The attacking instincts of the Legion attacker were key in helping St Brendan’s establish a 3-7 to 1-7 advantage by half time and a late goal from Keane’s full-forward line colleague Gavin Kelly sealed the Killarney school’s triumph.
The St Brendan’s duo registered a hugely impressive 4-7 between them yet the game’s leading player was a member of the losing outfit. Brian O’Driscoll came to prominence earlier this year while lining out for the Cork minor footballers and the Tadhg MacCarthaigh player, who is eligible for the minor ranks again next season, was in sensational form in this game. He began the match at midfield but was shifted to centre-forward in the second half and kicked a series of brilliant long-distance points off both feet to finish the game with a personal haul of 0-8.
The towering display by O’Driscoll, who was assisted by strong second-half showings from Brian Leonard, Alex Hassett and Patrick O’Brien, brought St Fachtna’s back into contention in the second half. By the 50th minute they had the margin down to two points, 3-9 to 1-13, when O’Brien fired a shot over the bar. However the game turned four minutes later when referee Maurice Condon penalised St Fachtna’s goalkeeper Patrick Rossiter for taking a short kickout and after the ball was thrown in, St Brendan’s gained possession and strung together a move that was finished to the net with aplomb by Kelly.
The defeat means St Fachtna’s must now get a result from their final game against the other team in this group, Coláiste na Sceilge. They will hope to have a full complement of players for that game as they were badly hampered here by the loss after half-time of exciting full-forward Kevin Davis with a hamstring injury. Davis had combined well with O’Driscoll during St Fachtna’s best attacking moves in the first half and he also scored a 17th minute penalty.
That goal put St Fachtna’s 1-3 to 0-5 ahead but they were undone by the concession of three goals before the interval. In the 18th minute Keane neatly struck to the net after good work by Kieran Murphy and he followed that up with expert finishes in the 23rd and 31st minutes. St Brendan’s were able to protect that six-point cushion in the second half with David O’Donoghue, Gavin O’Shea and Kelly all to the fore.
Scorers for St Brendan’s: C Keane 3-3, G Kelly 1-4 (1f), B O’Shea 0-2fs, G O’Shea, B O’Donoghue 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Fachtna’s: B O’Driscoll 0-8 (1f), K Davis 1-1 (1-0 pen), R Hayes 0-2, M O’Driscoll, P O’Brien, S Hourihane 0-1 each.
ST BRENDAN’S: K Flynn (Dr Crokes); D O’Keeffe (Fossa), D McCarthy (Kilcummin), C Sheehan (Legion); D Osterloh (Fossa), D O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), C Ó’Lionaird (Dr Crokes); C Lawlor (Dr Crokes), K I Murphy (Glenflesk); D Stack (Dr Crokes), G O’Shea (Dr Crokes), J Cahill (Spa); C Keane (Legion), B O’Shea (Dr Crokes), G Kelly (Glenflesk).
Subs: K D Murphy (Kilcummin) for B O’Shea (37), B O’Donoghue (Glenflesk) for Cahill (56), L Byrnes (Dr Crokes) for Keane (inj. 59), D Galvin (Dr Crokes) for McCarthy (59).
ST FACHTNA’S: P Rossiter (O’Donovan Rossa); D Breen (O’Donovan Rossa), B Leonard (Ilen Rovers), D Kingston (Tadhg MacCarthaigh); A Hassett (Ilen Rovers), P O’Brien (Castlehaven), S Hourihane (O’Donovan Rossa); B O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), C Newman (O’Donovan Rossa); M O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), D O’Brien (Clann na Gael), R Hayes (Ilen Rovers); T McCarthy (Ilen Rovers), K Davis (O’Donovan Rossa), M Hurley (Castlehaven).
Subs: R Fitzgerald (O’Donovan Rossa) for Breen (24), P Hickey (Clann na Gael) for Davis (inj) (33), J Pickett (Ilen Rovers) for Newman (48).
Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford).