A report from IT Tralee on their great win in the Rory O’Connor Fresher Football Championship final in Cork last week…
LAST Thursday night saw the IT Tralee Fresher Football team travel to CIT to play Waterford IT in the Rory O’Connor Fresher Football Championship final.
Fresh from winning the Division 2 league before Christmas, IT Tralee were hopeful of a league and championship double.
However, this championship brought with it an extra incentive as it is named after former IT Tralee student and Fresher Football player Rory O’Connor.
Rory, who was from Banteer in Co. Cork, was a member of the 2010/11 IT Tralee Fresher Football team.
Unfortunately, just two days after Rory had scored the winning goal to help IT Tralee win the 2010/11 league title, he lost his life in a car accident.
IT Tralee started the game in whirlwind fashion and were soon ahead by three points to no score after six minutes.
Two of these points coming from Kerry Minor Captain David Clifford with the other from Spa’s Michael Foley.
However, WIT soon began to settle and it wasn’t long before they were level. IT Tralee took the lead again with a point from the boot of Michael Foley before WIT equalised once again.
Just before half time, David Clifford with another pointed free, gave the Tralee boys the lead making it 5-4 at the break. IT Tralee were lucky to have goalkeeper Dan Kinsella in top form as he pulled off two spectacular saves during the half which kept IT Tralee in control.
The second half started at the same frenetic pace as the first with WIT levelling matters straight from the throw in.
IT Tralee with two points from Listry’s Aaron McCarthy and Dr. Crokes Paul Clarke soon went ahead again before WIT responded with two points.
WIT suffered a major setback when their full back was shown a second yellow card for persistant fouling. However, they responded to this in style with their third unanswered point to give them the lead for the first time with 10 minutes remaining.
Michael Foley with a great kick brought IT Tralee level again with six minutes of normal time remaining.
WIT then took control of the game with a great goal catching IT Tralee on the break. Straight from the kick out Austin Stacks Jack Morgan gained possession and found Aaron McCarthy who rattled the back of the WIT net with a superb goal leaving the sides level at 1-09 with 3 minutes remaining.
From here, IT Tralee took full control of the game with Milltown-Castlemaine’s Gavin McKenna and Spa’s David Spillane getting a point each while David Clifford finished the game in style when he rounded the WIT goalkeeper and slotted the ball in to the back of the net. Final Score: IT Tralee 2-11 Waterford IT 1-09
In a very poignant moment IT Tralee captain Shane Cronin of Spa received the cup from Pat and Bernie O’Connor – parents of Rory.
Great credit is due to the management team of Giles O’Grady (Kerins O’Rahillys), Paul O’Donoghue (St. Marys, Caherciveen) and John Fitzgerald (St. Pats, Blennerville) on a remarkable season that saw them win both league and championship. A very special and emotional win for all involved!