O'Rahillys grind out Under-21 Club win

Midfield battle between John O'Connor, Kerins O'Rahillys, and Teddy Doyle, Templenoe, in the County U-21 Club Championship final
Midfield battle between John O'Connor, Kerins O'Rahillys, and Teddy Doyle, Templenoe, in the County U-21 Club Championship final

IT was not without a number of nervous moments for them towards the finish but Kerins O'Rahillys regained a title they won in 2009 with a one-point win over Templenoe at the Legion pitch in Killarney last Saturday.

Terrible conditions, which included a massive hailstone shower that delayed the start of the second half, prevented the game from being a free-flowing spectacle. However, the Tralee side were tenacious in their defending and punished their opponents for some wastefulness that ultimately prevented them from putting the seal on a successful year for the club in general.

O'Rahillys went against the breeze in the first-half and preferred to frustrate Templenoe in their attempts to take advantage of the wind. Jack Savage and Kieran O'Mahony picked off scores when the opportunity arose and John C O'Connor put in a good shift in midfield.

With the sides level at four points apiece after 20 minutes there was a sense Templenoe were giving themselves a very difficult ask in the second half. The hard work of Patrick Clifford and a powerful 25th minute strike from Cian Hallissey would give them a cushion more indicative of having the advantage of the breeze at half-time however. Hallissey finished off a great team move with a strike so powerful it rebounded straight back off the stanchion and out but there was no doubt about the goal standing as the Kenmare District side led by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break.

Gavin Crowley went down injured before the break and remained on the pitch for a number of minutes during the interval before eventually being replaced by John Moriarty prior to the restart. Three points in three minutes had Strand Road level by the 36th minute and Templenoe would not score in the second period until the 47th minute. In the meantime time both O'Mahony and midfielder John Ferguson put O'Rahillys 0-10 to 1-5 ahead as the game appeared to be going away from their opponents the more the second half wore on. A long range free from Killian Spillane eventually ended Templenoe's scoring drought but the first of a number of guilt edge chances would slip by soon after.

The ball just went beyond Hallissey's reach in the 52nd minute when a second goal looked to be on the cards for the wing-forward. O'Mahony subsequently scored the Tralee side's final point a minute later to finish with a personal total of four (Jack Savage scored six on the day).

Brian Crowley blazed another good opportunity wide of the goalmouth with five minutes left as Tommy Begley blocked down an Adrian Spillane strike soon after. A superb Teddy Doyle free in the final minute of normal time had only one between the sides but Doyle would soon go down injured and needed to be stretchered off.

O'Rahillys forward Ronan Quill sportingly carried the stretcher onto the pitch as the game was held up for three minutes by Doyle's withdrawal from the pitch.

The delay did not change the final scoreline however as O'Rahillys held on for their second win in this competition in five years. Templenoe won't lack regrets about this encounter but there is much for them to be happy about with the club's exploits in 2013.

Kerins O'Rahillys: Ciaran O'Connor, Tommy Begley, Martin Tierney, Cormac Coffey, Robert O'Shea, Andrew Thompson, Mitchell Donnelly, John C O'Connor, John Ferguson (0-1) Cian Sayers, Jack Savage (0-6, 3f), Greg O'Connell, Ronan Quill, Sean Walsh, Kieran O'Mahony (0-4). Subs: Ryan Carroll for Sayers and Ciaran Higgins for O'Connell

Templenoe: Colm Breen, Daniel O'Neill, Kieran O'Neill, Tom Spillane, John Spillane, Tadgh Morley, Patrick Clifford (0-2) Gavin Crowley, Adrian Spillane, Cian Hallissey (1-0), Denis O'Neill, John Rice (0-1), Killian Spillane (0-1, 1f), Teddy Doyle (0-3, 2f, 1 '45'), Brian Crowley. Subs: John Moriarty for Gavin Crowley, Martin Reilly for Denis O'Neill and Josh Holland for Doyle

Referee: Denny O'Sullivan (Scartaglin)