KEANE’S COUNTY MFC GROUP 2
Austin Stacks 0-5
St Kierans 5-15
If there was ever a mismatch in terms of standards then it was very evident at a wet Connolly Park last Saturday where a rampant St Kierans outfit blew a very poor Austin Stacks challenge out of the water in a terribly one-sided encounter.
The home side had no answer to the visitors power and pace and they were well beaten in pretty much every position on the field, and every St Kierans player was very comfortable on the ball and full of running with admirable endeavour. Recall the way that the Kerry seniors have destroyed the likes of Clare in Munster over the years and you will be able to picture St Kieran’s dominance. It was that decisive.
Stacks were down a few starters through injury and other factors ,and although it is unlikely that they would have made any difference to the final result they certainly would have helped their cause. The writing was on the wall very early in the contest however, with St Kieran’s, who had the benefit of a strong wing, scorching into a 0-6 to no score lead with just nine minutes gone and the game.
Their powerful midfield of the very impressive Cathal Brosnan and Jack O’Sullivan were ruling the roost and delivering some super ball into the very quick and unselfish St Kierans forwards where Ryan Dennehy and Cathal McElligott were showing to very good effect up the central channels.
Inside forwards Maurice O’Connell and John O’Connor had field days scoring 1-3 apiece and were perfect foils for McElligott, whilst the livewire Niall Collins on the wing was constantly popping up in the right positions as well as contributing a goal and a point to the scoreboard. At the back Raymond O’Neill, Jack McElligott and Ruairí Bourke were the standout performers in a watertight defence.
Stacks found it very difficult to gain any meaningful possession from their restarts and St Kieran’s punished them to the full after twelve minutes when Ryan Dennehy slalomed through their cover and finished to the back of the net.
Goal number two came a couple of minutes later when Bourke and Collins combined to put Cathal Brosnan through and the powerful midfielder made no mistake to slam the ball past Michael Tansley.
Goal number three arrived in the nineteenth minute and it was a beauty. Stacks were turned over when trying to work the ball out of defence; Collins, Cathal McElligott, Donal Daly and Brosnan showed some lightning touches before releasing Maurice O’Connell who punched to the back of the net.
The light was really starting to fade on the Austin Stacks challenge even at this early stage and the handy enough crowd at Connolly Park were willing the home side to put some sort of a dent on the scoreboard, but to little avail.
Instead, it was St Kieran’s that tagged on another four points before half time and they led by 3-10 to no score at the short whistle.
St Kieran’s tagged on a couple of points early in the second half before John O’Connor added goal number four with thirty eight minutes gone to take his sides tally to 4-15. Austin Stacks finally got off the mark in the 46th minute with a free from full forward Damien Hogan and to their credit they went on a very good purple patch of their own for the next ten minutes of the contest.
Paddy Lane from a free, Noah Townsend and Thomas Derege from play, slotted over some good scores but Lane missed a good chance to rattle the back of Conor Wilkinson’s net when he shot wide from close range. Caden O’Mahony got his name on the score sheet in the 58th minute and Stacks were finally playing some good positive football.
That was as good as it got though and Tansley was forced into a superb save from Bourke a minute later but when the subsequent ’45 floated in afterwards, Niall Collins finished the breaking ball to the back of the onion sack despite another gallant attempt from Tansley to keep the O’Neills out.
The final whistle sounded straight afterwards much to the relief of both teams and spectators.
St Kieran’s face West Kerry in Round 2 at Castleisland next weekend whilst Austin Stacks will battle away to Dr Crokes.
AUSTIN STACKS: Michael Tansley; Kian Gorman, Cian Dillane, Jack Doyle; Luke casey, Colm Browne, Jack Hannon; Josh lynch, Togor Silong; Noah Townsend, Enda Cahill, Sean Moynihan; Marc Carmody, Damien Hogan, Darragh Moriarty Subs: Kian Gorman for S Moynihan, 23, Paddy Lane (0-1f) for J Doyle, 23, Jack Slattery for D Moriarty, 35, Thomas Derege (0-1) for M Carmody, 35, Donnachadh Horgan for J Hannon, 40
ST KIERANS: Conor Wilkinson (Castleisland Desmonds); Andy Rodgers (Ballymacelligott), Raymond O’Neill (Currow), Eoin Creedon (Ballymacelligott); Sean Rice (Ballymacelligott), Josh McElligott (0-1) (Knocknagoshel), Ruari Bourke (0-1) (Castleisland Desmonds); Cathal Brosnan (1-2) (Currow), Jack O’Sullivan (Brosna); Niall Collins (1-1) (Ballymacelligott) Ryan Dennehy (1 goal) (Cordal), Donal Daly (Ballymacelligott), Maurice O’Connell (1-3)(Ballymacelligott), Cathal McElligott (0-4, 2marks)(Knocknagoshel), John O’Connor (1-3, 1f) (Currow) Subs: James Kenny (Ballymacelligott) for D Daly, 37, Eoin O’Connor (Cordal) for Sean Rice, 37, Patrick Fitzgerald (Scartaglen) for R Dennehy, 40, Thomas Conway (Castleisland Desmonds) for J O’Sullivan, 48, Luke O’Connell (Ballymacelligott) for E Creedon, 52
REFEREE: Denis Kennelly