It’s Crokes v Stacks on Sunday week: Killarney v Tralee.
Just eight days ago they stormed out of the blocks against St Kieran’s, hitting 1-1 in 90 seconds and in Austin Stack Park yesterday it was more impressive as the brilliance was sustained.
They railroaded the men from the banks of the Feale, leading 1-4 to no score after eight minutes. Not only that but they held their opponents scoreless from play over the hour.
The victors’ manager Stephen Stack was delighted with his side’s effort.
“Look, we’re into a final and that’s where we wanted to be and, like Bin Laden, we’ll go back into the bunker now for two weeks!”
He had nothing but compliments for the reigning county champions who swept past Kerins O’Rahillys in the opening semi-final.
“They’re an unbelievable team. I’ll spend the next two weeks preparing for them. We’ll just go out and play to our strengths. We like to play controlled football. If you give time and space to the Crokes they will bury you.”
Stacks have exited the Kerry SFC at the hands of Dr Crokes in each of the last three seasons but Stack dismissed the idea the Killarney men have a hoodoo over them.
“I don’t buy into hoodoos or piseogs or anything like that. That’s only history and rubbish.”
Ken O’Sullivan, co-manager of the Feale Rangers side, was perplexed by his side’s woeful start.
“Our plan all week was to not let them have the start they had in the last game, but that’s exactly what we allowed them (do). That set the tone for the game and we were just chasing it from very early on.”
Paul O’Donoghue, Darragh Long and Mikey Collins had Stacks up and running after six minutes before the all-action wing-back Pa McCarthy burst onto a Shane Callaghan pass to slip the ball under Brendan Galvin.
Their dominance continued for the remainder of the half with three Shane Carroll frees and another score from McCarthy. Feale Rangers only response was two Conor Cox frees as Stacks led 1-7 to 0-2 at the break.
The second half was a procession for Stacks as the north Kerry men chased shadows. Kieran Donaghy continued to dominate Anthony Maher at midfield and the Stacks’ forwards added 2-5.
Four minutes into the second half came the first goal and what a wonderful effort it was. Stacks’ half-back Ronan Shanahan sprinted 60 yards through the Feale defence to finish brilliantly past Brendan Galvin. Substitute Darragh O’Brien added their third goal 12 minutes from time. A cracking final awaits.
Scorers for Austin Stacks: S Carroll 0-6 frees, P McCarthy 1-1, R Shanahan 1-0, D O’Brien 1-0, P O’Donoghue, M Collins, D Long, S Callaghan, D Mannix 0-1.
Scorers for Feale Rangers: C Cox 0-3 frees.
AUSTIN STACKS: D O’Brien; F McNamara, D Bohan, J Dennis; P McCarthy, D McElligott, R Shanahan; B Shanahan, K Donaghy; G Horan, P O’Donoghue, M Collins; D Long, S Carroll, S Callaghan. Subs: W Kirby (blood sub) for B Shanahan (31-36), D O’Brien for Long (41), TJ Hogan for Collins (48), C O’Connell for Horan (50), D Mannix for D O’Brien (injured, 54), W Guthrie for B Shanahan (58).
FEALE RANGERS: B Galvin (Moyvane); A O’Connor (Duagh), J McGuire (Listowel Emmets), B Guiney (do.); G McCarthy (do.), K Quirke (Duagh), D Foran (St Senan’s); A Maher (Duagh), D Somers (St Senans); M O’Connor (Duagh), D Walsh (Listowel Emmets), B Murphy (do.); D Sheehy (do.), P Curtin (Moyvane), C Cox (Listowel Emmets).
Subs: N Kennelly (Listowel Emmets) for Murphy (24), B Whelan (St Senan’s) for Somers (30), ST Dillon (St Senans’) for A O’Connor (32), J Barry (Listowel Emmets) for Walsh (41), P Quille for M O’Connor (59).
Referee: Eddie Walsh (Rathmore).