Tuesday 30 September 2014

Duagh end fifty years of famine

Published 01/01/2014 | 05:36

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That's how much it means: Emotions fly freely from the Duagh backroom team as the final whistle sounds after their replayed 2012 North Kerry Senior Football Championship final against Beale at Frank Sheehy Memorial Park in Listowel on Sunday. Photo by John Reidy

THIS story began in December, 2012.

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With a St Stephen's Day Final that wasn't. A refixed match that took the breath away and an early January replay that saw the dreams and hopes and yearning of an entire parish for the end of a fifty year famine come to fruition. Duagh were North Kerry champions for the first time since 1962.

Having come from behind in the drawn game with Anthony Maher stealing the show with some dramatic point scoring in the second half, Duagh took the early initiative and never let go or looked back in Frank Sheehy Park. They defeated Beale nine points to six. It could have been twice that on the day when Beale were reduced to fourteen men in the second half for the sending off of Paul Collins. Then again one has to hand to to Beale for their resilience.

There was always a chance, even down to the last five or six minutes, that they might snatch something from the jaws of defeat, but with Duagh goalkeeper Jer Kelly in sublime form and with Maurice O'Connor running the show alongside Maher around the middle Duagh had too many aces for Beale who will surely feel that their best chance at victory was that first day.

When people look back on the game in the furture, they'll rememeber the skill and determination of this bunch of Duagh footballers, they'll remember the outpouring of emotion as the Duagh faithful invaded the pitch and they'll remember the passionate speech given by Duagh captain Kieran Quirke. One of the finest speeches by a captain most of those present will recall ever hearing.

The Mall well and truly rejoiced.


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