditions in Connolly Park of this Thursday evening (30th June) could have gone either way but eventually the Killarney boys prevailed with two points to spare.
There was nothing to separate the sides after the first 22 minutes of play with both on four points each – two from play by Fergal Ryan and two pointed frees by Michael O’Donnell, who, 24 hours previously, was winning a Munster JF Championship medal with Kerry. But a goal and a point in quick succession gave Crokes the edge as half time approached. We did get one more point before the break when a good run by Seán Dukes found Fergal Ryan who put over, to leave the visitors three ahead at the interval (1-5 to 0-5).
Crokes extended that lead further with two more points five minutes after the resumption. But within four minutes we were back on level terms with points from Louis Ryle and Michael O’Donnell (free) and an opportunist goal by Jessie O’Sullivan when he pounced on a defensive error.
Crokes restored their lead again with points in the 41st and 46th minutes but two minutes later we took the lead for the first time when Seán Fitzmaurice, with help from Oisín Fitzgerald, steered the ball to the net. Louis Ryle put us two ahead in the 52nd minute with his second of the game.
But we could not push on from there while in the closing minutes Crokes added four unanswered points to put them through to the semi final of the competition.
Team: Robbie Murphy, Darragh Scanlon, Barry Walsh, Brandon Patterson, Jack Morgan (Capt), Conor Jordan, Jessie O’Sullivan (1-0), Michael O’Donnell (0-3 frees), Philip Quilter, Fergal Ryan (0-3), Seán Ryan, Louis Ryle (0-2), Seán Dukes, Oisín Fitzgerald, Seán Fitzmaurice (1-0).
Subs used: Dylan Harnett (40m), Niall Carroll Cane (55m), Ciarán O’Reilly (57m).