South Kerry Hurling Final: Duagh 3-12 (21); Austin Stacks 2-14 (20).
This South Kerry League Final, played at the home ground of the recently-crowned Co. SH Champions (Lixnaw) on this Wednesday evening (29th Aug), ebbed and flowed throughout the 63 minutes played by Referee, Tom Godley (Kilmoyley). And in a game that could have gone either way it was the Duagh boys who finally came out on top when they finished the stronger with just one point to spare at the end. Any neutrals at the Lixnaw venue (which was in perfect condition) would really have enjoyed this game such was the intensity and quality of the hurling on display by both sides.
They say that it’s always easier to take a hammering in a game rather than come away after a one point defeat, but our lads have nothing to be guilty of after such a display.
The game, as we said, ebbed and flowed, with Duagh racing into a 1-2 to no score lead after just four minutes. But once we settled we had wiped out that lead by half time with the sides level on 2-7 a piece at the interval. Our two goals were simply brilliant – both scored in exactly the same manner by Ronan Gilsenan. The first was our opening score coming in the 6th minute when a high ball into the square by Andrew Foley was tapped to the net by Pip. And he was the end of another high ball into the square, this time from Kieran McCaughley (what a game Cox had throughout the hour) right on the stroke of half time.
In between we put over seven points – many from long-distance. Ronan also scored two of these to add to his two goals, with the others coming from Paul Daly (two frees) and one each from Daniel Teahan, Cillian O’Riordan and Colm Ó Giollagáin.
A good start to the second half saw us race into a four points lead – the first time we were ahead in the game. Paul Daly scored three – one from play, one from a 65 and one from a free – and the 4th came from Kieran McCaughly – all this in the first six minutes after the resumption. A brilliant save by Danny McGuire, a minute later, kept our lead intact and we still had a three points lead (2-12 to 2-9) at the end of the third quarter after Duagh added two more points to one for us (Kieran McCaughley from play.
A goal by Duagh in the 46th minute leveled matters again but we regained our lead with two Paul Daly points in the 50th and 52nd minutes. However, three unanswered points came from Duagh in the 57th, 58th and 61st minutes to give them that narrow one point victory.
While all 15 played superbly, if we were to pick a Man of the Match it would be hard to overlook Kevin O’Leary, especially after that first half display.
Team: Danny McGuire, Kevin O’Leary, Eoghan McKivergan, Tadhg Meehan (Capt), Johnny Downey, Andrew Morrissey, Rory Forbes, Kieran McCaughley (0-1), Cillian O’Riordan (0-1), Andrew Foley, Paul Daly (0-8 – five free; one 65), Daniel Teahan (0-1), Colm Ó Giollagáin (0-1), Ronan Gilsenan (2-2), Thomas Meehan.