IT was nearly 30 years since their last competitive meeting but Castleisland Desmonds were in no mood for nostalgia as they powered to a comfortable six-point victory over Beaufort on home turf last Saturday evening.
While they had suffered the disappointment of an early exit from the Intermediate Championship the week before, they were much too good for Mid Kerry side Beaufort in the second half, the visitors registering only two points in the second period after being very competitive in the opening half.
Both sides shared two points apiece in the opening 10 minutes but Beaufort stole in for a goal soon after, Francis Courtney finding the net at the second time of asking. The home side were matching them with scores however, Thomas Hickey putting over four points in the first-half, as they contended with a difficult breeze running across the pitch. Fergal Hallissey put over an impressive '45' for the visitors in the 22nd minute but three unanswered points from Hickey, Shane O'Connor and Steven Bartlett gave Desmonds an 0-8 to 1-4 lead at the break. Mike Moriarty denied them an even better advantage at half-time, preventing wing-back Denis O'Connor from scoring a goal.
O'Connor did manage a point in the second-half however and a point from Maurice Hickey ensured the entire Desmonds half-back line scored, Pat Fitzgerald and Kieran O'Callaghan dominating midfield as Beaufort were troubled by a powerful running game from their opponents on the night.
Eoin Murphy's goal in the 35th minute was the catalyst for the home side's victory as he took advantage of some sloppiness from the Beaufort defence after a quickly taken free. After a second point for Bartlett and the aforementioned points for both Denis O'Connor and Maurice Hickey, the game really fizzled out as a contest in the final quarter.
A second '45' from Hallissey in the 46th minute was the game's last score and there was little to enthuse about after. Hallissey blazed a goalscoring opportunity wide for Beaufort before Edward O'Sullivan fired wide of Ger Reidy's post near the end, indicative of how it was never really Beaufort's game despite the best efforts of James Coffey and Ronan Murphy. The post denied Steven Bartlett a second goal for Desmonds but there was plenty to be happy about from the St Kierans side's point of view as they continued their rebuilding process with a young side with a second League win.
Castleisland Desmonds: Ger Reidy, Michael Brosnan, Maurice Lynch, Tadgh O'Connell, Maurice Hickey (0-1), Shane O'Connor (0-1), Denis O'Connor (0-1), Pat Fitzgerald, Kieran O'Callaghan (0-1), Donagh O'Connell, Tomas Hickey (0-4, 3f), Barry O'Neill, Eoin Murphy (1-1), Barry Lynch (0-1), Steven Bartlett (0-2). Subs: Micheal Walsh for Donagh O'Connell and Gearoid McCarthy for Murphy
Beaufort: Mike Moriarty, Ger Hartnett, Nathan Breen, Sean Fogarty, Padraig O'Sullivan, James Coffey, Michael J O'Connor, Ronan Murphy, Fergal Hallissey (0-2, 2'45'), Micheal Hallissey Edward O'Sullivan (0-2), Liam Carey, Eanna O'Malley, Francis Courtney (1-1, 1f), Kevin O'Brien (0-1, 1f) Sub: Edwin Kelliher for Eanna O'Malley
Referee: Denis O'Sullivan (Finuge)