REPORT/PHOTOS: O’Rahillys Allow Lead To Slip So Champions South Kerry Prevail

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Gavin O’Connor reports on Kerins O’Rahillys versus South Kerry in their Round 1 Kerry SFC tie at Austin Stack Park this afternoon…

South Kerry 3-10 (19)

Kerins O’Rahillys 1-15 (18)

Kerins South Walsh 2

Tommy Walsh on the attack with Paul O’Sullivan tackling. Photo by Dermot Crean

SOUTH KERRY defeated Kerins O’Rahillys in a sun-soaked classic in the Garveys Supervalu Senior Football Championship opening round match in Austin Stack Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Hitting 1-11 in the first half, the Blues matched the weather with scintillating football and went in five points to the good at the short whistle.

However, two South Kerry goals in the second half, that will haunt the O’Rahillys backline, sealed their fate.

Not until Barry O’Dwyer’s goal with six minutes remaining did South Kerry lead in this match and a Paul O’Donoghue point, put the southerners two points in front with two minutes remaining.

Kerins South Moran Sheehan

Midfield action from the game. Photo by Dermot Crean

In the closing exchanges Strand Road tried their utmost to pull the game back. A free by Jack Savage two minutes into injury time brought them to within a score. At the death, Savage had a chance to level it up but his shot 25 metres out tailed agonisingly wide.

The Blues now face Feale Rangers in the ‘losers round’ next week knowing a loss will end their championship ambitions.

As was the case against Legion last year, goals dealt the killer blows for Strand Road who had the winning of midfield and the greater amount of chances that should have seen them comfortably over the line.

Kerins South goalmouth

A goalmouth scramble. Photo by Dermot Crean

The match was an open and enjoyable encounter. Tommy Walsh who gravitated from midfield to full-forward throughout gave arguably his finest performance in a blue shirt since returning from Australia.

His goal after 24 minutes came from a long and high ball into the square driven in by Kevin Walshe. Rising high Tommy caught the ball just outside the square. Using his strength he turned inside his marker to finish the ball impressively to the net.

Kerins South walsh celebrates

Tommy Walsh celebrates his goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

In the opening half, O’Rahillys played some very tidy football. David Moran and John C O’Connor dominated the South Kerry midfield pairing of Bryan Sheehan and John Curran.

After a brisk first quarter, Strand Road led 0-7 to 0-2, the scores coming from John Feguson, Jack Savage, John C. O’Connor and Barry John Keane who was causing the South Kerry defence some problems.

The 2015 champions were staying in touch thanks to scores from Aidan Walsh and Ian Galvin. On 17 minutes, against the run of play, South Kerry found the net to pull them back to within a point.

Kerins South coffey walsh

Cormac Coffey and Aidan Walsh contest a ball. Photo by Dermot Crean

The goal came after a shot from out the field fell short just outside the square along the sideline, Paul O’Donoghue did well not to give up on the ball and found Sean Cournane who palmed the ball to the net.

The response was immediate. From the next kick out, Strand Road won a free 40 metres out which David Moran struck over the bar from the ground.

The half ended 1-11 to 1-5 with Strand Road in a very good place and looking the likelier of the two to advance.

As is sometimes the case with a divisional sides it can take them a bit to get going and get going South Kerry did at the beginning of the second half.

The champs hit three scores without reply thanks to points from the flying Paul O’Donoghue and substitute, Greg Gibson and a second goal by Sean Cournane who got onto a pass by Niall O’Shea and finished well with the boot to the net.

Kerins South moran

David Moran fends off Bryan Sheehan and Oran Clifford. Photo by Dermot Crean

South Kerry had brought the game level and now we really had a game on our hands. With the next attack, Tommy Walsh had a shot saved off the line which would have been a perfect response.

A minute later, Walsh shot for goal again but once more the South Kerry rearguard was able to repel the big man’s effort.

Kerins South action

A tussle in midfield. Photo by Dermot Crean

Eventually O’Rahillys hit back with points from Jack Savage and John Ferguson to put them two to the good with 12 minutes to go.

Bryan Sheehan pulled it to within a point, only for young John C O’Connor to get a second score again to restore the advantage.

The game’s key moment came just in time for the champions. Having not led in the match, with six minutes remaining, Niall O’Shea assisted a second goal, this time the full-forward found substitute Barry O’Dwyer  who finished to the net.

Kerins South Sk goal

The crucial third South Kerry goal by Barry O’Dwyer. Photo by Dermot Crean

In the end, time ran out for O’Rahillys and South Kerry showed the resilience of champions to stay in the game and snatch victory.

Kerins South sheehan celebrate

Bryan Sheehan celebrates victory at the final whistle. Photo by Dermot Crean


South Kerry: Sean Cournane 2-0, Paul O’Donoghue 0-4, Barry O’Dwyer 1-0, Aidan Walsh 0-2, Bryan Sheehan 0-2 (2f), Ian Galvin and Greg Gibson one point apiece

Kerins O’Rahillys: Jack Savage 0-6 (4f), Barry John Keane 0-3, Tommy Walsh 1-0, John Ferguson 0-3, John C. O’Connor 0-2, David Moran 0-1 (1f)

South Kerry

1. Brian O’Connor

2. Paul O’Sullivan
17. Oran Clifford
4. Fionán Clifford

5. Conor O’Shea
6. Aidan O’Sullivan
7. Killian Young

8. Bryan Sheehan
18. John Curran

10. Aidan Walsh
11. Daniel Daly
12. Paul O’Donoghue

13. Ian Galvin
14. Niall O’Shea
15. Sean Cournane


Matthew O’Sullivan for John Curran (25min)
Barry O’Dwyer for Daniel Daly (47min)
Cian O’Connnor for Ian Galvin (55min)
Rob Wharton for Oran Clifford (59min)

Kerins O’Rahillys

1. Gary Kissane

2. David Murphy
3. Danny O’Sullivan
4. Tommy Begley

5. Cormac Coffey
6. Shane Brosnan
7. Cian Sayers

8. John C. O’Connor
9. David Moran

10. David McLaughlin
11. Barry John Walsh
12. Kevin Walshe

13. Jack Savage
14. Tommy Walsh
15. John Ferguson


Greg O’Connell for Cian Sayers (42min)
Giles O’Grady for Kevin Walshe (47min)
Kieran O’Mahony for David McLaughlin (59min)


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