U21 Co. Championship Semi Final: East Kerry 1-14; Austin Stacks 2-9.
Even though we eventually lost by two points it could still be regarded as one of the greatest come-backs of all come-backs. We trailed by 0-6 to 0-2 at half time – both of our points coming from frees – Ferdia O’Brien after 15 minutes and Seán Quilter on the stroke of half time. Then ten minutes into the second half we looked really dead and buried when we trailed by 1-10 to 0-2. But in a ten minute spell (41st to 51st) we scored 1-7 without reply to leave us just one behind at that stage (1-10 to 1-9). Some of those scores, in their execution and build-up were some of the best of the evening. Second half substitute Gearóid Sheehan got the ball rolling with a pointed free followed by two from Seán Quilter (one from a free). Two minutes after came our first goal. Adam Curran intercepted a dangerous East Kerry attack, found Eoghan Carroll who passed to Ferdia O’Brien and Ferdia found the on-rushing Dylan Casey who was brought down in the square and Ferdia coolly sent the ball low to the keepers left. David Fitzmaurice then won the kick-out and from distance sent over a beauty. Dylan Casey then put over after good work by Gearóid Sheehan, followed quickly by two super pointed frees from Seán Quilter (1-0 to 1-9 at that stage).
East Kerry then added two more points in the space of two minutes to leave them three ahead again after 53 minutes. Then, with two minutes of normal time remaining Dara Barry Walsh launched a high ball into the square which deceived everyone and went all the way to the net and bring us level for the first time in the game (2-9 to 1-12).
However a shell-shocked East Kerry regrouped and in the next six minutes (there was four minutes of additional time) added what turned out to be those last winning two points of the game.
So for a second season in a row we were just pipped at the post by the same opposition to prevent us from reaching our first final since 2003. But when you consider that only two of the 19 who played in last evenings final were actually 21 and five had lined out with the Minors two days before this augurs well for next season with a commitment from Team Manager, Wayne Quillinan and his colleagues Jonathan Conway, Paudie McQuinn, Eamonn O’Reilly, John O’Sullivan and Mikey Collins to be there also in 2020. Well done lads for a super season even if it didn’t end with silverware.
Team: Robbie Murphy, Shane Kelliher, Dylan Casey (Capt) (0-1), Dara Barry Walsh (1-0), Adam Curran, Brandon Patterson, Shane Walsh, Joseph O’Connor, David Fitzmaurice (0-1), Donagh McMahon, Michael O’Gara, Donagh McKivergan, Seán Quilter (0-5 – four frees), Conor Myers, Ferdia O’Brien (1-1 – penalty goal; pointed free).
Subs used: Gearóid Sheehan (ht) (0-1), Gearóid Fitzgerald (ht), Luke Chester (36m), Eoghan Carroll (36m).