PHOTOS: Impressive Stacks Cruise To Quarter-Finals With Ten-Point Win

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Austin Stacks 4-13

Killarney Legion 3-6

Wayne Guthrie scores his second half goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

If Austin Stacks were guilty of a being slow out of the blocks in their last home game against St Kieran’s, they almost beat the starter gun this time out.

Their third Garveys Supervalu Kerry SFC game in two weeks, saw the Rockies turn on the style at Connolly Park and they led by an incredible 16 points by the third minute of the second half, 4-7 to 0-3.

The introduction of Conor Keane in the second half inspired a Legion comeback which brought them to within seven points with nine minutes to go (4-10 to 3-6), but David Mannix steadied the ship with three points to send them into the last eight and give them a championship break until after the summer.

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It was no more than they deserved against quality opposition and they can go into the quarter-finals with confidence, accompanied by Kerins O’Rahillys, Rathmore and All-Ireland champs Dr Crokes.

The home side started the game brightly with a goal from Michael O’Donnell, followed by a point by David Mannix in the first two minutes.

James O’Donoghue about to strike for a first half point with Ronan Shanahan in chase. Photo by Dermot Crean

James O’Donoghue was in good form early on though and he took two fine points — one a stunner with his left from 30 yards out near the left sideline —  in as many minutes to leave it 1-1 to 0-2 with just three minutes gone.

This was Stacks cue to take over and Legion would not score again until the final minute of the half when O’Donoghue was again on target.

In the meantime, Stacks were devastating. Their workmate was admirable — players harrying the opposition whenever they were in possession, forcing errors and tearing up the field to pick off scores.

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Like when Wayne Guthrie ran from halfway to score a fine point from 30 yards out, or when David Mannix caught a stunning crossfield ball to instinctively turn and shoot between the posts.

These scores in the sixth and ninth minutes made it 1-4 to 0-2 and Stacks were dominating with Ronan Shanahan doing a good job on James O’Donoghue.

Mannix added two frees before a great run by wing back Jack Morgan saw him blast past Brian Kelly on 26 minutes to give the home side breathing space.

Jack Morgan turns to celebrate his goal in the first half. Photo by Dermot Crean

O’Donoghue and Shane O’Callaghan traded scores before the break to leave Stacks with a commanding lead by half time at 2-7 to 0-3.

Everyone expected Legion to come out fighting in the second-half and reduce the deficit, but it was Stacks who again took the initiative.

First off, Greg Horan found himself in front of the goal and he blasted his shot high into the net. The home fans had barely stopped applauding when they struck again two minutes later.

Greg Horan turns to celebrate his goal early in the second half. Photo by Dermot Crean

This time it was Wayne Guthrie who cooly slotted his shot low past Kelly for a fourth and it looked game over.

Legion never gave up though and they hit a purple patch of sorts, outscoring Stacks by 3-3 to 0-3 in the next 18 minutes.

They had to work for it though, as the Stacks defence came under pressure. Two hard fought goals in the 34th and and 38th minutes closed the gap,  but Stacks responded well with points from Horan and McElligott.

Jack O’Shea on the attack. Photo by Dermot Crean

Further points from Conor Keane (two frees) and James O’Donoghue closed the gap and by the time Legion were awarded a penalty after 50 minutes they were 10 points behind.

James O’Donoghue planted it, but there would be no miracle for Legion as Mannix picked off scores for a deserved and comfortable home win. SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS


Greg Horan challenges Billy McGuire. Photo by Dermot Crean


Denis McElligott on the attack. Photo by Dermot Crean

Tense moments during the game. Photo by Dermot Crean


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