O'Mahony plays through pain to inspire Rathmore
Rathmore 0-12 Laune Rangers 0-10
KINGDOM star Aidan O'Mahony heroically played through the pain barrier as Rathmore captured the county title at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney yesterday.
O'Mahony -- a member of the Kerry team which lost to Dublin in this year's All-Ireland SFC final -- suffered a suspected broken bone in his left leg early in the game, but despite limping badly throughout, he refused to come off the field.
The long-serving county stalwart was then moved from midfield to full-forward -- where he proceed to bag two points from play -- before finally being replaced by Paul Reen with eight minutes to go, at which stage Rathmore had drawn level at 0-10 apiece.
And in the final minutes, impressive wing-forward Mark Reen edged Rathmore ahead when he bagged his third point from play, before Michael O'Riordan doubled the East Kerry side's advantage.
Laune Rangers, however, will rue a late missed goal opportunity when Rathmore goalkeeper Padraic McCarthy was quick off his line to clear a dangerous long ball with several Laune Rangers forwards lurking.
Rathmore, who had led 0-7 to 0-5 at half-time, held on to win their first senior county title since 1999, with their spirit and determination summed up by the injured O'Mahony, as manager Denis Moynihan explained.
"We should have taken him off earlier. But he didn't want to come off. The physio felt that he wouldn't last the game.
"Aidan spoke about that at half-time, that even on one leg he would give it everything. That will tell you what it means to Aidan, and all the players," said Moynihan.
Rathmore could yet represent Kerry in the Munster Club SFC series, if Mid Kerry beat reigning championsDr Crokes in the Kerry SFC final in Killarney next Sunday.
Scorers -- Rathmore: M O'Riordan 0-4 (3f), M Reen 0-3, J Moynihan, A O'Mahony 0-2 each, C O'Sullivan 0-1. Laune Rangers: MF Russell 0-5 (1 '45', 1f), S Foley 0-3, S McSweeney, P Sheehan 0-1 each.
Rathmore -- P McCarthy; C Kelly, T O'Sullivan, J O'Sullivan; P Murphy, K Cahill, C O'Sullivan; A O'Mahony, J Buckley; E Lawlor, M Reen, D O'Sullivan; M O'Riordan, G O'Keeffe, J Moynihan. Subs: Paul Reen for O'Mahony (52); S Lehane for D O'Sullivan (55).
Laune Rangers -- T Lyons; K Crowley, J Carey, C Johnston; P Sheehan, J Sheehan, P Crowley; T McGillycuddy, M Foley; S McSweeney, K Doona, G O'Mahony; S O'Connor, S Foley, MF Russell. Subs: P Joy for O'Connor (h-t); R Keane for O'Mahony (52).
Ref -- D Sayers (Austin Stacks)