O'Connor inspires St Michaels/ Foilmore to victory as Finuge struggle with step up to senior
St MICHAELS/Foilmore advanced to the third round of the County Championship when they simply outgunned debutants Finuge in a feisty affair played in brilliant sunshine on the South Kerry coastline.
In advance of this contest both teams would have had good reasons to be positive but it was Finuge's failure to create chances that was ultimately their downfall as Foilmore found their scoring touch, especially in the first half when they ran up 1-8.
Playing with the aid of a stiff wind the home side used it to good effect and were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after the first quarter.
Eanna O'Connor contributed three points inside the first ten minutes with Bernard Kelly adding the other on the 14th minute. Paul Galvin was on free-taking duty for the North Kerry side and pointed a free on seven minutes.
Brian Galvin's long delivery into the square was met by the fist of Cian O'Connor on the 16th minute and it looked as if this contest was all but over. Paul Galvin showed another side to his game three minutes later when he received a ball 30 Metres from goal, not content on taking a point he took on the St Michaels/Foilmore defence and beat four players before neatly poking the ball past Jason O'Shea.
However, it did not spark the Finuge charge and St Michaels/Foilmore continued about their business adding a further three points without reply prior to the break to leave them in a 1-8 to 1-1 ahead at the break.
Finuge arrived to the field determined in the second half and had two points inside the first two minutes. Paul Galvin was first off the mark with Pat Corridan adding a massive score from near the sideline at distance. Eanna O'Connor's 40th minute pointed-free kept a safe distance between them. Ricky Heffernan got inside the St Michaels/Foilmore defence but his effort hit the side netting on the 42nd minute.
Then a pivotal moment on the 47th minute when Finuge decided to take a goal shot from a 20-metre free. It was cleared off the line by the alert Brian Galvin.
But instead of igniting as a contest the game entered a 15-minute period where neither side were able to add to the scoreboard. Both defences were on top and nothing was given up easily. It was to benefit the home side as the clock began to tick down and St Michaels/Foilmore to the frustration of Finuge began to keep ball.
Eanna O'Connor broke the Finuge cover on the 58th minute to fire over a point and a minute later, Darragh O'Sullivan with his first touch of the ball when coming on as a sub was to have the last kick of the game as he raised the last white flag of the day.
Finuge's James Flaherty was dismissed for a second yellow deep into injury-time, but by that stage St Michaels/Foilmore were comfortable winners.
St Michaels/Foilmore: J O'Shea, A Smith, M Griffin, B Smith, Darragh Scanlon, B Galvin (0-1), A O'Connell, S O'Connor, P King, DJ Moran (0-1), B Kelly (0-3), S O'Shea, D Kelly, C O'Connor (1-0), E O'Connor (0-5, 3f). Subs: S Fogarty for S O'Shea (48), Darren O'Sullivan for DJ Moran (55), Colin Granfield for A Smith (56), Darragh O'Sullivan (0-1) for B Kelly (59).
Finuge: Cillian Fitzmaurice, C Allen, D McCarthy, Conor Fitzmaurice, Paudie Galvin, P Corridan (0-1), M Stackpoole, M Corridan, T McKenna, Paul Galvin (1-3, 0-2f), R Galvin, S Power (0-1), G Hogan, F Fitzmaurice, R Heffernan. Subs: J Flaherty for F Fitzmaurice, J Griffin for R Galvin (24), E Galvin for G Hogan (38).
Referee: J O'Sullivan (Firies)
Brian Galvin was immense at centre back for Bally. He drove on countless times in the first half and was rewarded with a point from 50-metres and it was his delivery that contributed to his team's goal.
Can either of these two teams have any real say in the championship seemed to be main one talking points leaving Ballinskelligs but both teams will not pose easy options for many teams in the next few rounds.