REPORT/PHOTOS: Kerry Hurlers Victorious In Under 21 B All-Ireland Final

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Mike O’Halloran was in Semple Stadium Thurles to see Kerry win the Under 21 Hurling All Ireland B Final yesterday…

Kerry 2-12 

Wicklow 2-8

The Kerry team celebrate. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

I had said in my preview that there would be bonfires in Lixnaw on Saturday night and that Kerry to bring home the Richie McElligott Cup with an easy win. How wrong I was.

There was a bonfiree, but the win was anything but easy.

Kerry had the first score on three minutes from Jack Goulding but the next three points came from Wicklow with Jack Doyle pointing two and Enda Donoghue with one.

Shane Conway dragged Kerry back into the game with two pointed frees before Ronan Donovan and Maurice O’Connor put Kerry two in front.

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Kerry were finding it difficult to come to grips with the physicality of the Wicklow men that, along with four or five players not being at their best, meant Kerry were never comfortable and were never able to get up a head of steam.

Kerry seemed very nervous and their first touch was totally missing with players being unable to raise the ball or keep possession of the ball.

Wicklow struck for their first goal on 24 minutes from the camán of Michael Boland, after he latched on to a rebound from a save by Stephen Murphy.

Kerry went in at halftime behind by two 1-5 to 0-6.

Jack Goulding sent over one of his special sideline cuts to reduce the margin to one at the beginning of the second half.

Goulding won a free for Shane Conway to draw Kerry level, Enda Donoghue replied for Wicklow.

With 20 minutes to go Michael Boland had his second goal for Wicklow when the Kerry backs were marked absent by a passing movement that split them open.

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But the resilient Kerry boys were back in it almost from the puck out, when Shane Conway ghosted in to blast to the net to level the game 1-9 to 2-6.

Maurice O’Connor put Kerry ahead by three when he goaled, Daniel O’Carroll added a point and Shane Conway tapped over two to get Kerry over the line after a stern test by four points.

Massive celebrations followed as Darragh Shanahan lifted The Richie McElligott Cup, fitting that a Lixnaw man should be the first Kerry man to lift the trophy. Darragh was not able to play due to a hamstring injury.

Kerry team and scorers: Stephen Murphy, Stevie O’Sullivan, Darragh Shanahan (Ronan Donovan from the start (0.01) (Daniel O’Carroll 0.01), Billy Lyons, Eoin Ross, Jason Diggins, Johnny Buckley, Barry O’Sullivan, Tomas O’Connor, Brandon Barrett (Robert Collins), Michael O’Leary, Jordan Brick, Maurice O’Connor (1.01), Shane Conway (1.06), Jack Goulding (0.03).

Kerry fans in Semple Stadium. Photo by Mike O’Halloran


Kerry fans in Semple Stadium. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

The victorious Kerry team. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

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