Kerins O’Rahillys 0-11
In a contest where a win would have guaranteed us a quarter final place in this year’s senior county championship we were undone by a Spa side who never gave in, never gave up and eventually got the goal which was the winning of this game.
The opening exchanges were cagey and oft times niggly, with Barry John picking up a yellow card for an off the ball incident with Dan O’Donoghue inside the opening minutes, but we had the opening scores from the in form Tom Hoare who lofted over twice with his trusty left foot following Spa indiscretions.
Michael O’Donoghue had Spa level when pointing twice from play and scores were traded over the remaining minutes with fine marks by Barry John and Conor Hayes, both placed beautifully by a deep lying Tommy with Tom Hoare and David also hitting the target.
Spa for their part kept the scoreboard ticking over and the sides retired at the short whistle, level on 0-06 each.
Jack Savage on his return from the US, joined the fray following an unfortunate injury to Barry John and his introduction led to the yellow carding of Dan O’Donoghue for some off the ball shenanigans. Jack too was carded following the intervention of the linesman as the sides trooped to the dressing rooms.
The second half saw us gain the upper hand in the opening 10 minutes with good scores coming from Tom Hoare, a free and points from play from Darragh O’Connor and Tommy - indeed Tommy’s was a beautiful effort as he curled the ball inside the upright from range.
We were managing the game well with our defence in a mean mood where Chucky kept a tight rein on Kerry player Dara Moynihan along with some fine defending from Ross and Con; with David, Tom and Gazza working hard around the middle, harassing and hounding players in possession, we looked the likely winners at this stage.
The pivotal moment came in the 42nd minute when Ben was black carded following the intervention of the linesman - his loss in the circumstances was huge as Spa now had the extra man and notched 1-02 to 0-1 in this period.
Their goal came in the 51st minute when Shane Cronin raided from deep, and following an inter change of passes the ball was slid into the corner of the net by Cian Murphy; it was a fatal blow as it left Spa in the lead for only the second time in the game and with Dan O’Donoghue raiding forward for another score Spa stretched the lead to two points, 1-09 to 0-10.
Tom pulled one back, but we could not find a way past a resolute defence to force the goal which would have pulled the game out of the fire.
It's a disappointing loss and leaves us with an uphill task as we face Mid Kerry away next weekend in our final game - they had a 4-07 to 1-10 win over Shannon Rangers in Asdee and will be favourites with home advantage.
However, we have much to play for and a reproduction of today’s efforts would see us go close - our away form this year has been much more impressive than that produced at home and an upset cannot be ruled out.
Shane Foley, Jake Foley, Ross O’Callaghan, Ryan Carroll, Con Barrett, Shane Brosnan, Ben Hanafin, David Moran (0-1), Tom Hoare (0-5, 4f), Gearóid Savage, Barry John Keane (0-1m), Shane McElligott, Darragh O’Connor (0-1), Tommy Walsh (0-1), Conor Hayes (0-2, 1m) Subs: Jack Savage for BJ Keane, 27, Diarmuid O’Sullivan for G Savage, 52, BJ Keane for C Hayes, 57