REPORT/PHOTOS: Is This The Turning Point For Kerins O’Rahillys Season?

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Kerins O’Rahillys 2-12

South Kerry 2-8

Barry John Keane takes a shot at the posts. Photo by Dermot Crean

WOULD the real Kerins O’Rahillys please stand up?

Having been dumped out of the club championship three weeks ago by Kenmare, a week later Strand Road capitulated to arch rivals Austin Stacks to send them into a relegation dogfight.

That team was unrecognisable on Sunday afternoon as they outplayed a South Kerry side which was — while admittedly without Bryan Sheehan and Killian Young — fancied to come and upset the Blues, based on the Tralee side’s recent form.

What transpired in this Round 1 Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry SFC tie, was O’Rahillys best performance since beating Killarney Legion last July in Fitzgerald Stadium.

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The tenacious tackling, fluid forward play and, most encouraging of all, the manner in which the defence shut down South Kerry’s second half attacks, limiting them to four points (three from frees) gives encouragement for a daunting task next week — a trip to Dingle in Round 2A.

This scenario seemed far-fetched after the way the game started yesterday. After trading points in the opening minutes, South Kerry midfielder Brendan O’Sullivan collected the ball around half way and made a beeline for goal.

There was no stopping the Valentia man as he smashed it past Gary Kissane for a sixth minute goal.

Brendan O’Sullivan (9) blasts his shot past Gary Kissane for South Kerry’s first goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

A minute later and the groans were audible from the home support as St Mary’s players Paul O’Donoghue and Daniel Daly played a double one-two for a superb goal by Daly.

Daniel Daly (15) sees his shot hit the net for South Kerry’s second goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

This made it 0-1 to 2-2 and with South Kerry playing with the wind it looked ominous for O’Rahilly’s. However, they responded brilliantly with three points from Barry John Keane and one each from John Ferguson and Jack Savage reducing the gap to two.

After Paul O’Donoghue and Barry John Keane traded scores, South Kerry pressed on with scores from O’Donoghue again and Denis Daly to put them 0-7 to 2-5 up on 19 minutes.

Tommy Walsh advances watched by Mark Griffin. Photo by Dermot Crean

O’Rahillys were wasteful over the following six minutes, hitting a number of wides and received another blow when Tommy Walsh went off injured in the 25th minute.

A superb point by Niall O’Shea for South Kerry put them five up with three minutes left in the half. John Ferguson responded a minute later for the Blues but this was cancelled out by Paul O’Donoghue.

Four minutes of injury-time saw a flurry of points — two from O’Rahillys and one South Kerry to leave a four point gap at the break 0-1o to 2-8.

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We had to wait five minutes before the first score of the second half but it proved a pivotal one.

Some good work by O’Rahilly’s Gavin O’Brien on the left, saw him set up John Ferguson in front of the  goal and his low hard shot rattled the net.

John Ferguson celebrates his second half goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

The scruff of the game’s neck was well and truly caught by Kerins O’Rahillys after that.

Points from Gearoid Savage, Cormac Coffey and two from Barry John Keane — one a peach from distance — brought them three clear at 1-14 to 2-8.

They doubled that advantage on 46 minutes. Con Barrett tore through the South Kerry defence and when his shot was saved Gearoid Savage followed up with a tap-in goal.

Brendan O’Sullivan shows his disappointment after Gearoid Savage’s goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

Barry John Keane and Padraig Griffin added two more scores before South Kerry finally got their first score of the half in the 50th minute through Daniel Daly.

The Kerins O’Rahillys defence stood firm for the rest of the game, denying South Kerry’s attempts to manufacture goal chances. They had to take three pointed frees from Daniel Daly which proved mere consolation scores.

Cormac Coffey on his way to scoring a point. Photo by Dermot Crean

A fine win for Kerins ORahillys, but too often in the past few years this has been quickly followed in the next game by disappointment.

With a young Dingle team of starlets waiting, Morgan Nix and Micheál Quirke will be hoping their own talented group will live up to their considerable potential…again.

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KERINS O’RAHILLY’S: Gary Kissane; Tommy Begley, Padraig Griffin, Danny O’Sullivan; Cormac Coffey, Ross O’Callaghan, Karl Mullins; David Moran, Tommy Walsh; Gavin O’Brien, Con Barrett, Cian Sayers; Jack Savage, Barry John Keane, John Ferguson.

Subs used; Gearoid Savage (Tommy Walsh 25 mins), Rory Molloy (Padraig Griffin 55 mins).

Scorers: Barry John Keane (0-7 2f), John Ferguson (1-3), Gearoid Savage ( 1-1), Jack Savage ( 0-2 1f), Karl Mullins , Cormac Coffey, Padraig Griffin 0-1 each.

SOUTH KERRY: Padraig O’Sullivan; Paul O’Sullivan, Mark Griffin, Fionan Clifford; Graham O’Sullivan, Denis Daly, Robert Wharton; Padraig King, Brendan O’Sullivan; Paul O’Donoghue, Niall O’Shea, Chris Farley; Conor O’Shea, Matthew O’Sullivan, Daniel Daly.

Subs used; Dylan O’Donoghue (half-time); Barry Dwyer (Chris Farley 39th minute) John Curran, Oran Clifford (Matthew O’Sullivan, Paul O’Sullivan (58th minute)

Scorers: Paul O’Donoghue (1-6), Brendan O’Sullivan ( 1-1), Daniel Daly ( 0-02), Graham O’Sullivan, Niall O’Shea, Denis Daly, (0-1 each) .

Con Barrett on his way to setting up a goal chance, chased by Fionan Clifford. Photo by Dermot Crean

Fionan Clifford and John Ferguson tussle for the ball along the sideline. Photo by Dermot Crean

High flying midfield action. Photo by Dermot Crean

Barry John Keane in action with Graham O’Sullivan close by. Photo by Dermot Crean

Jack Savage under pressure. Photo by Dermot Crean

 

John Ferguson about to pull the trigger. Photo by Dermot Crean

 

Midfield action. Photo by Dermot Crean

Con Barrett celebrates after Gearoid Savage’s goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

Gearoid Savage scores a point. Photo by Dermot Crean

 

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