Gutsy O'Rahillys overcome South Kerry

County SFC Round 1: Kerins O'Rahillys 2-16 South Kerry 2-12

Tommy Walsh, Kerins O'Rahilly's, breaks away with the ball pursued by Mark Griffin and Denis Daly, South Kerry, in their County SFC match. Photo by Domnick Walsh
Tommy Walsh, Kerins O'Rahilly's, breaks away with the ball pursued by Mark Griffin and Denis Daly, South Kerry, in their County SFC match. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Padraig Shanahan, Strand Road, Tralee

Kerins O'Rahillys put their recent struggles behind them with a second half performance of grit and determination to overpower South Kerry who looked to be in the driving seat in this game at half-time.

South Kerry lined out without county man Killian Young and were hit further before throw in when Bryan Sheehan cried off, but they hit their stride immediately and after two quick fire goals they seemed to have the home side in some bother.

Kicking a total of ten wides, seven in the ten minute period prior to half-time, it looked like the home side would pay dearly for their waywardness. However, after re-focussing the radar at half-time, O'Rahillys were well dominant in the second half and closed the game out with some ease.

Both sides exchanges scores in the early minutes through Paul O'Donoghue and Barry John Keane before the centre of the O'Rahillys defence was split open in the sixth minute and midfielder Brendan O'Sullivan galloped through and crashed the ball to the net.

No sooner had the home side tried to compose themselves after this set back when they were reeling once more when corner-forward Daniel Daly finished to the net and South Kerry looked to be well on top.

Credit to O'Rahillys, however, who stuck to their task and reeled off the next four scores through Keane with three and corner-forward John Ferguson with one to reduce the deficit to two, 0-6 to 2-2, by the mid point of the first half.

Paul O'Donoghue, continuing to show up well, extended South Kerry's lead and this was added to by captain Denis Daly making another of his forays in to the opposition half.

The home side then went through their period of profligacy in front of goal and their cause seemed even harder when Tommy Walsh was forced off injured in the 25th minute, but they hung in there and wing-back Karl Mullins from play and Jack Savage from a free had the deficit reduced to four at the break, 0-10 to 2-8.

Credit to Morgan Nix and Mike Quirke as their half-time words had the desired effect and O'Rahillys burst from the blocks in the second half. Ferguson goaled in the 35th minute, after good work by Gavin O'Brien, to reduce the deficit to the minimum.

Further scores were reeled off by sub Gearoid Savage, Keane, Coffey and Keane again before sub Savage struck for the decisive score in the 46th minute as he tapped to the net after the initial shot by Con Barrett was stopped on the line.

South Kerry seemed to lack the leadership of their county men at this juncture and it took them until the 50th minute to register their first score of the half through Daniel Daly.

Wing-back Robert Wharton continued to take the game to the home side, but Ferguson and Padraig Griffin added further scores which meant that late scores from Daniel Daly were never enough to rescue their cause.

Kerins O'Rahillys: Gary Kissane, Tommy Begley, Padraig Griffin (0-1), Danny O'Sullivan, Cormac Coffey (0-1), Ross O'Callaghan, Karl Mullins (0-1), David Moran, Tommy Walsh, Gavin O'Brien, Con Barrett, Cian Sayers, Jack Savage (0-3, 1f), Barry John Keane (0-7, 2f), John Ferguson (1-2). Subs: Gearoid Savage (1-1) for T Walsh (inj, 24 mins), Rory Molloy for P Griffin (55 mins)

South Kerry: Padraig O'Sullivan (Skellig Rangers), Paul O'Sullivan (Valentia), Mark Griffin (St. Michael's Foilmore), Fionan Clifford (Waterville), Graham O'Sullivan (Skellig Rangers), Denis Daly 0-1 (St. Mary's), Robert Warton (Renard), Padraig King (St. Michael's Foilmore), Brendan O'Sullivan 1-0 (Valentia), Paul O'Donoghue 0-5, 1f (St. Mary's), Niall O'Shea 0-1 (Dromid Pearses), Chris Farley (Dromid Pearses), Conor O'Shea (St. Mary's), Matthew O'Sullivan (St. Michael's Foilmore), Daniel Daly 1-5, 2f (St Marys). Subs: Dilan O'Donoghue (Dromid Pearses) for C O'Shea (h-t), Barry Dwyer (Waterville) for C Farley (38 mins), John Curran (Valentia) for P O'Sullivan (58 mins), Darragh O'Sullivan (St Mary's) for P King (58 mins).

Referee: Donal Casey (Scartaglin)


The game in 60 seconds

Main man

The South Kerry midfield deserve credit for keeping David Moran under wraps but for his no fuss approach and constant ability to carry the ball at the opposition, particularly in the first half when the game seemed to be going against his team, the accolade goes to O'Rahillys wing back Cormac Coffey.

Key moment

The O'Rahillys wide count leading up half time looked like it would be crucial, but the key moment seemed to be the home side's early goal in the second half which spurred them on to a dominant performance from there to the end.

Talking point

Just how much good this win will do for a developing Strand Road outfit. They have the raw materials to improve on their disappointing showing against Austin Stacks in the relegation play-off and this was the proof.