HAVING finished the league campaign proper in positions 1 and 2, it was left to Ballydonoghue and St Senans to line out against each other in the 2013 Division 1 North League final played in Moyvane last week.
U16 North Kerry Div 1 League Final
Ballydonoghue 4-15 St Senans 0-6
A good crowd gathered in what can only be described as weather conditions more akin to what we expect in December with a very strong wind blowing into the village goal and icy showers falling sporadically during the game.
The wisest person in North Kerry probably expected Ballydonoghue to win this game pulling up, as they have, for the past four years or so, been a power house at their age level in North Kerry and beyond, however, in the initial stages of this game Senans hadn't read the script and tore into the game with vigour and commitment and for most of the first half the Mountcoal lads gave as good as they got and matched Ballydonoghue stride for stride.
A missed penalty after a fantastic diving save by John Scully in the 10th minute could have given Senans a real hold on this game as their forwards were giving the Ballydonoghue backs plenty to think about and three fantastic points from David Behan plus two from Cathal Kennelly signalled Senans intent to bring the game right to Ballydonoghue. As the half progressed though you could sense that Ballydonoghue were finding another gear and once they got their passing game together they began to pick off scores and torment the Senans' defence.
In the 22nd minute Jason Foley goaled for Ballydonoghue and in the next seven minutes they would score three more goals from Jack Foley (2) and Dara Sheehy to leave the half-time score Ballydonoghue 4-3 Senan's 0-5.
Playing with the aid of the strong wind at the start of the second half Ballydonoghue pinned Senan's into their own half but the pressure did not reflect on the score board as Ballydonoghue were guilty of some wayward kicking. It was eight minutes into the second half before Senan's managed to cross the half-way line, but missed two point opportunities mainly as a result of the strong wind.
At this stage Ballydonoghue got their passing game together once again and began to rattle of some excellently taken scores. Senans didn't manage to score in the second half until the 25th minute by which time the game was over as a contest.
The scoreline will suggest that this game was one way traffic and it would be a disservice to Ballydonoghue to say otherwise, however, St Senans tried and tried to the bitter end and to their immense credit not once did they hang their heads.
In honesty this Ballydonoghue team are capable of beating anything North Kerry (and more) can throw at it, so there is no need for the Senans lads to feel too down about this defeat as they possess some excellent footballers and for the neutral present in Moyvane on Monday last, they will have gone away with a great deal of faith and pride in North Kerry football.
Ballydonoghue: J Scully, C Horgan, J O' Connor, J Lynch (0-02), K O' Connell, (J Behan 49) M Foley (0-01), D Doyle (0-01), (L Kissane 52 mins), B Shanahan, J Foley (1-01), K Lynch (0-01), D Sheehy (1-02), K O' Donnell (0-01), W Kissane (0-02) S Mason (44 mins), J Foley 2-02, B Mason 0-02, (M Dee 53) D Power
St Senan's: C Stack, D O' Regan , D Brosnan, G Galvin, K Lyons, A O' Mahony, R Nolan, C Brown, P Dillon (D Browne 49th min), B Keane (Capt), C Kennelly (0-02) D Stack (0-01), C Kennelly, J Hennessy (43 mins), D Behan (0-03), D Kennelly, M O' Rourke
Thursday May 23
Division 4 League Final
Finuge B v Tarbert B, Coolard 7.30pm
Friday May 31
Division 1 League Semi-Final
Brosna v Beale, Listowel 7pm
Saturday June 1
Division 1 Play-off
Listowel Emmets v Castleisland Desmonds, Finuge 7pm
Division 2 Final
Ballylongford v Ballydonoghue, Asdee 7pm
Monday June 3
2012 U21 Football Championship Final
St Senans v Listowel Emmets, Duagh 2pm
Division 5 League Final
St Senans C v Knockanure, Duagh 3.30pm
* The next meeting of the NKFB will take place on Monday, May 28 in the Mermaids Listowel at 8.30pm.