U21 Co. Championship Rd 1: Dingle 0-14; Austin Stacks 2-7 (13).
On a beautiful summers evening (Tues 24th July) i nDaingean Uí Chúis we just came up short to a very good Dingle side in round one of the U21 Co. Championship. Wayne Quillinan and John O’Sullivan from our Senior Selectors and Darragh Long from our Minor Selectors took charge of our U21s and could have come home winners but for a brilliant defensive performance by the home side, especially in the last quarter.
Dingle started well and led by five points to no score after fourteen minutes. We at that stage had registered four wides, which on another evening could have yielded scores.
So it took us 18 minutes to get our first score but boy was it worth waiting for. Michael Slattery won possession in the centre of the pitch, jinked his way through that solid Dingle defence that we referred to earlier and from the edge of the square unleashed an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net – and the only goal that might have surpassed in recent times was the one scored by David Clifford in Clones last Sunday.
Dingle added three more points before half time while we added two – one from play by Michael Linnane, put through by Podge Looney and a pointed free by Donagh McKivergan. This left us three adrift at the break (0-8 to 1-2).
Unlike the first half we had a brilliant start to the second half . Joseph O’Connor – who along with Michael O’Gara, gave a very solid performance at mid-field – opened the scoring after just a minute with a lovely point. Then inside the 35th minute a quickly taken free by Donagh McKivergan was pounced on by Michael Linnane and Michael placed his shot beautifully to the right of the keeper for a super goal. This put us into the lead for the first time. Dingle then added two points but another Michael Linnane point left the sides level after 40 minutes. Three quick points then by the home side in the next five minutes gave them back their three points half time lead.
However in the final quarter (15 minutes of normal time plus almost 5 minutes of additional time) we held the opposition to just one more point while we added three more – a beautiful effort from play by Donagh McMahon and two from frees by Michael O’Gara and Michael Slattery. But that stubborn Dingle defence thwarted us time after time from getting us over the line.
It still was a brilliant performance by our lads which looks even better when you consider that of the starting 15 – five were under 18, seven were under 19, one was under 20 and just 2 under 21. And of the six subs on the bench four were under 18. So Wayne, John and Darragh were thinking long term here which they emphasized very much in their after match discussion with the players.
Colin Griffin, who has missed the last five SF Co. League games through injury, lined out in goals, a most unusual position for him. But he did very well, making a number of vital saves and keeping a clean sheet into the bargain.
Team: Colin Griffin, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey, Brandon Patterson, Pádriag Looney, Ciarán O’Reilly, Shane Walsh, Michael O’Gara (0-1 free), Joseph O’Connor (0-1), Donagh McKivergan (0-1 free), Donagh McMahon (0-1), Michael Linnane (1-2), Seán Dukes, Gearóid Fitzgerald, Michael Slattery (1-1).
Subs used: Jack O’Shea (38m), David Fitzmaurice (44m), Joe Looby (56m).
The Qtr. Final draw for the Acorn Life County U21 Football Championship will take place today @ 1pm approx. and will be streamed live on Kerry GAA TV.
Teams is the Draw are as follows:
St Brendan’s Board