Apart from a 15 minute spell in the first-half, when Dingle led by two points, this game fell way short of expectations. The atmosphere was equally dull and the lack of supporters for both set of teams contributed to this being one of the poorest games in the championship so far this season.
That won’t bother the Caherciveen side, however. For them it was all about getting to the final and maintaining their phenomenal record of never having been beaten in the Corn Uí Mhuirí since they first took part two and a half years ago.
But their task was made easier by a Dingle side who failed to repeat the heroics of their quarter final win. They played with the strong wind to their backs in the opening half and enjoyed a lot of possession but they simply failed to capitalise on that advantage. So when Kevin O’Sullivan had the first of his two goals in the 16th minute to give the champions a two point lead, the signs were ominous for Dingle.
Ironically the West Kerry side had the best of the opening chances when Mark Evans blazed wide with only the ’keeper to beat. Thereafter Coláiste na Sceilge defence settled well with MP O’Donoghue, Timothy O’Sullivan and Michael Curran doing a lot of excellent work.
Midfield was a problem area for Na Sceilge as Dingle’s Muiris and Cathal MacGearailt were the dominant pair with the result there was a lot of pressure on the champions’ defence, but only David Geaney posed any real threat. His goal from a speculative shot in the 27th minute which the Na Sceilge ’keeper Darren Corcoran appeared to turn into his own net, helped Dingle to a half time lead of 1-4 to 1-2, but it was never going to be enough, given the strength of the wind.
The interval words of coach Jack O’Connor had the desired effect on the champions, because in the space of five minutes, they turned that two point half time deficit into a five point lead.
The decision of the Dingle management to place David Geaney in at full forward for the second half was a disastrous move as he saw little of the ball, and the total collapse of their midfield pairing didn’t helped their cause either.
With midfielders Bryan Sheehan and Seán O’Shea finally showing their undoubted class, Na Sceilge went on a scoring spree and the impressive Paul O’Connor’s goal in the 35th minute, followed by O’Sullivan’s second ten minutes later, had their side 3-6 to 1-5 in front at the three quarter-stage.
The remaining quarter was purely academic as Na Sceilge remained totally in command. Dingle’s second half scores came from the accurate bot of
David Geaney from frees.
Scorers: Col. Na Sceilge: K. Sheehan 2-0; P. O’Connor 1-2; B. Sheehan 0-3
(frees); D. King, R. Keating, S. O’Shea 0-1 each.
Dingle: D. Geaney 1-4 (0-4 frees); A. Curran, T. Sheehy 0-1 each.
COL. NA SCEILGE: D. Corcoran; MP O’Donoghue, C. O’Sullivan, K. Young; T.
O’Sullivan, M. Curran, T. Lyne; B. Sheehan, S. O’Shea; D. Falvey, C.
O’Driscoll, D. Walsh; K.O’Sullivan, R. Keating, P. O’Connor. Subs. D. King for D. Walsh; K. O’Leary for MP O’Donoghue; C. Casey for T. O’Sullivan; G. O’Sullivan for S. O’Shea.
DINGLE: P. Curran; M. Ó Conchúir, S. Sheehy, B. Kelleher; SM Ó Conchúir, J. Murphy, S. O’Sullivan; M. MacGearailt, C. MacGearailt; M. Evans, D. Geaney, T. Sheehy; A. Ó Curráin, D. Devane, E. MacGearailt. Subs. C. Brosnan for E. McGearailt; E. Linehan for Devane; P. Evans for S. O’Sullivan.
Referee: P. Lyons (Laune Rangers).