Trailing by eight points at half time after being totally outclassed by a superb St Fachtna’s combination, St Brendan’s staged a brilliant comeback to leave their Skibbereen opponents shell-shocked.
Make no mistake about it, this was a heartbreaking experience for St Fachtna’s. They played some brilliant football when aided by a slight wind in the first half and their silken skills and splendid accuracy looked like turning the contest into a rout.
Centre forward Brian Dwyer was a majestic figure as St Fachtna’s sparkled in the opening sequences.
Three magnificent points by Dwyer, followed by another beauty from wing forward Colm O’Driscoll, powered St Fachtna’s to the front after the opening quarter and St Brendan’s look rattled.
Strong and resolute at the back and sparkling up front, St Fachtna’s dominated and a goal from Colm O’Driscoll in the 23rd minute highlighted the superiority of the Skibb representatives.
Not one St Brendan’s forward managed to get his name on the score sheet in a nightmare first half for them. The two points they did score came from outstanding midfielder Michael O’Donoghue and with St Fachtna’s leading by 1-7 to 0-2, the die looked well and truly cast for the Kerry boys at the break.
But what a dramatic transformation on the changeover.
Inspired by the mighty endeavours of O’Donoghue at midfield and David Murphy at full forward, St Brendan’s went to town as St Fachtna’s fell away.
Suddenly it was all systems go for St Brendan’s.
In a devastating spell, they turned the tide and with O’Donoghue and Murphy scoring some magnificent points, the gap was closing rapidly.
The deficit was down to two points when St Fachtna’s registered their first score of the second half, a point from a free by Gerard O’Donovan in the 43rd minute.
This only proved to be a temporary setback for St Brendan’s, who continued to storm forward.
St Brendan’s drew level in the 50th minute when the highly impressive Murphy kicked over a free.
Four minutes later they grabbed the lead for the first time when O’Donoghue did the honours with his fifth point of the game.
St Fachtna’s were shell-shocked and their hopes completely evaporated when corner forward Jamie Doolin kicked the match-winning goal for St Brendan’s four minutes from the end.
: St Brendan’s: J Doolin 1-1; M O’Donoghue 0-5 (0-1 from free); D Murphy 0-4 (0-1 from free); K O’Leary 0-2. St Fachtna’s: C O’Driscoll 1-1; B Dwyer 0-3; S Cahalane 0-2; G O’Donovan 0-2 (0-1 from free); C Crowley 0-1.
: J O’Sullivan; D Courtney, M Moloney, J Payne; T Ryan, K Foley, S Lynch; M O’Donoghue, A Looney; K McSweeney, K O’Leary, J Falvey; J Doolin, D Murphy, J Russell. Subs: G Carroll for McSweeney; P O’Connor for Russell; P O’Leary for Falvey.
: D O’Mahony; P O’Driscoll, S O’Neill, M Cahalane; C Hayes, D Limerick, Conor O’Driscoll; D O’Neill, L O’Driscoll; Colm O’Driscoll, B Dwyer, C Crowley; S Cahalane, G O’Donovan, S Hurley.
: N Kearney for O’Neill (injured); S O’Driscoll for Dwyer.
: P Russell (Tipperary).