An Ghaeltacht rolled back the years to record this win as a new crop of young footballers have emerged to replace the stars of the early noughties and it will take a good side to lower their colours now.
When Brian Ó Beaglaoich took a second bite at the cherry for the West Kerry side’s first goal after barely two minutes, there appeared to be little doubt about where the game was headed, but An Ghaeltacht joint manager Conal Ó Cruadhlaoich was happy with his side’s application throughout.
“We were fantastic from beginning to end. We found it a bit harder to get information on St Senan’s than Mallow but we identified their danger men and felt that we had to go with the wind in the first half because any side can use it to their advantage if they get it from the off. There’s a small tinge of sadness though after Cathal Ó Lúing came off injured and he will be a loss for us for next week’s West Kerry final with Dingle.”
Rob Ó Se scored An Ghaeltacht’s second goal nearing half-time and they led by 2-14 to 0-2 at the break as St Senan’s manager Damien Fitzgibbon admitted that they had been ruthlessly put away. “We expected a bit more from our lads which is probably the biggest disappointment, as well as not playing to our potential. We’re still on a learning curve though with these players as getting back to senior in Limerick was our ultimate goal this year. You can’t coach an experience like getting to a Munster final however and we hope that they will learn from this.”
PJ Mac Laimh combined with Éanna Ó Conchúir and Tomas Ó Sé to palm home An Ghaeltacht’s third goal in the 47th minute and An Ghaeltacht squandered some chances to make the rout even bigger. Dara Ó Sé with 0-9 (2f) was the star as 11 different players managed to score, with Marc Ó Sé focusing on managerial duties in the second half.
Ian Ryan, James Naughton, and Richard Hayes tried hardest for St Senan’s in a losing battle.
The injury to defender Ó Lúing in injury time did put a dampener on the win for An Gaeltacht. But an intriguing All-Ireland semi-final with Sean Cavanagh’s Moy of Tyrone awaits in January.
Dara Ó Sé (0-9, 2f), Rob Ó Sé & PJ Mac Laimh (1-1 each), Brian Ó Beaglaoich (1-0), Éanna Ó Conchúir (0-4, 2f), Sean Ó Gairbhí, Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, Sean M Ó Conchúir (f), Tomas Ó Sé, Peter P Sauerland and Séan Ó Bambaire (0-1 each)
Ian Ryan, Richard Hayes (f) and Seamus McSweeney (2f) (0-2 each), Ray Flaherty and Adam Kearns (0-1 each)
T Mac an tSaoir; PP Sauerland, M Ó Sé, C Ó Luing; B Ó Beaglaoich, P Ó Sé, C Ó Muircheartaigh; R Ó Sé, S Ó Gairbhí; C Ó Coileáin, D Ó Sé, PJ Mac Láimh; T Ó Sé, É Ó Conchúir, S M Ó Conchúir
C MacGearailt for S M Ó Conchúir, S Ó Bambaire for M Ó Sé and G Mac an tSaoir for Ó Gairbhí (all H/T), C Ó Céilleachair for Ó Beaglaoich, C Ó Gairbhí for Sauerland and Ó Ó Sé for D Ó Sé (all 48)
A Russell; D Conroy, J Bridgeman, D Finnerty; G Hanlon, I Ryan, R Flaherty; M Fitzgerald, S O’Connell; O Wallace, A Mulvihill, S McSweeney; J Naughton, C Mullane, R Hayes Subs: D Woulfe for Hanlon (26), A Kearns for Wallace (30 +1), A Lane for Mulvihill and N Guiney for Conroy (both 48), K Kavanagh for Hayes (55) and D Fitzgerald for Finnerty (BC, 56)
D Murnane (Cork).