Tears of joy were shed by young and old alike, as a Wayne O’Gorman inspired Wicklow side, basked in the glory of having ended a 66 years old long famine for the success starved Garden County.
The skilful O’Gorman, operating in the right corner forward position, scored a glittering hat trick of goals, one from the penalty spot. He also set up centre forward Donal McGillycuddy for Wicklow’s other goal and emerged as the destroyer in chief of Kerry’s ambitions in a real roller coaster of a high scoring contest.
Kerry had a dream start with a fine opportunist goal from wing forward Mike Cooper in the 6th minute. But with wily old fox Kevin O’Brien making his presence felt tellingly, with points from both play and frees, Wicklow succeeded in staying in touch.
Kerry were leading by 1-2 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter when former All Star O’Brien was pulled down inside the square and O’Gorman sent goalkeeper Kieran Cremin the wrong way with his excellent penalty conversion.
But with centre forward Jack Ferriter and corner forwards Brian Scanlon and Kieran Foley doing some good work for their side, Kerry came back strongly and four points on the trot from Scanlon, Foley and centre back Kieran Scanlon powered Kerry into a 1-6 to 1-5 interval lead.
However, three minutes after the re start Wicklow were back in front when O’Gorman crashed home a spectacular goal. Not to be outdone Kerry countered almost immediately with a smashing goal of their own from Brian Scanlon.
Kerry were leading by four points and looking good at the end of the third quarter when O’Gorman slipped his marker for the umpteenth time before passing to McGillycuddy who made no mistake from close range.
O’Brien equalised with a point from a free in the 48th minute but the very industrious Ferriter edged Kerry back into the lead with a point. But then six minutes from the end O’Gorman kicked another brilliant goal to complete his hat trick and copper fasten Wicklow’s most joyous triumph.
While on the other side of the coin the last chapter in Kerry’s take of woe was added in the last minute when Brian Scanlon was sent off following an off the ball altercation with an opponent.
Scorers for Wicklow: W. O’Gorman 3- 2; D. McGillycuddy 1-1; K. O’Brien 0-5 (0-4 from frees); C. Davis 0-1.
Kerr. B. Scanlon 1-3; M. Cooper 1-0; K. Foley 0-3 (0-1 from free); J. Ferriter 0-3; R. Donovan 0-2; K. Scanlon 0-1.
WICKLOW: K. Quirke; A. Byrne, H. Kenny, R. Doyle; C. Foley, T. Broe, C. Davis; D. Doran, B. O’Keeffe; J. Doyle, D. McGillycuddy, J. P. Davis; W. O’Gorman, S. Byrne, K. O’Brien. Subs. S. Corrigan for Broe; S. Miley for Davis; P. O’Donnell for Doran.
KERRY: K. Cremin; D. McNamara, S. O’Sullivan, Don Murphy; B. Fitzgerald, K. Scanlon, S. Flynn; P. Somers, E. O’Donoghue; A. Constable, J. Ferriter, M. Cooper; B. Scanlon, P. Kennedy, K. Foley. Subs. R. Donovan for Somers; Damien Murphy for don Murphy; N. Sheehy for McNamara.
Referee: M. Hughes (Tyrone).