The big crowd created a wonderful atmosphere in Ovens today, and while there was disappointment for the home fans in the 1,777 attendance, they couldn’t but be impressed with what Templenoe served up in this Munster club IFC semi-final.
The Kerry representatives arrived with their ‘A’ game and such was their assuredness, there was nothing the hosts could have done to deny them. Éire Óg manager Harry Reilly said his charges came up against a ‘super’ team.
“We came here with great expectation. We had a great build-up since the Cork county final and fierce intensity in training. We gave ourselves a fantastic chance coming here. We went down to Templenoe last weekend and watched them.
“Templenoe were confident coming into today’s game but they upped their game big time from what we saw last week. They are a super team for this intermediate level. A lot of outstanding players. And even above their four county seniors, they have four or five others that are very good players as well. We probably gave them a little too much respect.
Any questions about Templenoe’s long layoff from championship football since winning the Kerry final — excluding last weekend’s provincial quarter-final — were answered in the first minute when Stephen O’Sullivan raced onto a delivery and clipped over their opening point.
Ronan O’Toole’s instant reply suggested we could be in line for a close contest. But Templenoe were having none of it, rattling off the next seven points unanswered. They were dispatched from all angles and distance and from an array of scorers. O’Sullivan, Killian Spillane, Cian Hallissey and wing back Gavin Crowley all firing spectacular points.
It was testament to their defending too that no Éire Óg forward scored from play in the first 30 minutes, O’Toole notching his side’s second point midway through the half. Templenoe, meanwhile, added another four points to yield an interval advantage of 0-12 to 0-2.
The Muskerry men were thankful too to John Kelleher who twice came to his team’s rescue in averting goal opportunities for the visitors.
Turning to play with the wind, Éire Óg had it all to do. They introduced All Ireland U20 winner Colm O’Callaghan and while the scoreboard looked a lot better courtesy of Eoin O’Shea, Ciarán Sheehan and Brian Hurley points, Templenoe stayed with them.
Daniel Goulding converted a few frees as well but Killian Spillane and O’Sullivan, who bagged 12 points between them, highlighted the massive firepower John Rice has at his disposal.
They closed out this victory in style when midfielder Adrian Spillane got in for a 54th-minute goal. And to demonstrate their strength in depth, Pat Spillane came off the bench to add to their tally and making it eight different scorers.
Scorers for Éire Óg: D Goulding (0-6, 0-5 frees), R O’Toole (0-2), E O’Shea, C Sheehan, B Hurley and C O’Callaghan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Templenoe: S O’Sullivan (0-2 frees) and K Spillane (0-4 frees) (0-6 each), A Spillane (1-0), G Crowley, T Morley, T Doyle, C Hallissey and P Spillane (0-1 each).
E Kelleher; J Kelleher, J Mullins, D O’Herlihy; D Dineen, John Cooper, D McCarthy; L Sheehan, R O’Toole; J Murphy, K Hallissey, E O’Shea; D Goulding (Capt), C Sheehan, B Hurley.
Subs: C O’Callaghan for L Sheehan (half time), Joe Cooper for K Hallissey (52), D Hurley for J Murphy (56), M O’Shea for J Kelleher (58), D Murphy for B Hurley (60), P O’Sullivan for E O’Shea (62).
D Cahalane; M Hallissey, T Morley, K O’Neill; S Sheehan, T Spillane, G Crowley; P Clifford, A Spillane; T Doyle, B Crowley (Capt), J Crowley Holland; S O’Sullivan, K Spillane, C Hallissey.
Subs: P Spillane for C Hallissey (50), M Reilly for J Crowley Holland (58), J Spillane for S Sheehan (60), J Sheehan for M Hallissey (60), J Rice for B Crowley (63).
Referee: Alan Kissane (Waterford).