Kerins O'Rahillys

Founded 1927

Co. Kerry

Blues triumph in Gneeveguilla

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At times it was frantic, at times frenetic but what mattered most was the two points gained on a final result of 1-13 to 1-12.

We made one change from the starting line up with Tom Hoare stepping up from the bench to replace Barry John who was unavailable - Tom started in the half forward line with Gearóid Dillane going to the corner.

The opening minutes saw us lose custodian Shane Foley, who damaged a quad in his first kick out and was replaced on two minutes by Rob O’Connor - Rob has served his apprenticeship well and has been performing with authority between the posts in Div 6 - he was unfazed in his debut, kicking out well and safe under the dropping ball - his save in the 17th minute was vital and he continued to shine as the game went on and was a big factor in this victory.

We started brightly and had four points on the board in the first 10 mins with Tommy firing over two marks plus one from play and the ever busy Gearóid Dillane adding another - Gneeveguilla settled and added two points before Conor Hayes from a mark restored our 3 point advantage. Conor added another from play but a breakthrough the middle resulted in Gneeveguilla finding the net in the 29th min but we replied immediately when Tommy won another high ball and put Darragh through - Darragh made no mistake firing a bullet high into the net and the half ended with both sides trading points, Tommy again on the mark - this left the half time score @ 1-07 to 1-06 with all to play for in the second half.

The resumption saw Tom Hoare thunder into the game raising 3 white flags in 10 mins, two from play and one from a free - Gneeveguilla replied in kind and by the start of the 3rd quarter we had edged one ahead following another good point from Gearóid Dillane, 1-11 to 1-10.

By this stage we had introduced Sam Pituch for his division one debut and he performed solidly winning a couple of vital possessions with Daniel Bowler also coming in to freshen up the forward line - we were into the final minutes and the homesters levelled matters as the clock ticked into the red; the final act saw Tommy, again, win a high ball and he sent the ball sailing between the posts with his left foot for a point which eventually proved the winning score.

There was still time for one last play and defending heroically we held firm to gain a valuable two points.

This was a victory hewn from resilience, defiance and no little skill - every man played his part, our defending was outstanding with major contributions from Jake Foley, Darragh McElligott and Ben Hanafin; David was outstanding at midfield when the game was in the melting pot and was ably assisted by the aforementioned Tom Hoare; up front Tommy was magnificent, his mark on 10 mins from an almost impossible angle off his left a reminder of his ability - all the other forwards plus substitutions ensured we did not leave empty handed.

The team was cheered off the pitch by the large travelling support which the team and management are much appreciative of; also, a special thanks to Denis Hanafin and Marion Bowler for taking on the task of umpiring and the ever reliable CJ for running the line.

The decision to enter a team in Division 6 a few years ago was more than vindicated tonight - fringe players have had the opportunity to get valuable game time since the start of the season and the likes of Rob O’Connor, Sam Pituch, Stephen Nix and Daniel Bowler have profited from their participation there - others will surely follow.

There is a two week break now until we travel to Lewis Road in the next round when we take on Dr Crokes.

In the intervening time, Tommy will exchange wedding vows with Dawn and we wish them both a lifetime of health and happiness.

Team : Shane Foley, Jake Foley, Shane Brosnan, Stephen Nix, Shane McEllligott, Darragh McElligott, Ben Hanafin, David Moran, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Seán Walsh, Conor Hayes, Tom Hoare, Darragh O’Connor, Tommy Walsh, Gearóid Dillane.

Scorers: Tommy (0-05), Tom (0-04), Darragh (1-0), Gearóid (0-02), Conor ( 0-02).

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