Minor Co League Div 1 FT Rathmore 0-12 Austin Stacks 2-12 (report by Tim O’Rourke)
Very hard fought win in a physical but entertaining game. Rathmore dominated the opening 10 mins with their two inside forwards causing big problems. Once Stacks pressed up on the kick outs they started to take over. A couple of well taken early scores by Conor Myers one from play the other from a free set the rock up to get back in the game.
Daniel O’Rourke was black carded on 17 mins for pulling down the Rathmore full forward preventing a clear goal chance for Rathmore as he raced back to tackle him after he slipped the defensive cover. Tom O Farrell replaced him.
This ignited the black and amber and their hunger and appetite for the ball and work rate displayed on tackling the Rathmore players to a man was their highest this season to date. Shane Bastible had a fine game working his socks off whilst constantly looking to get on the ball. Armin Heinrich and Sean Quilter both added points to leave the scores level at 4-4 when another Rathmore free edged the hosts a point up. Both sides traded scores when at 7pts a piece a Shane Bastible score got the Tralee lads into a 1 pt lead. Jordan Kissane stepped up with 1-1 from play scoring a fine goal in the process in the space of 2 mins just before half time to put Stacks into 5 point lead at the break.
Rathmore started the second half with a point within 30 seconds before a Sean quilter free cancelled it out to keep the 5pt gap between the teams. Stacks completely dominated the middle third for the remainder of the game with the defensive cover rock solid preventing any goals and pushing Rathmore back out the pitch time and time again. Some lovely football by stacks resulted in A penalty conceded by Rathmore for another clear pull down 8 mins into the second half. Sean Quilter duly dispatched the spot kick which opened up an 8 pt lead leaving a long way back for Rathmore. Stacks did not score for the next 10 mins as they had to continue to work hard to keep Rathmore out. The hosts did tack on 2 late points to close the gap after points had been exchanged late in the half but it was not enough as Stacks played good possession based football to see the game out.
All players on the day were outstanding but the workrate and determination of Shane Bastible would have him my man of the match, although the returning Adam Curran also had a fine game and Conor Myers had his marker in trouble from the first to the last. Sean quilter was strong in the middle of the field winning several clean balls in the air to keep Stacks on the front foot throughout the game.
A good overall performance next up in the Co. League is Dr. Crokes on Saturday next March 16th at 12pm in Connolly Park.