It was a victory that didn’t look likely for long spells given the dominance of the Kerry school for long periods, but DLS took full advantage after Tralee had wing back Nathan Murphy sent off. Using their numerical strength to good advantage, they finished strongly to set up as semi-final with Dingle CBS in a few weeks.
Two evenly-matched sides were level seven times. Both were rich in talent. Jamie Kelleher was superb at centre back for Macroom while Tony Dineen was outstanding in attack, where he contributed five points of his side’s tally.
Interestingly it was also numbers six and 14 who were Tralee’s best. Lawrence Bastible gave nothing away at centre back while up front, Kieran Hurley made life very difficult for the DLS defence, scoring four points for his side.
While Tralee dictated matters in the opening half, their outfield superiority wasn’t reflected on the scoreboard, and the sides were level three times before Nicky O’Connell’s point separated the sides at the break.
Significantly the Green kicked seven wides to two for DLS in that opening half.
Despite the difficult conditions, the second half developed into a cracking contest and there was a real Cork/Kerry bite to it.
Superbly led by Tony Dineen, DLS hit the front for the first time as Dineen kicked three points, and it took a brilliant save by Tralee keeper Ciaran Higgins to deny Jeremiah Kelleher a goal as the Mid-Cork school pinned their opponents in their own half.
The save was a massive let-off for Tralee, and as the pace of the game continued to quicken, the impressive Kieran Hurley tied the game for the seventh time with a superb point, and a replay looked likely.
However the game took a dramatic turn for the Macroom side with eight minutes to go after Murphy’s dismissal, and using their extra man efficiently, DLS hit the front with a magnificent point by Tony Dineen. It was fitting that he should have a hand in Stephen Down’s insurance point as the game went into a minute of injury time.
Scorers for DLS Macroom: T. Dineen 0-5 (0-3f); D. Ambrose, D. Twomey, B. Shorten, S. Down 0-1 each.
Scorers for CBS Tralee: K. Hurley 0-4 (0-2f); N. Moriarty, N. O’ Connell, N. Murphy (0-1 each).
DLS MACROOM: P. O’Sullivan; J. O’Connor, K. Barrett, K. Manning; B. Lynch, J. Kelleher, C. McCarthy; D. O’Riordan, C. Ryan; S. Down, D. Ambrose, D. Twomey; B. Shorten, T. Dineen, G. Barrett.
Sub: A. Hegarty for Shorten (15).
TRALEE CBS: C. Higgins; R. O’Shea, A. Thompson, D. Kerins; PJ O’Mahony, L. Bastable, N. Murphy; J. Walsh, D. Doody; J. Hickson, K. Hurley, I. McCarthy; N. O’Connell, S. Walsh, J. Moriarty.
Subs: K. O’Mahony for McCarthy (half time); J. McCoy for Moriarty (40); S. O’Callaghan for O’Connell (45); N. Fitzgerald for S. Walsh (50).
Referee: R. Moloney (Limerick).