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Snr Club Championship Rd 2: Austin Stacks 0-15; An Ghaeltacht 1-9.
Played in dry, sunny conditions in Connolly Park on last Sunday afternoon (8th April) we just did enough to stay ahead in this round two game in the Club Championship. We went into an early four points lead with all our scores coming from play by four different players – the O’Brien brothers, Ferdia and Darragh together with David Mannix and Michael O’Donnell. Gaeltacht opened their account in the 6th minute. But two more points by David Mannix (one from a free) had us ahead by five at the end of the first quarter (0-6 to 0-1).
Gaeltacht, however, had a very good second quarter, scoring five points to just one for us – by Shane O’Callaghan after being put through by Star. And they could have gone ahead at this stage but for two super saves in quick succession by David Hennessy. This left us ahead by just one at the break (0-7 to 0-6).
Twenty four seconds after the restart Gaeltacht had drawn level. But then we put over five consecutive points – one each by Greg Horan and Shane O’Callaghan and three pointed frees by David Mannix – to leave us five ahead at the end of the third quarter.
However, the visitors were right back in it after they got through for the only goal of the game in the 47th minute. But that was as good as it got for the Corcha Dhuibhne boys as we held out in the final quarter, scoring three more points (Kieran Donaghy, Ronan Shanahan and Darragh O’Brien on target) while holding the opposition to just two.
With Dr. Crokes winning in Strand Road next week’s games in Group 1 are clear-cut – The Crokes .v. Stacks game will decide who goes through to the Club final while the game between O’Rahillys and An Ghaeltacht will decide who will be in a Co. Championship relegation play-off later in the year, but that scenario goes out the window if either or both teams get through to the Co. Championship final. Our game against Crokes is due to go ahead in Lewis Road on Sunday (15th April) at 2.30pm.
Austin Stacks: David Hennessy, Barry Walsh, Conor Jordan, Ronan Shanahan (0-1), Pa McCarthy, Jack O’Shea, Denis McElligott, Shane Guthrie (Capt), Greg Horan (0-1), Shane O’Callaghan (0-1), Darragh O’Brien (0-2), Michael O’Donnell (0-1), David Mannix (0-6 – four frees), Kieran Donaghy (0-1), Ferdia O’Brien (0-2).
Subs used: Sean Ryan (41m), Mikey Collins (47m), Shane Carroll (52m), and Michael Slattery (57m).
HURLING: Our North Kerry Intermediate League game, against Ballyheigue, did not go ahead as scheduled last week. We are now due to play Causeway in round 2 of the competition in Connolly Park on this Friday evening (13th April) at 6.45pm. Then on the following Friday (20th April) we are due to travel six miles out the road to Ardfert to play St. Brendans in round 3.
Minor Co. League: Cordal/Scartaglin 2-7; Austin Stacks 1-11.
After securing easy enough victories in our opening four games of the season (we received a walk-over in a fifth game) with winning margins ranging from 27 points down to 7 points, this game (round 3 in the Co. League), played on a windy, rainy Thursday evening (5th April) in Cordal put us to the test for the first time and really showed the character of this squad as they came from five points down with eight minutes remaining to grind out a hard fought one point win. That was the first and only time that we were ahead in the game.
The first score, a Cordal/Scart goal, came in the sixth minute followed shortly after by a point. Our opener came after ten minutes – a Michael Slattery point – followed in quick succession by two points from Conor Myers with Dylan Casey very much involved in the build-up to Conor’s first.
With the weather conditions deteriorating it was understandable that the remainder of the half produced only three more points –two for the opposition and one for us – an 18th minute point by Gearóid Fitzgerald. This left us trailing by two points at the break (1-3 to 0-4).
Ten minutes into the second half this deficit had increased to six points as the home side had scored 1-2 to just one for us – a Michael Slattery free. But like the first half our boys rallied putting over three unanswered points – all from play by Gearóid Fitzgerald again, and David Couchman and Dean Scanlon also on target.
Cordal, with two more points increased their lead again to five points in the 48th minute. And that was to be their last score of the game. It took us another six minutes to start the come-back. First Dean Scanlon pointed and then his fellow wing forward, Sean Carmody got through for our only goal of the game. With three minutes of normal time remaining Michael Slattery put us level for the first time in the game with a pointed free and in the 59th minute it was Slatts again who put over the winner from play.
Team: David Oba, David Burke, Donagh McMahon, Adam Curran, Dara Barry Walsh, Dylan Casey, Eoghan Carroll, Michael O’Gara, David Couchman (0-1), Seán Carmody (1-0), Daniel O’Rourke, Dean Scanlon (0-2), Conor Myers (0-2), Gearóid Fitzgerald (0-2), Michael Slattery (0-4 – two frees).
Subs used: Gearóid Sheehan (30m), Luke Chester (ht), James Quigley (41m), Niall Fitzmaurice (51m), Tom O’Farrell (60m), Jack McGrath (61m).
Next on the cards is our postponed Town League game at home to Kerins O’Rahillys, This is now fixed for this Tuesday evening (10th April) at the earlier time of 6.15pm in Connolly Park. Then, three days later (Friday, 13th April) we play Kilgarvan/Tuosist in Connolly Park in the third of our five games in the Co. League. Throw in at 6.15pm (note the change of time).
And best of luck to the Kerry Minors, including our own Seán Quilter, as they begin their quest to win a fifth All Ireland title in a row. They play Tipperary in the first round of the Munster Champion on this Wednesday evening (11th April). The game, in Semple Stadium, throws in at 7pm.
CONGRATULATIONS: to former Mitchels goalkeeper of their five-in-a-row era, Johnny Kelliher and his wife Eleanor (sister of Siobhán, Deirdre, Sheila, David, Ger and Jackie Power), who celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their wedding recently. Johnny and Eleanor’s son, Kieran is a former Club player and to-day grandson, Shane has moved into the Senior grade this year after two brilliant seasons as a Minor during 2016 and 2017.
CLUBHOUSE: As always the Clubhouse is available for all types of Parties and Functions. Enquiries about Club Bookings should be made by contacting Harry Hynes at 087 2467286.
CARDS: The 45 Card Sessions continue in the Clubhouse on every Monday and Thursday nights, commencing at 9.30pm each night.
LOTTO: Last Night’s (9th April) Jackpot, worth €8,050, was not won. The numbers drawn were 5, 27, 30, 31. The €20 winners were: Cian Ó Murchú, c/o An Ghaeltacht; Joe Quirke, c/o Carmel O’Neill; Francis King and Kenneth & Gillian Harris, both c/o Rock Street Post Office; and Richard Quirke, c/o Richard Healy.
Tickets are on regular sale at the Rock Street Post Office and at the Stacks Clubhouse, as well as from our other regular sellers.
SYMPATHY: Sincere sympathy is offered to the families of the following who died during the past week – Joe Murphy, Cockle Shell Road, The Kerries; Fidelma Noonan, Dublin and Tralee; DD (Deirdre) Horan (nee Sheehy), Beenoskee, Ballyard and formerly Racecourse Lawn and Clonmore Terrace (former Club Footballer); Patrick McKenna, Meadowlands state and formerly of Rea, Kilflynn; William (Liam) Lsslie, Kilflynn Village and formerly Monavally and Gortatlea; Brother Patrick Power, Maryland, USA and formerly of Lixnaw (at the age of 105 and cousin of Carmel O’Neill of our Lotto Sellers); Maureen Lawlor, Killenaule, Co. Tipperary (sister of Tommy Costello, former Club Football Mentor); and James (Jim) Curtin, Egmont, Churchtown, Mallow (father-in-law of former Club Footballers, Malachy Nagle and Donal McEvoy and grandfather of current Club Footballers Joey and Barry Nagle).