Kerins O’Rahilly’s Injuries Prove Too Much As They Exit Championship

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What might have been...Kevin Walsh despairs after driving a shot on goal wide of the post from close range in the first half of the Kerins O'Rahilly's V Feale Rangers game on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean. Photo by Dermot Crean

What might have been…Kevin Walsh despairs after driving a close range shot on goal just wide, in the first half of the Kerins O’Rahilly’s V Feale Rangers game on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kerins O’Rahilly’s 1-11

Feale Rangers 1-16

DESPITE being a man up for 45 minutes Kerins O’Rahilly’s could not get past Feale Rangers at this Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry Senior Football Championship Round 2 tie at Strand Road.

The game went to extra time where the north Kerryman showed fresher legs and eased home.

For large spells of this game, particularly when they were a man down, Feale Rangers adopted a blanket defence happy in the knowledge that when they needed to attack they could get the ball to the excellent Conor Cox and he would do the damage.

With so many players missing from last week, five in total, this was always going to be a mountain to climb for the Strand Road side.

It was Cox who got proceedings under way with a point in the first minute from a free, Rangers with the benefit of a stiff breeze in the first half. The game throughout was very stop-start and we had to wait five more minutes until their was another score, Declan Quill levelling it up for the blues.

Conor Cox pulled Rangers ahead on eight minutes with a free, the North Kerryman were setting up a ferocious defence, but the Strand Road side did find a way through on 12 minutes when Ross O’Callaghan cut through their half back line and passed it to Barry John Keane who then slotted it over.

Noel Kennelly, who was taking the frees from the left side, put Feale Rangers in front again to leave the scores 0-2 to 0-3 with 15 minutes played.

A big turning point in the game came after 17 minutes when Feale Rangers’ Kieran Quirke saw red for a closed-fisted punch to the face of Jack Savage.

Jack Savage slots a point over the bar in the first half of the Kerins O'Rahilly's V Feale Rangers game on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Jack Savage slots over a point in the first half of the Kerins O’Rahilly’s V Feale Rangers game on Sunday. Photo by Dermot Crean

What followed was O’Rahillys best passage of the game where they cut open the divisional side on a few occasions. Kevin Walsh had a superb goal chance, but he just fractionally drove it wide when one on one with the keeper.

Both Declan Quill and Conor Cox tagged on close range frees for their sides to leave the scores at half time 0-5 to 0-6. A one point lead for Rangers when they were on the ropes for the end of the half, O’Rahillys failing to capitalise on goal chances and their dominance.

A brief shower of rain, just before the beginning of the second-half, seemed to kill off the wind that had been a nice little advantage to Feale Rangers in the first period.

It was the divisional side who started much the better scoring two quick fire points at the start of the half – one of which being one of the points of the game from that man Cox again.

Despite being a man down, Feale Rangers had complete control of the game. O’Rahilly’s decided to take a big roll of the dice when they were forced to bring Micheal Quirke out of retirement and into the fray, further emphasising the lack of options O’Rahilly’s had.

Barry John Keane tipped over a free and Feale Rangers got two more from Cox and Sean McCarthy to leave the scores 0-7 to 0-11 with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Feale Rangers’ blanket defence had fully descended at this stage with that four point cushion and O’Rahilly’s were finding it very difficult to build any attack.

Jack Savage was operating as the extra man, but was ineffective in the face of the North Kerry swarm.

Declan Quill got another pointed free and soon after the Blues were handed a lifeline. With six minutes to go, Quill’s brother Ronan cut into the box only to be hauled down by Maurice Corridan, a penalty the verdict which Barry John Keane rifled home.

1-8 to 0-11. Game on.

Feale Rangers responded instantly with another fantastic score from Cox. Rory Molloy for Rahilly’s hit back with an even better score 40 yards out on the right corner shooting over his left shoulder.

The ref blew up exactly on full time to bring this game to extra time, the 60 minutes finishing 1-9 to 0-12.

With Feale Rangers full 15 now restored, the first half of extra passed by without an O’Rahilly’s score while Rangers tagged on three.

It was always going to be a difficult task to overhaul that in such a tight game, but Noel Kennelly put the game beyond doubt when he slammed the ball to the net at the beginning of the second half of extra time.

The Blues tried in vain by putting Quirke in full forward, but nothing came from it and the game petered out despite two pointed frees from Quill. The final score 1-11 to 1-16.

Kerins O’Rahilly’s are out of the championship, but even more worryingly they stand in the firing line for an exit from senior football in 2015.

Kerins O’Rahillys: Gary Kissane, Giles O’Grady, Martin Tierney, Tommy Begley, Ross O’Callaghan, Andrew Thompson, Rory Molloy (0-1), John Ferguson, John C O’Connor, Kieran O’Mahony, Sean Walsh, Kevin Walsh, Declan Quill (0-7f), Barry John Keane (1-2), Jack Savage (0-1).

Subs: Mike Quirke (Kevin Walsh), Ronan Quill (Kieran O’Mahony), John O’Connor (John Ferguson) Cian Foley (Martin Tierney)

Feale Rangers: Brendan Galvin, Brendan Guiney, Jack McGuire, Sean T.Dillion, Ger McCarthy, Pat Corridan, Kieran Quirke, Maurice Corridan, Damian Somers, Padraig Quille, Ray Galvin, Cormac Mulvihill (0-1), Sean McCarthy (0-1), Noel Kennelly (1-4) Conor Cox (0-8).

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