‘The Green’ were always in control, though they found scoring difficult in the opening half against a tenacious defence in which Oisin Moran, Niall O’Connor, and Michael O’Leary were superb.
Tralee, backboned by Kerry All-Ireland minor winners Kieran Dwyer at full-back and Tómas O Connor at wing-forward, had other lively performances in Tommy Lynch, John Walsh, Jason Mortimer, and man of the match Sean Donnellan. They led 0-4 to 0-2 after 15 minutes despite the final pass often going astray under fierce tackling by the Na Sceilge rearguard. Jason Mortimer, Sean Donnellan (2), and Mikey Kelliher were on target for The Green while Muiris Fitzgerald (free) and Cillian Cronin replied for the South Kerry side.
The crucial score of the game came in the 29th minute when Kieran Dwyer broke up a Na Sceilge attack and after a sweeping move involving Tomás O’Connor, Jason Mortimer, and John Walsh, the ball reached Sean Donnellan who finished clinically.
The Green led 1-6 to 0-4 at the interval and Coláiste Na Sceilge could never get any closer as the Tralee side added nine second-half points from eight different players, with captain Kieran Dwyer’s the pick, after he raced almost the length of the pitch.
Muiris Fitzgerald from frees and tall midfielder John Murphy with two superb efforts kept Na Sceilge in touch and while they lack scoring forwards, they should not be underestimated, while Tralee CBS look capable of making the knockout stages at the very least.
S Donnellan (1-3); J Mortimer (0-4); M Kelliher (0-2); T O’Connor (1f), G Fitzgerald, A Roche, J Walsh, K Dwyer and D Regan (0-1)
M Fitzgerald (0-4f), J O’Sullivan (0-3, 1f), J Murphy (0-2), C Cronin and S Coffey (0-1)
S Foley; S Hamilton, K Dwyer, B Patterson; J Walsh, T Lynch, A Clifford; J O’Connor, D Fitzmaurice; S Donnellan, A Roche, T O’Connor; J Mortimer, G Fitzgerald, M Kelliher.
M Scanlon for A Roche (45), K Williams for D Fitzmaurice (46), J Myers for B Patterson (51), D Regan for J Walsh (56), E Greaney for G Fitzgerald (58).
M Daly; O Moran, N O’Connor, K Sheahan; J Donnelly, M O’Leary, C Cronin; J Murphy, M Fitzgerald, L O’Shea , J O’Sullivan, J Fitzgerald; C Guiney, J Sugrue , N O’Shea;
Subs; S Coffey for K Sheahan ( h/t), P McGill for J Fitzgerald (35), B McCarthy for C Guiney (41), J O’Neill for N O’Shea (48), S O’Connor for C Cronin (56), I Moriarty for J Sugrue (58)
S Joy (Laune Rangers)