O’Rahillys get well tested

THIS opening round of the Garveys Kerry senior football championship at Caherciveen yesterday proved to be much closer than generally anticipated, despite the underdogs being limited by the loss of eight players.

In fact, it could very well have produced an unexpected outcome if St. Michael’s/Foilmore had enjoyed better luck in their finishing.

The most dramatic example of this came minutes from the finish when, with two points separating the sides, outstanding forward Ronan O’Connor won a great ball at the edge of the square only to see ‘keeper David Hennessy divert a flicked shot outside the post.

Early in the second half, O’Connor had been denied what appeared to be a definite point after the umpires disagreed and the referee indicated a wide.

With O’Connor coming close to goaling in the opening minutes before Patrick O’Sullivan gave them the lead, O’Rahillys improved their finishing to be 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 14 minutes. Two of those scores came from Declan Quill, their best forward on view.

With O’Connor showing great leadership up front, St. Michaels/Foilmore came more into the game in the second quarter. In midfield Mark O’Sullivan achieved more than Kerry panellist Micheal Quirke. They also showed a lot of resolve in defence. At the break it was 0-8 to 0-5 for the Tralee side.

In another 15 minutes, St. Michaels/Foilmore were in a very promising position.

They had reduced the deficit to a single point and strengthening play in defence – with Brian Galvin excelling at centre-back and Adrian O’Connell very strong around the goalmouth – enabled them to increase their challenge.

It was notable that after Barry John Walsh’s 47th minute point, O’Rahillys were not to score again. An injury-time point from Patrick O’Sullivan gave them hope of forcing extra time but the full time whistle sounded almost immediately afterwards.

Scorers for Kerins O’Rahillys: D. Quill 0-6 (0-2 frees); B.J. Walsh 0-3; B.J. Keane 0-1 (free).

Scorers for St. Michaels/Foilmore: R. O’Connor 0-5 (0-2 frees); P. O’Sullivan 0-3; K. McCarthy 0-1.

KERINS O’RAHILLYS: D. Hennessy; D. O’Sullivan, M. O’Shea, S. Brosnan; G. O’Grady, B. O’Shea, R. O’Callaghan; B. Moran, M. Quirke; B.J. Keane, B.J. Walsh, J. O’Connor; D. Quill, S. Walsh, T. O’Sullivan.

Subs: K. O’Mahony for O’Callaghan (40); J. Nolan for S. Walsh (61).

ST. MICHAEL’S/FOILMORE: R. Harty; B. Smith, A. O’Connell, C. Grandfield; C. O’Sullivan, B. Galvin, C. Grandfield; S. O’Connor, M. O’Sullivan; K. McCarthy, D.J. Moran, S. O’Shea; P. O’Sullivan, R. O’Connor, M. Thiemann.

Subs: A. Smith for M. O’Sullivan (55); J. Moran for McCarthy (56).

Referee: Tommy Brosnan (Dr Crokes).

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