Match Report: Champions! Austin Stacks End 20 Years Of Hurt

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Kieran Donaghy and Barry Shanahan lift the Bishop Moynihan Cup on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Gavin O’Connor on a momentous day for Austin Stacks…

Austin Stacks 2-13

Mid Kerry 1-7

AUSTIN Stacks ended a 20 year barren spell without a senior county championship title in emphatic style against Mid Kerry in Killarney on  Sunday..

With the light dimming, captain Barry Shanahan lifted the Bishop Moynihan Cup to signal that the biggest prize in Kerry football would be back on the Rock once more.

Man of the match, Kieran Donaghy, also won the Kerry captaincy rounding off an incredible year for him in green and gold and in black and amber.

Victory for Stacks was forged in the opening 15 minutes, when they hit a hot streak that Mid Kerry could not contain.

In that time, the Rock notched up 2-5 to Mid Kerry’s solitary point.

Continued below…

Roundys insert

The first real body blow came just after five minutes, when the man of the hour, Kieran Donaghy, struck for a goal. He turned his marker, Fergal Griffin, a couple of times to win space and rifled a shot across the Mid Kerry goalmouth to the bottom left corner of the net.

Tails were up, as the Rock ran rampant around the middle third. Every kickout was won hands down, with the ball being moved fast and effectively. Mid Kerry were a step behind and struggling right from the get go.


Bang!…Kieran Donaghy rifles a shot to the back of the net for Stacks’ opening goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

A minute after Donaghy’s, goal, another one was on when, Shane O’Callaghan, who was a handful all day, slipped his marker, but shot over the bar.

Stacks, didn’t have to wait to long for another sight at a three pointer. Pa McCarthy gave in a wonderfully floated ball to Donaghy, who, when trying to go round the Mid Kerry keeper Micheal Moriarty, was mercilessly dragged to the ground. A clear penalty and a clear black card were awarded.

Pa McCarthy was entrusted with the spot kick and he made absolutely no mistake of it firing low and hard to the right corner of the net.


Pa McCarthy slots the spot kick into the bottom left corner for Stacks’ second goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

The scores, 2-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes, Stacks 10 points up and with one hand on the trophy.

The divisional side were very disappointing in the first half, none of their inter-county men, Donnachdh Walsh, Darren O’Sullivan or Pa Kilkenny made an impression on the game.

For Stacks, the likes of Daniel Bohane and Pa McCarthy were influential in feeding the attack with quality ball to the likes of Shane O’Callaghan and Shane Carroll who were causing havoc and turning on the style.

Still, there was a bit more work to be done, in the closing moments of the half, Stacks’ keeper, Darragh O’Brien, made the first of three excellent saves when he touched a shot by substitute, Martin Burke, outside the post.

The half ended, 2-8 to 0-3.

The second half saw Mid Kerry make a far better fist of it, but this was largely down to Stacks being afforded the luxury of sitting on their lead.

Mid Kerry started the half with two quick scores, one of them a fine effort from former soldier in the green and gold, Sean O’Sullivan.

The moment when it was clear the trophy would be heading back to Connolly Park came with 13 minutes to go. Kieran Donaghy got onto a perfect long ball again by Pa McCarthy into the square. The All-Star turned under pressure and fisted it over the bar.


Shane O’Callaghan, Kieran Donaghy and Darragh O’Brien working hard to get the ball from the Mid Kerry full back. Photo by Dermot Crean

A massive cheer came from the fantastic travelling Stacks’ support. As droplets of rain began to descend, party time had well and truly begun with the scores 2-10 to 0-6.

To their credit, Mid Kerry battled right to the very end and were awarded with a goal by Gavin O’Grady.

In the closing minutes and the game won, Stacks could bring on two of their finest servants down the years, William Kirby and Darragh Long, who have now picked up long overdue county championship medals.

Stacks Darragh

Darragh Long blows a kiss to the heavens after scoring Austin Stacks final point of the game. Photo by Dermot Crean

To really put the icing on the cake, the final score of the match was with the final kick of it from Darragh Long.

Cue the biggest cheer of the afternoon from the Stacks faithful.

A long time waiting and with so many young stars coming through, who’s to say they won’t be up collecting another  county title in the years to come.


Austin Stacks: Kieran Donaghy 1-2, Shane Carroll 0-5 (0-4f), Pat McCarthy 1-1 (1-0 pen), Mikey Collins 0-2, Shane O’Callaghan 0-1, David Mannix 0-1, Darragh Long 0-1.

Mid Kerry: Gavan O’Grady 1-4 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Sean O’Sullivan 0-2, Liam Carey 0-1.


Austin Stacks: Darragh O’Brien, Fearghal McNamara, John Dennis, Ronan Shanahan, Pat McCarthy, Barry Shanahan (capt), Denis McElligott, Wayne Guthrie, Greg Horan,  Michael Collins, Shane Carroll, Daniel Bohan,Shane O’Callaghan, Kieran Donaghy,  Darragh O’Brien

Substatutes  David Mannix for Darragh O’Brien (half-time), Conor Jordan for Ronan Shanahan, Fiachra Mangan for Daniel Bohan,  William Kirby for Horan, Darragh Long for Collin, Ciaran O’Connell for Pa McCarthy.

Mid Kerry: Michael Moriarty, Pa Kilkenny, Fergal Griffin, Ger Hartnett, Danny O’Sullivan, Ronan Murphy, Aaron Cahillane, Colin McGillycuddy, Tomas Ladden, Gary Sayers, Darran O’Sullivan, Liam Carey, Gavan O’Grady, Donnchadh Walsh, Kieran Courtney

Substitutes: Rory O’Connor for Moriarty (black card), Martin Burke, for McGillicuddy, Sean O’Sullivan for Sayers (half-time), Jeremiah Hoare for Murphy (half-time) James Long for Burke

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