Kerry star Mike Breen makes his return to the field of play as a substitute
COUNTY CLUB IFC GROUP 1 ROUND 1
Beaten finalists in both 2020 and 2021, Beaufort showed signs of mounting a serious challenge in the Intermediate Championship again this season following a comfortable victory over Currow in Killorglin on Saturday evening.
Currow were without talisman Seamus Scanlon on the day, and fielded a relatively young team with Raymond O’Neill and Cathal Brosnan making their Championship debuts from the start. Beaufort also handed a Championship debut to Timmy Casey in their starting team.
The throw in was won by Beaufort, and while the early ball forward went over the head of Kieran Dennehy, the young corner forward did well to overturn possession and was fouled to give Fergal Hallissey a handy free to open the scoring.
This was a sign of things to come for Beaufort as both Kieran Dennehy and his brother Darragh – sons of Currow’s former county player Pa – caused havoc to the full-back line in the early stages.
Beaufort had seven points on the board with Kieran Dennehy, Liam Carey (two), Fergal Hallissey (two, one from a mark) and Darragh Dennehy adding the scores before Currow troubled the scoreboard operator – Luke Fitzgerald and Mike McCarthy (free) pointing for their side. A pointed free by Fergal Hallissey left Beaufort ahead by 0-8 to 0-2 with fifteen minutes played.
Currow pointed twice more through John Curtin and Conor Sheahan and were starting to improve offensively, although a Kieran Dennehy chance that flashed wide into the side netting should have served as a warning, as Beaufort attacked down the left flank to open the Currow defence again and Liam Carey passed across the square for Ronan Murphy to punch the ball into the net.
Currow defender Shane Brosnan got up field to score a point but Beaufort continued to attack. Liam Carey, Seán O’Brien (a mark) and Kieran Dennehy scored excellent points to give Beaufort a commanding lead at the break. Half-time score Beaufort 1-11, Currow 0-5.
The Beaufort attacking wave showed no signs of subsiding in the early stages of the second half with points added by Kieran Dennehy, Ronan Murphy and Ciarán Kennedy, while they also introduced Mike Breen from the bench for his return from an injury that saw him miss Kerry’s campaign to claim Sam.
Mike McCarthy pointed a free for Currow, but this would be their only score of the third quarter, and one that was nullified by a Fergal Hallissey free. Currow did produce a goal chance, but saw an initial shot stopped by Seán Coffey, the rebound blocked by a defender and a third effort roll wide.
Kieran Dennehy continued his rich vein of form with another point to leave Beaufort leading by 1-16 to 0-6 with fifteen minutes remaining.
Beaufort’s strength in depth was evident as they introduced Jack O’Connor during the second half and he added a point as his shot at goal flashed over the bar.
He made no mistake with his next chance though, as Ciarán Kennedy cut through the Currow defence before passing to the Kerry Under 20 forward O’Connor who rippled the net for Beaufort’s second goal.
Pa McCarthy added a couple of pointed frees while Beaufort scored thrice more. Substitute (and another Championship debutant) Mikey Moriarty and Fergal Hallissey added points before the outstanding Kieran Dennehy scored his fifth of the evening before the final whistle.
BEAUFORT: Seán Coffey, Ethan Coffey, Ger Hartnett, Kieran O’Sullivan, Timmy Casey, Nathan Breen, Mark Neary, Seán O’Brien (0-1 mk), Ronan Murphy (1-1), Fergal Hallissey (capt, 0-6, 3f, 1mk), Ciarán Kennedy (0-1), Pádraig Doona, Kieran Dennehy (0-5), Liam Carey (0-3), Darragh Dennehy (0-1) Subs: Mike Breen for Neary, Jack O’Connor (1-1) for D Dennehy, Ian McGillicuddy for Casey, Mikey Moriarty (0-1) for Doona
CURROW: Shane O’Leary, Alex Fleming, Kevin Fitzgerald, Shane Brosnan (0-1), Raymond O’Neill, Gareth O’Connor (capt), Mike Hanifin, Seán Brosnan, Seamus Brosnan, Cathal Brosnan, Conor Sheahan (0-1), Luke Fitzgerald (0-1), Mike McCarthy (0-2f), David Moriarty, John Curtin (0-1) Subs: Pa McCarthy (0-2f) for M McCarthy, Adam Healy for O’Neill, Adam Manley for Hanifin, John O’Connor for Sheahan, Nathan O’Callaghan for L Fitzgerald
REFEREE: Mike Brosnan