O’Donoghue inspires Tralee to glory

TRALEE IT were crowned Higher Education SFL Division Two champions after overcoming a robust and spirited challenge from Waterford IT at Mallow last night.

The Kerry side, who took to the field with a host of inter-county minor, senior and U21 players, had to fight hard for this title as the boys from the South East pushed them all the way to the final whistle.

Alan O’Donoghue was the star of the show for the Kingdom side as he bagged four points and caused no end of difficulties for the Déise side’s rearguard.

O’Donoghue wasn’t the only one to impress for Tralee as the right full-forward was ably assisted up front by Kerry senior football star Barry John Keane.

Waterford had some notable performers of their own with impressive displays from centre-forward Adam Brophy, midfielder Colm Coss and right full-forward Cathal McNally, who bagged six points.

Waterford will be disappointed with this loss considering for long periods of the first half they were well in control.

The boys in blue and white raced into a four-point lead inside 10 minutes but couldn’t keep up the ferocious pace, as slowly but surely, the Kerry side reeled them in.

The signs looked ominous for Waterford IT on 28 minutes when Kingdom U21 forward Shane Carroll tapped over a point close in to give Tralee the lead for the first time.

Tralee never looked back after this and managed to hold their opponents scoreless for over 20 minutes while tagging on four points of their own.

Waterford got back into the game in the last 10 minutes with a brace of points from McNally as well as a classy score from Ross Brady.

But, ultimately, they were unable to cut the gap sufficiently and always looked like coming out on the wrong end of the scoreline as Tralee took the title.

Scorers for Tralee IT: A O’Donoghue 0-4; S Carroll, P O’Donoghue, BJ Keane (one free) 0-2 each; G O’Driscoll 0-1.

Waterford IT: C McNally 0-6 (two frees); R Brady 0-2 (one free); C Coss 0-1.

TRALEE IT: S Dea; E Murray, D Culloty, K Hartnett; G O’Grady, M Deegan, M Shanahan; P O’Donoghue, L Kavanagh; G O’Driscoll, B J Keane, B Poff; A O’Donoghue, S Carroll, M Kiely. Subs: M Brennan for K Hartnett (40), J Scully for M Deegan (52).

WATERFORD IT: B Redmond; S Fox, S Prendergast, B Rogers, M Malloy, C O’Connor, J McGrath; C Coss, B McGarr; R Brady, A Brophy, E Malone; C O’Keeffe, P Burke, C McNally.

Subs: T Prendergast for B McGarr (45).

Referee: Conor Lane (Banteer)

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