Central League Minor Final: Austin Stacks 5-14 (29); Laune Rangers 3-13 (22).
In this Central League Final, played on an ideal pitch at the John Mitchel’s Complex on this Sunday afternoon (9th Dec) (game started at 12.10 and finished at 2pm on the dot, after going to extra time) we eventually came out winners with seven points to spare after a humdinger and topsy-turvy game against our old rivals, Laune Rangers. This was the fourth time the sides met this season with both teams now having won two games each.
However, for long periods during this encounter it looked as if the Killorglin boys might triumph once more. As we have said our winning margin was seven points but on three separate occasions during the game we found ourselves in arrears by that very margin – after 21m (1-2 to 1-9), at half time (1-5 to 2-9) and after 40m (2-6 to 3-10) But a brilliant display during the 4th quarter of normal time saw us draw level in the 61st minute for the first time in the game (3-10 each) and take the lead for the first time two minutes later (both points scored by Seán Quilter). With six minutes of additional time played Rangers got through for an equalizing point to bring the game to extra time.
Rangers were ahead again at half time in extra time (3-13 to 3-12) but that was as good as it got for the Mid Kerry boys as we totally dominated the second period of addition time, holding the opposition scoreless during this period while adding a further 2-2 to our tally from four different players – the two points by Dylan Casey and Seán Quilter (bringing his total for the game to seven) and the two goals by Shane Bastible and Dean Scanlon.
This was an overall brilliant performance by all fifteen who started and the five substitutes who were introduced during the 88 minutes of playing time. Our defence dealt superbly with a very dangerous Rangers front line. Three of our back line also got on the score sheet – as well as Dylan, Eoghan Carroll and Daniel O’Rourke were also on target. Michael O’Gara and Seán Quilter were superb in the centre with Seán unerring from play (4) and frees (3). Up front all our six starting forwards mounted attack after attack and combined well with the four scorers – Jordan Kissane (0-1), Dean Scanlan and Shane Bastible with a goal and a point each and another Man of the Match performance from Michael Slattery. If Mohamed Salah could score a hat-trick of goals down on the south coast of England (in Bournemouth) on Saturday then Slatts was not going to be outdone down on the south west coast of Ireland 24 hours later – his three goals coming at vital times during the game – 11m, 36m and the 50th minute.
With an eye to the future and the coming season which is just around the corner Darragh Long and his colleagues gave Minor debuts to four players – Joey Nagle, Shane Bastible, Armin Heinrich and Ruairí O’Connell – and all four had superb outings.
Well done again to the whole squad and our superb backroom team on the day of Darragh Long, Mikey Collins, Ger Mannix and Paudie McQuinn.
Team: Ben Quilter, Jack McGrath, Eoghan Carroll (0-1), Joey Nagle, Dara Barry Walsh, Dylan Casey (Capt) (0-1), Daniel O’Rourke (0-1), Michael O’Gara, Seán Quilter (0-7 – three frees), David Couchman, Dean Scanlon (1-1), Shane Bastible (1-1), Tom O’Farrell, Michael Slattery (3-1), Jordan Kissane (0-1).
Subs used: Joe Looby (23m), Armin Heinrich (42m), Ruairí O’Connell (52m), Gearóid Fitzgerald and Adam Curran (start of extra time).