A game played in the most adverse weather conditions with strong winds and driving rain, went down to the wire before we saw off the strong challenge of Austin Stacks to retain the town championship and complete a hat trick of wins in this competition.
We faced the elements in the first half when playing into the John Mitchels end, but making light of the conditions opened brightly when Johnny Keane had our first score, a point when taking a pass from Tommy Walsh to split the posts; Tommy opened his account shortly afterwards when pointing from a free after he had dropped a previous effort short into the strong breeze – we continued to dominate around the middle through the good work of David Moran and Con Barrett with Stacks finding it hard to create any openings due to the strong play of Karl Mullins at centre back ably assisted by Cormac Coffey.
The next score was to prove vital in the overall context of the game and it was Tommy who provided the goal when being too good for his marker and firing a rising shot to the net for a 1-02 to nil score line.
Shane O’Callaghan had the Rock’s opening score shortly afterwards from a free but we continued to press and Tommy restored our lead from a free with 16 mins gone; Darragh O’Brien then pointed from play for the Rock which was quickly cancelled out by Cormac Coffey who latched on to a high ball to volley over the bar – there were to be no more scores from here to the short whistle with a couple of wides from both sides but mention must be made of a fine save by Shane Foley from Mikey Collins in a one on one situation – half time : Kerins O’Rahillys 1-04, Austin Stacks 0-02.
The second half saw weather conditions improve and Stacks more in the game; points from Darragh O’Brien ( a free), Shane O’Callaghan ( 2) and Dylan Casey from the 34th-53rd minutes saw the deficit cut to the minimum as we failed to capitalise on some good scoring chances and were again thankful to Shane in goals for keeping the Rock at bay – at this stage we had lost Chuckie and Padraig Griffin to injury but it was substitute Donagh O’Brien who lifted the siege with a point following good work by Tom Hoare and Johnny Keane – again the Rock hit back but two points from Cormac and Tom Hoare ( a great effort from an acute angle) saw us three clear with 60 mins on the clock – there was still time for another play and though Barry Shanahan pointed it was too little, too late and we ran out two point winners, 1-07 to 0-08.
The Roddy O’Donnell Cup was presented to Danny O’Sullivan by board chairman John Slattery with Shane Foley deservedly taking the man of the match award for his outstanding display.
We now await news of the county league final vs Dr Crokes which is still unclear due to Dr Crokes commitments in Munster and East Kerry championships – we await developments.
Team: Shane Foley, Danny O’Sullivan, Ross O’Callaghan, Darragh McElligott, Jason O’Leary, Karl Mullins, Cormac Coffey ( 0-02), David Moran, Con Barrett, Padraig Griffin, Chuckie Carroll, Tom Hoare ( 0-01), Gearóid Savage, Tommy Walsh ( 1-02), Johnny Keane ( 0-01).
Subs: Gearóíd Dillane, Donagh O’Brien ( 0-01), Seán Collins, Kieran Mangan, Gearóid Harnett & Aidan Mangan.