A game that was in the melting pot swung the way of our great rivals in dramatic fashion 12 minutes into the second half when first Barry John Keane received a second yellow card reducing our numbers to 14 and then following a Stacks wide a wayward kick out gifted possession to Star who slipped the ball to an inrushing forward for the lead goal. These were the pivotal moments in a game where there was very little between the sides with scores level at the break, 0-07 each and level again on two occasions in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
An injury to David Moran with Kerry led to his withdrawal before the game which was a major blow to our chances.
Stacks had the aid of the slight breeze in the opening half and quickly set about their work, registering 3 points without reply after just 4 minutes before Tommy Walsh tapped over our opening score from a free on 6 minutes. Stacks had further points from Ferdia O’Brien to lead by four but we gradually worked our way into the game with good play from Con Barrett and Gavin O’Brien around the middle and we fired over 4 points to level matters by the 24th minute following scores from Tommy (2), Chucky and Barry John – Stacks went ahead again but Barry John and then John Ferguson pointed to leave us ahead by the minimum as half time approached. A missed free and a point from Star when he connected with a high ball saw the sides retire at the break on level terms.
There were no alterations to either side at the break and though David Mannix had the Rock in front on the resumption, Tommy again levelled matters from a free; Greg Horan’s point from play was quickly negated by another free from Tommy and then Gavin O’Brien scythed through the Rock following a great fetch to give us the lead point from an acute angle with a fisted point; Stacks levelled matters again as we approached the 12th minute of the second half.
The game was then to turn the way of the Rock as above mentioned and there was to be no way back despite the best efforts of Tommy, Gavin O’Brien, Cormac Coffey, Ross O’Callaghan and Chucky who never threw in the towel and were still taking the game to the Rock in the final minutes.
However, it was not to be, and despite making late changes , Stacks held out for the win.
Attention now turns to Sunday week, 8th April when current club and county champions Dr Crokes visit Strand Road, where throw in is @ 14.30
Team: Gary Kissane, Danny O’Sullivan, Ross O’Callaghan, Cormac Coffey, Cian Sayers, Shane Brosnan, Karl Mullins, Con Barrett, John C O’Connor, Ryan Carroll ( 0-01), Tommy Walsh ( 0-07), Gavin O’Brien ( 0-01), Jack Savage ( 0-01), Barry John Keane ( 0-02), John Ferguson ( 0-01).
Subs used: Gearoid Savage, Padraig Griffin, Diarmuid O’Sullivan.