And so will have to meet for a third time to determine who plays St Brendan’s College of Killarney in the Corn Uí Mhuirí (Munster PPS U18½AFC) final.
Referee Kevin Walsh and his officials left the Baile Bhúirne pitch to a hostile reception from the Críost Rí faithful, unhappy how Tralee had been given frees to draw the game in normal time and extra time — the first after a Críost Rí defensive free was cancelled for time-wasting and the second due to the inordinate amount of injury time for a 10-minute period of play.
Prior to that, both sets of players had engaged in a melee at the final whistle, but that can be put down to over-familiarity as much as anything. However, Críost Rí may seek further action over an incident involving a linesman and one of their mentors.
Before all that, the two sides again served up an exciting game of football, the rope in this tug-of-war always taut as each gave as good as they got.
David Fitzmaurice’s first-minute goal, a point attempt which looped in, helped to give Tralee the advantage for much of the first half, Mark Cronin and Cillian Myers Murray leading the Críost Rí response.
When Gearoid Fitzgerald was fouled for a Tralee penalty on 27, Michael Kelliher netted to make it 2-4 to 0-4, but Críost Rí had an instant response as Cronin’s lovely ball found wing-back Darragh Kelly for his second goal in as many games, and Cronin’s point left two in it at half-time.
Tralee did re-establish that goal lead early in the second half but Murray’s wonderful deadball display characterised a five-point unanswered Críost Rí burst which seemed set to be the winning of the game. Unfortunately for them, Tomás O’Connor reduced the gap to a point again and then Tom Hoare’s free — awarded following the throw-in after Críost Rí’s perceived time-wasting — sent the game to extra time.
It was first blood to Tralee there through Dáire Keane and Joe O’Connor, but Daniel Lucey’s point for Críost Rí was followed by two more Myers Murray frees and the final was almost at hand. O’Connor’s shot narrowly wide looked to be Tralee’s last chance but they would have more time and Kelliher kept his nerve in the 84th minute to set up round three.
C Myers Murray 0-8 (7 frees), M Cronin 0-4 (2 frees), D Kelly 1-0, J Ryan, D Lucey 0-1 each.
M Kelliher 1-3 (1-0 penalty, 1 free), D Fitzmaurice 1-0, K Dwyer, T Hoare (0-2 each, frees), T O’Connor, J O’Connor, G Fitzgerald, D Keane 0-1 each.
D Moran (St Finbarr’s); A McGowan (Nemo Rangers), B Cripps (Nemo Rangers), E Varian (St Finbarr's); Jack O’Brien (St Finbarr’s), M Hitchmough (Shamrocks), D Kelly (Douglas); J Ryan (Sliabh Rua), K Forde (Nemo Rangers); M Brosnan (Carrigaline), D Lucey (Mayfield), J Coughlan (Nemo Rangers); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), R Dalton (Nemo Rangers), C Myers Murray (St Finbarr’s).
L Hannigan (St Finbarr's) for Coughlan (43), Jack O’Brien (Nemo Rangers) for Dalton (70).
S Foley (Kerins O’Rahillys); J Myres (John Mitchels), T Lynch (St Pat’s, Blennerville), B Patterson (Austin Stacks); J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), N O’Mahoney (Na Gaeil), S Donnellan (Churchill); J O’Connor (Austin Stacks), T Hoare (Kerins O’Rahillys); T O’Connor (Ballymacelligott), K Dwyer (St Pat’s, Blennerville), M Scanlon (Castlegregory); D Fitzmaurice (Austin Stacks), G Fitzgerald (Austin Stacks), M Kelliher (John Mitchels).
A Roche (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Fitzmaurice (48), D Keane (Ballymacelligott) for Scanlon (59). Referee: K Walsh (Clare).