After this Corn Uí Mhuirí semi-final ended in stalemate on two occasions, including extra-time, it was Tralee CBS who finally secured their passage to next weekend’s decider.
The showdown – their first final appearance since 2008 - will be an all-Kerry affair against champions St Brendan’s, Killarney.
A huge crowed turned out at Ballyvourney on Saturday for this second replay, and they were not disappointed. The Green got off to a lightning start with a goal from Tom Hoare in the fourth minute. Set up by Gearóid Fitzgerald and Joe O’Connor, it proved to be the difference.
Former Kerry defender, Marc Ó Sé, who is part of the winners’ backroom team, paid tribute to both camps. “These two teams have given it everything. There is great credit due to them. No team deserved to lose. It is unfortunate Coláiste Chríost Rí did. But, we are delighted to be going through. It (the final) will be our fourth week in-a-row.
“Some of the players are very fatigued. It is going to be very hard to get going again but the other side of looking at it is we have a bit of momentum. It is 2007 since we last won the Corn Uí Mhuirí (defeated St Brendan’s). It’s too long. It will be tough, we all know that.”
The winners, aided by the breeze, were 1-4 to 0-3 to the good at half-time. They bagged 1-2 of that inside the opening 12 minutes. Hoare was impressive on the 40, while Michael Kelliher kicked two fine points.
Their defence was quite pacey too, Críost Rí only registering their second and third scores approaching the interval – both from Cillian Myers Murray. They were also relieved to see Michael Scanlon’s shot on goal go narrowly wide as they went to the dressing-room four points in arrears.
And the Castlegregory player, who showed his class throughout, let them off the hook again minutes after the restart when a pass in front of the posts got away from him. However, it was game-on when Mark Brosnan (2) and Mark Cronin closed the gap to a point.
But, Críost Rí were dealt a serious blow when Myers Murray received a black card on 41 minutes.
Crucially, the Green nabbed the next three points to restore their four-point lead, 1-7 to 0-6 with the final quarter to play.#
With five minutes to go, the gap remained the same. The Cork side, who lost Barry Cripps to a second yellow at the death, pegged it back to two, but critically Tralee CBS - aided in particular by Joe O’Connor, Niall O’Mahoney and sub Sean Quilter - kept their grip on proceedings.
T Hoare (1-2, 0-2 frees), M Kelliher (0-4, 0-1 free), J O’Connor (0-2), M Scanlon and T O’Connor (0-1 each).
M Cronin (0-3, 0-2 frees), C Myers Murray (0-1 free), R Dalton and M Brosnan (0-2 each), J O’Brien (St Finbarr’s) and D Lucey (0-1 each).
S Foley (Kerins O’Rahillys); B Patterson (Austin Stacks), N O’Mahoney (Na Gaeil), J Myres (John Mitchels); J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), K Dwyer (Capt, St Pats Blennerville), T Lynch (St Pats Blennerville); J O’Connor (Austin Stacks), T O’Connor (Ballymacelligott), M Scanlon (Castlegregory), T Hoare (Kerins O’Rahillys), S Donnellan (Churchill); D Keane (Ballymacelligott), G Fitzgerald (Austin Stacks), M Kelliher (John Mitchels).
S Quilter (Austin Stacks) for D Keane (52), A Clifford (Churchill) for S Donnellan (57), A Roche for S Quilter (BC 60).
D Moran (St Finbarr’s); E Varian (St Finbarr’s), B Cripps (Nemo Rangers), A Walsh (St Finbarr’s); D Kelly (Douglas), M Hitchmough (Shamrocks), J O’Brien (St Finbarr’s); J Ryan (Capt, Sliabh Rua), K Forde (Nemo Rangers); D Lucey (Mayfield), M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), J Coughlan (Nemo Rangers); R Dalton (Nemo Rangers), M Brosnan (Carrigaline), C Myers Murray (St Finbarr’s).
S O’Dwyer (Nemo Rangers) for A Walsh (10 inj), L Hannigan (St Finbarr’s) for C Myers Murray (BC 41), J O’Brien (Nemo Rangers) for J Coughlan (50).
Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary).