In a game spoiled by driving wind and rain, Tralee laid the foundations for their comfortable victory in the first half when aided by the elements and turned over with a 4-6 to no score lead. In truth, they were never going to be caught.
The victory is The Green’s first in eight years, and if they can hold this highly talented group of players together, a Corn Uí Mhuirí title is well within their grasp over the next two years.
From goalkeeper Kevin O’Shea, who made a number of great saves including one from a penalty in the first half, to corner forward Mark O’Sullivan who scored 1-3, there was hardly a weak link in this Tralee side.
Corner backs Danny O’Sullivan and Joe Scully did an amount of good work, particularly in the second half when the pressure was applied.
Centre forward David Moran also did well in a more defensive role for the second period, while full forward Paul Culloty, with two goals, also played an important part.
DLS put up a brave fight, and while David Kennedy, Neil Kelly, Mitchel Casey, Dean Twomey and Craig Moloney played well, the 18-point half time deficit proved too great.
For most of the first half, Tralee laid siege to the DLS goal.
Paul Cullotty had the ball in the net after just two minutes and it took a great save by Waterford ‘keeper Eoin Morrissey to deny him a second a minute later.
With DLS struggling to get out of their own defence, Cullotty availed of a poor kick-out to score his second major, and after 10 minutes the Tralee school led 2-3 to nil.
DLS did manage a couple of raids on the Tralee goal, with full forward Dean Twomey dangerous, but the Green’s defence conceded nothing.
A sustained period of pressure won DLS a penalty in the 15th minute but Tralee net-minder Kevin O’Sullivan denied Casey with a fine save.
From the kick-out Tralee drove upfield for a rather lucky third goal when Mark O’Sullivan’s speculative shot deceived the DLS goalkeeper and dropped over his head into the net.
From there to the interval, Tralee remained camped in the DLS half and not surprisingly they scored a fourth goal just on the call of half time, after Stephen Browne kicked first time on a loose ball at the edge of the square.
Only the most ardent DLS followers held out any hope of a comeback by their side, but all credit to their players, they took the game to Tralee and with David Kennedy leading the way, they kicked three points on the trot.
However, while they enjoyed a lot of possession and had Tralee pinned in their own half with the strong wind to their backs, the scores never came with the same frequency as they did for Tralee.
Maintaining the pressure, DLS were denied a goal by another great save by the Tralee ‘keeper, but they finally did manage to beat Kevin O’Shea when Dean Twomey slotted home a penalty.
: Tralee CBS: P Cullotty 2-0; M O’Sullivan 1-3 (0-2 frees); S Browne 1-1; L O’Sullivan 1-0; D Moran 0-2 (0-1 45); JB Walsh 0-1. DLS: M Casey 0-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1 45); D Twomey 1-0 (pen.); W Walsh 0-2; D Kirby (free), C Moloney 0-1 each.
: K O’Shea; D O’Sullivan, L Kissane, J Scully; B Costello, S Brennan, M O’Donoghue; L O’Sullivan, S Browne; C Barrett, D Moran, B Shanahan; BJ Walsh, P Culloty, M O’Sullivan.
: A O’Donoghue for Barrett; D Quirke for Shanahan.
: E Morrissey; D Tuohy, K Gahan, A Foskin; D Kennedy, N Kelly, D Baxter; W Walsh, M Casey; T Connors, D Kiely, C O’Toole; P Kennedy, D Twomey, C Moloney.
: J Kirby for D Kirby; T Kerins for Baxter.
: M Meade (Ballylanders).