Dromid firepower too much for Na Gaeil

Na Gaeil's Dan O'Connor pulls away from Dromid Pearses Denis O'Sullivan in the Junior championship. Photo by Eye Focus LTD
Na Gaeil's Dan O'Connor pulls away from Dromid Pearses Denis O'Sullivan in the Junior championship. Photo by Eye Focus LTD

ULTIMATELY this Junior Championship encounter came down to experience and craft on Saturday evening.

Dromid Pearses (making their return to the competition after success in 2011) had it in spades as they emerged from Na Gaeil victorious in what were tricky conditions at the Tralee venue. It was nip and tuck between the two sides up to the three-quarter mark, but when Tomas Curran and Denis O'Sullivan scored two goals in three minutes for the visitors, there was only ever going to be one winner.

Na Gaeil were leading by 0-4 to 0-3 after 15 minutes but lost corner-forward Diarmuid Herlihy to a black card soon after with Dylan Seymour coming on in his place. Proceedings weren't conducive to good, free-flowing football in the first-half but the hosts were admirable in how they took the game to their more experienced opponents.

David Culloty put them 0-5 to 0-4 ahead with five minutes left in the half, but a free from Declan O'Sullivan followed by a second point from Gearoid O'Sullivan had the South Kerry side leading by 0-6 to 0-5 at the break.

Both sides traded two points apiece after the restart, but Dromid reeled off three unanswered points through substitutes Aidan O'Connor and Denis O'Shea alongside a point from full-forward Chris Farley to lead by 0-11 to 0-7 after 45 minutes.

Darragh Carmody did reduce the gap to three, but in the 47th minute, when an effort that appeared to be going wide from Declan O'Sullivan was kept in play by Farley; his subsequent shot was rebounded into the net by Denis O'Sullivan to give Dromid control of the match. Two minutes later O'Shea fed Tomas Curran who fisted the ball into the net to end the game as a contest at 2-11 to 0-8.

Mikey Griffin and Dan O'Connor worked hard until the finish for Na Gaeil, but they could never match the craft of Dromid when the opportunities arose for the visitors. What was probably the most impressive feature for the victors was how they played as a unit without much of a reliance on Declan O'Sullivan for scores.

Their prize for last Saturday night's victory is another trip to a St Brendans venue, Churchill this time, in the quarter-finals.

Na Gaeil: Timmy Culloty, Ross Culloty, Kieran Dineen, Darragh Sheehy, Dylan Brassil, Jack Barry, Eoin Doody, Michael Griffin (0-3), Dan O'Connor, Kieran O'Donovan, David Culloty (0-1), Seamie O'Neill, Darragh Carmody (0-4, 1f), Jamie Lowham, Diarmuid Herlihy (0-1) Subs: Dylan Seymour for Herlihy (BC), Eoin Sheehy for David Culloty and Padraig O'Sullivan for O'Neill, Emmet Curran for Darragh Sheehy and Shane Fitzgerald for Ross Culloty

Dromid Pearses: Daniel Curran, Donal O'Sullivan, Dominic O'Sullivan, Cian O'Shea, Kevin O'Shea, Padraig O'Sullivan, Paul Fitzgerald, Thomas Curran (1-2, 1f), Aidan O'Sullivan, Micheal Sheehan (0-1), Declan O'Sullivan (0-2, 2f), Denis O'Sullivan (1-0), Gearoid O'Sullivan (0-3), Chris Farley (0-2), Dylan O'Donoghue (0-1) Subs: Aidan O'Connor (0-1) for O'Donoghue, Denis O'Shea (0-1) for Cian O'Shea, Keelan Farley for Fitzgerald

Referee: Stephen Mulvihill (Ballylongford)