Senior Club Championship Final FT: Austin Stacks 1-17; Kenmare Shamrocks 1-14.
Our Seniors continued their record of never losing a Club Championship Final when they captured their fifth title in Fitzgerald Stadium on this Sunday afternoon (13th Sept) but it was a mighty close shave with the Kenmare boys looking odds on, on a number of occasions, to win their second title in a game that went to extra time.
We were level at half time on five points each – our scores coming from two Ferdia O’Brien frees and three from play by Brendan O’Sullivan, Michael O’Gara and Shane O’Callaghan. Jack Morgan won the breaking ball from the throw-in after the resumption and put Greg Horan through for a point to put us in the lead for the first time. But Kenmare rallied again and in the space of ten minutes left us trailing by five points when they scored 1-3 without reply. There were no scores then until the 56th minute when good work by Kieran Donaghy and Seán Quilter put Colin Griffin through for a lovely point. A few minutes before that Conor Jordan came off the bench and he scored two good points with Kenmare pointing one in between to leave them three ahead as the game went into added time. And in the 4th minute of added time another man who had come off the bench, Fiachna Mangan, sent in a high ball which was batted down into the path of Seán Quilter by none other than Kieran Donaghy and Seán, as cool as a breeze, rattled the net to level matters again (1-9 a piece) and bring the game to extra time.
Kenmare were ahead again by a point at the end of the first half of extra time (1-12 to 1-11) with our two points during this ten minute spell both coming from play – a third Conor Jordan one just after the resumption and the other from Darragh O’Brien.
In total we used eight from our bench during the almost two hours of play and they made a huge difference, especially during the second half of extra time when we took full control of the game – going on to score a further six points during this period to just two for the opposition. Those six points came from five different players – two from Darragh O’Brien with the other four coming from Donagh McMahon, David Mannix, Seán Quilter and Joseph O’Connor.
So a well-deserved, hard-earned victory from a group lads who would take no for an answer and who played so well when the chips were down. Jack O’Shea deservedly won the Man of the Match Award for his display in defence with his many typical runs up-field to set up many attacks.
For the record our other four titles came in 1979 (the inaugural year of the competition), 2003, 2016 and 2019.
Team: Wayne Guthrie, Colin Griffin (0-1), Barry Shanahan, Jack O’Shea, Dylan Casey, Ronan Shanahan (Capt), Jack Morgan, Joseph O’Connor (0-1), Brendan O’Sullivan (0-1), Michael O’Gara (0-1), Ferdia O’Brien (0-2 frees), Greg Horan (0-1), Seán Quilter (1-1), Kieran Donaghy, Shane O’Callaghan (0-1).
Subs used: Darragh O’Brien (45m) (0-3 – one free), Paul O’Sullivan (45m), Fiachna Mangan (45m), Conor Jordan (53m) (0-3), David Fitzmaurice (58).
Ciarán O’Reilly stared in extra time. Subs used during extra time – Donagh McMahon (64m) (0-1), Dylan Casey (h/t), David Mannix (72m). (0-1).
We now turn our attention to the Roddy O Donnell Senior Town Championship sponsored by Lee Strand where we play Ballymac in the semi final with Mitchels against O’Rahillys contesting the other semi final.
Our game has been fixed for next Saturday evening at 5pm
Photos by Adrienne Mc Loughlin: