The young players of the Annascaul / Lios Póil / Dingle minor team were in high spirits on Sunday after their combined strength proved too much for An Ghaeltacht in the West Kerry Minor Football Championship final – even though it was a close-run thing.
With only 10 minutes to go An Ghaeltacht were leading by two points and looked to have the title in the bag. But a late flourish yielded a goal and a point for the lads from east of Milltown Bridge, giving them a 3:8 to 1:12 victory in the final minutes.
Corn Tomás Ághais was out on the streets of Dingle on Sunday night and the young lads bearing the cherished prize were ecstatic after taking such a highly valued scalp.
The three-part team was formed three years ago when the Dingle minors joined forces with the Annascaul / Lios Póil combination that has been in place for the previous 20 years or so.
The move was forced on Dingle GAA because the town doesn’t have enough young footballers to field a minor team on its own. The root cause of Dingle’s dilemma is the town’s eye-watering house prices, which forces families to move out into relatively less costly homes in the surrounding rural hinterland.
“We have low numbers of young players in Dingle because fewer families are living in the environs of the town. But, thankfully, the numbers of young people are going up again now and we have more players at under-16 and under-14 level,” said Bord Chiarraí Thiar Leas Cathaoirleach Breandán Fitzgerald.
“We [Dingle] approached Annascaul and Lios Póil and they agreed that we could play together. It was a natural fit because they all play together at school level,” Breandán added. “The most important thing is that this makes possible top class competitive games in West Kerry.”