U21 FOOTBALL: Austin Stacks 3-17; Dingle 1-5. MATCH PHOTOS NOW ADDED.
Conditions were ideal for football in Connolly Park on this Wednesday evening (25th June) for the first round of the County Championship. We made a good start and led by two points to no score by the 5th minute with Danny Carroll on target from play and Darragh O’Brien converting a free after he, himself, was fouled. But Dingle pounced on a defensive error in the 9th minute which led to their only goal of the game. This seemed to ignite the visitors and, by the 20th minute, they had added a further four points, which left them five clear at that stage. However in the closing minutes of the half we upped our game again putting over four also, all from play, with two each for Eamon McAllen and Darragh O’Brien. Dingle led by one at half time (1-4 to 0-6).
Whatever was said in the Rock Dressingroom at half time certainly worked as we came out a different team in the second half. We were in complete control and the four players who were introduced during the course of this half could easily have started. Three of them got on the score sheet, for example. We held the opposition scoreless from play in this half – their one point coming from a converted free in the 54th minute, while we went on to score a further 3-11, all from play. Our first goal came in the 50th minute when second half sub, Calvin Foley was put through by fellow sub Breandán Caball.
The game was well and truly over when our remaining two goals came in the closing two minutes with Greg Horan and Eamon McAllen on target.
Dingle, it must said, were without a number of players who would be normally be on their starting 15 (including five of their Minors who are on the Kerry panel).
One of the welcome aspects of the evening was to see the return to football duty of Colin Griffin and he looked eager and impressive during the 20 minutes or so he was on the pitch. It was his first game in over 11 months, since picking up that severe cruciate injury.
Team: Patrick Fitzgibbon, Dylan Harnett, Eoghan McKivergan, Tom McLoughlin, Seán Ryan, Ciarán O’Connell, Barry Walsh, Greg Horan (1-0), Conor Jordan (0-1), Kyle Fitzgibbon (0-1), Darragh O’Brien (0-4 – 1 free), Shane Crowley, Eamon McAllen (1-3), Danny Carroll (0-5), Ciarán Flanagan.
Subs used: Colin Griffin (41m) (0-2), James Galvin (41m), Calvin Foley (41m) (1-0), Breandán Caball (50m) (0-1).