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Fenit Samphires claim Premier B title after penalty shoot-out win over Castlegregory Celtic


The Fenit Samphires team celebrate after winning the Premier B Final replay which went to extra time and penalties at Mounthawk Park on Sunday. Photo by Domnick Walsh

The Fenit Samphires team celebrate after winning the Premier B Final replay which went to extra time and penalties at Mounthawk Park on Sunday. Photo by Domnick Walsh

The Fenit Samphires team celebrate after winning the Premier B Final replay which went to extra time and penalties at Mounthawk Park on Sunday. Photo by Domnick Walsh



Castlegregory 2

Fenit Samphires 2

(Fenit Samphires won 4-2 on penalties)

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While both sides were unable to find the net in the drawn game this replay was a completely different story with plenty of goal scoring opportunities created by both sides with the game ending in a welter of excitement when it had to be decided in a penalty shoot-out at the end.

It appeared as if the league trophy was heading for Fenit as the game went into added time as they held a one goal advantage but a late Castlegregory free kick in the last action of the game produced a sensational equaliser to take the game into extra time and eventually it took a lottery to decide the issue at the end.

Castlegregory began the game at 100 miles an hour and they went ahead after just four minutes with a tremendous strike from outside the box by Brandon Hoare which left the Fenit goalie helpless.

Fenit settled into the game after this early set back and they were on level terms six minutes later when a handball by a Castlegregory defender led to a penalty kick. Ger McCarthy made no mistake from 12 yards with a clinical finish.

Aided by a stiff wind Fenit were enjoying a lot of possession and were putting some very good attacks together which was bothering the Castlegregory defence.

While this pressure led to some scoring chances the Castlegregory defence was very solid and dealt with everything without too much difficulty.

The West Kerry side were also posing a threat on the counter attack and from any kind of dead ball situation.

Fenit were pressing to go ahead and they got the reward their endeavour merited in the 39th minute when a headed clearance by Steven Speirs fell invitingly for Ferdia O’Brien and he rifled a pile-driver of a shot to the back of the net.

Fenit began the second half briskly and Ger McCarthy was unlucky not to score two minutes in when he took a deft touch to control the ball and his shot came off the angle of the post to the relief of the Castlegregory goalkeeper.

Castlegregoy came close to scoring on the hour mark when Brandon Hoare latched on to a Jason Griffin cross and his header was only inches outside the post.

As Castlegregory began to turn the screw Fenit goalie Paddy O’Sullivan was called into action and he made two splendid saves to deny Kevin Hannafin and Shane Kenny.

Down the other end Fenit attacked and Billy Walsh was denied by a clearance off the like by Shane Kenny. Then a swift attack created an opening for Castlegregory but Brandan Hoare was denied by a splendid save by Fenit goalkeeper Paddy O’Sullivan.

As the clock wound down Fenit shut up shop and Castlegregory pressed for an equaliser and as the game went into added time it looked as if Fenit were on course to become champions.

However there was a most dramatic conclusion to the game with Caslegregory getting a free kick on the verge of the box .

It was last chance saloon for the West Kerry side as Jason Griffin faced up to the free kick. He bent his low shot superbly around the defensive wall getting past the Fenit goalkeeper for an equaliser of sensational proportions.

The full time whistle went straight afterwards and the sides had to face into extra-time. Neither side could break the deadlock during this period so it went to a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

One could cut the tension with a knife as they players stepped up for the shoot-out and Castlegegory got off to a bad start missing the first spot kick.

The next three penalties were scored by both sides but Fenit goalkeeper Paddy O’Sullivan made a superb save from the fourth penalty.

Now Sean Foley had the opportunity to win the game for Fenit and under extreme pressure he was as cool as a cucumber putting away his shot with great precision and consequently Fenit were league champions.

There was a big reception for the Fenit captain Sean Foley when he was presented with the League Trophy by KDL chairman Sean O’Keeffe, who said there was very little between the two sides during the league programme so it was no surprise that this game was going to go all the way.

The chairman said it was nice to see that both clubs have very loyal supporters and they turned out in force for this big game. He added that both clubs enjoyed great seasons and they can look forward to playing in the top flight of Kerry soccer next season.

Fenit captain Foley was loud in his praise for his colleagues and the team management for all their hard work during the season.

He said it was great that all the effort that was put in by all the squad was rewarded at the end of the season. He said Castlegregory are a very good side and Fenit will be looking forward to playing them in Premier A next season.

FENIT SAMPHIRES: Paddy O’Sullivan, Dylan Flynn, Donnacha MacGarry, Alan McElligott, Sean Foley, Keevan McElligott, Billy Walsh, Robert Burke, Ger McCarthy, Ferdia O’Brien, Sean Ryan.

CASTLEGREGORY CELTIC: Eoin Kennedy, Conor Shannon, Steve Spiers, Alan McNamara, Kevin Hannafin, Jason Griffin, Jack Shannon, Brandon Hoare, Maurice O’Connell, Cian Cronin, Shane Kenny.

Referee: Mike Chapman

Manager Maunsell delighted in manner Fenit won final

Speaking after the game the manager of the Fenit Samphires side Dan Maunsell said he was delighted his players won the game and the manner in which they done it.

“We thought we had won the game in regulation time but the equaliser in injury-time was a major blow, but it was great the way the lads handled it and kept their motivation going well after this,” he said.

“When we met in the league both games were draws so we were expecting another close game and that is what happened.”

“The lads were great as they did not drop their heads when they were rocked by that late goal and they kept their spirit up going into extra time and the penalty shoot-out. Shoot-outs are never easy to predict but the vital save by Paddy O’Sullivan proved to be crucial at the end.

“Our aim at the start of the season was to get promoted to Premier A and it is a huge bonus to go up as league champions. We will enjoy our win now and look forward to the big challenge that lies ahead next season in Premier A.”