The Kerry side were far too strong for their Clare opponents with their ability to construct flowing moves through the heart of the St Flannan’s defence that yielded scores, proving the essential difference between the two sides.
Tralee CBS full-forward Darren O’Brien led the way by bagging three goals and it was his fifth-minute strike that set them on their way. By the 20th minute they had grabbed two more goals, with Sean Moloney finding the net in the 15th minute and then five minutes later centre-back Ciarán Deane surged forward and crowned his run with a fine goal.
That left Tralee CBS 3-2 to 0-3 ahead, an advantage that was largely due to the dominance supplied by midfield duo Jake Moran and Sean Walsh, brother of Tommy and Barry John. They added a string of points before the interval courtesy of Danny Carroll, Ian McCarthy and Niall Sheehy to stretch their lead. St Flannan’s relied on the strong efforts of Tony Kelly and Jake Malone to keep them in touch, as they trailed 3-5 to 0-4 at the interval.
St Flannan’s got an early boost after the break when Conor Cleary pointed and it took a great save by Tralee CBS netminder Adam O’Donnell to deny Gearóid Ryan a goal moments later. That was a key incident as Tralee kicked on from there by adding three further goals in the second-half. O’Brien hit the net again in the 46th minute after great work by impressive corner-forward Danny Carroll. Then four minutes later Carroll himself struck a goal with a fierce finish past St Flannan’s goalkeeper Adam Fleming, and O’Brien crowned Tralee CBS’s victory by completing his hat-trick in injury-time.
Scorers for Tralee CBS: D O’Brien 3-0, D Carroll 1-2 (0-1f), S Moloney, C Deane 1-0, N Sheehy 0-3 (0-2f), I McCarthy 0-2 (0-2f), J Moran, J Keane 0-1 each.
St Flannan’s: T Kelly (0-1f), J Malone 0-2 each, N Deasy, C Cleary, D Neylon, J Browne 0-1 each.
TRALEE CBS: A O’Donnell; M Gallagher, M Tierney, D Moynihan; A Crean, C Deane, T McLoughlin; S Walsh, J Moran; I McCarthy, N Sheehy, S Moloney; B Scannell, D O’Brien, D Carroll.
Subs: S Lyons for Moloney (48), A Kastrah for McLoughlin (48), S Crowley for Moran (48), J Keane for Scannell (52), D Ryle for Crean (52).
ST FLANNAN’S: A Fleming; M Malone, K Flaherty, S Ward; J Browne, C Cleary, S Murphy; T Kelly, A O’Neill; G Ryan, J Malone, N Deasy; C Burke, S Corry, I Cusack.
Subs: B McGowan for Malone (44), D Burke for Cusack (50), J Neylon for Ryan (52), D Neylon for Deasy (54).
Referee: Shane Hourigan (Rathkeale)