WEST Kerry gave a brilliant display of football last Sunday to win the Under 16 County District Championship Final in Strand Road, Tralee. Eight of their players were on the scoreboard, while Mid Kerry had to rely on Jonathan O'Sullivan at full-forward for all their scores, bar one point from Gavin Horan.
LEE STRAND UNDER-16 COUNTY DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
West Kerry 0-16 Mid Kerry 2-6
Mid Kerry also relied too much on playing the ball through their big players up the middle while West Kerry had talented players all over the pitch.
Mid Kerry got a dream start when Jonathan O'Sullivan pointed a free after being fouled in the first minute. Within a minute he was bursting through the middle to finish a powerful shot to the back of the West Kerry net. However, West Kerry took over for the next twenty minutes, scoring nine points without reply. Team captain, Matthew O'Flaherty was handling an amount of ball around mid-field while Cathal Bambury was proving to be unstoppable at full forward. Bambury had four points in the first half and was fouled on two other occasions resulting in two pointed frees from Seamus Moriarty.
Twenty-four minutes into the first half Cathal Bambury, with two points in as many minutes, put West Kerry ahead by 9 points to 1-1. However it was all Mid Kerry in the closing minutes of the half and two pointed frees from Jonathan O'Sullivan had the halftime margin down to three points, 0-9 to 13.
Mid Kerry started the second half with a great movement that should have resulted in a second goal but the ball was kicked wide from the edge of the square. West Kerry responded with three points in rapid succession to go six points up, 0-12 to 1-3, after seven minutes. With the game slipping away from them, Mid Kerry hit a purple patch with Gavin Horan, Liam Carey and Jonathan O'Sullivan dominating possession. Gavin Horan pointed from play before Jonathan O'Sullivan pointed two frees to reduce the margin to three points by the 11th minute. Two minutes later the scores were level when Horan and David Roche put a ball through to Jonathan O'Sullivan and the excellent full-forward finished to the net, to level the scores at 0-12 to 2-6.
West Kerry responded with a flourish and points from Cathal Bambury, Matthew Flaherty and Seamus Moriarty restored their three-point lead mid way through the second half. Amazingly, despite a lot of end-toend action there was only one score in the final quarter, a point from Tom O'Sullivan in the 25th minute.
The Con Courtney Memorial Cup was presented to the Captain, Matthew Flaherty, by the Coiste na nÓg Vice Chairman, Reggie Griffin. This was West Kerry's first win in this competition since 2004. WEST KERRY: Alan Ó Suilleabháin, Brian O Beaglaoich, Conchúir Ó Súilleabháin, Cian Ó Murchú, Mark Ó Conchúir, Cian Ó Cinnéide, Tomás Ó Súilleabháin, Matiú Ó Flahertaigh, Seán Ó Gairbhi, Seán Ó Bambaire, Séamus Ó Muircheartaigh, Roibeard Ó Sé, Conchúir Ó Géibheannaigh, Cathal Ó Bambaire, Fionn Mac Caochlaoich. Subs: Mairtin Ó Gormáin, Aodhán Ó Conchúir, Lúcás De Bhailis, Dara Ó Brosnacháin, J.J. Ó hEosa, Eoin Ó Curraí, Gareth Ó hIcaí, Muiris Ó Slatara, Cathal Ó Gairbhí, Ronán Ó Grifín, Tomás L. Ó Súilleabháin, Liam Ó Brosnacháin, Tomás Breathnach, Colm Ó Beaglaoi, Colin Ó Dubháin, Tadgh Ó Muircheartaigh. MID KERRY: Paudie McMahon, Brendan Cronin, Shane O'Sullivan, Brendan Foley, David Roche, John Tyther, Gavin Evans, Gavin Horan, Daniel Macbeth, Danny Healy, Liam Carey, Darragh Coffey, Eoin O'Brien, Jonathan O'Sullivan, Tommy Cahill. Subs: David Costello, Cathal O'Connor, Calvin Teahan, Ciarán Griffin, Cormac Leane, Niall O'Connor, Thady O'Sullivan, Eoin O'Mahony, Shane Moriarty, Tadhg McCarthy, Michael Dennehy, Dylan Prendergast, Gavin McKenna, Liam Corcoran. REFEREE: Paul Hayes (Kerins O'Rahillys)