An Gaeltacht too strong for Dubliners

An Ghaeltacht are through to their first ever AIB Club final after a superior second half display in Thurles.

An Ghaeltacht are through to their first ever AIB Club final after a superior second half display in Thurles.

The wind, a Rob MacGearailt goal and three placed balls from Kerry captain Dara O Cinneide saw them come from behind to win.

The Kerry side survived an early goal threat from Declan Lally, brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Pat Healy after just two minutes, and his opposite number Paul Keane managed to save at the feet of full forward Cathal O’Dowd in a bright opening.

A Raymie Gallagher free opened the scoring before half back Breandan Breathnach equalised in an attacking burst. Gallagher again left-footed over on 14 minutes after a fine break by Lally.

Kerry captain Dara O Cinneide was struggling to find his range into the wind and hit a bad wide off his left boot four minutes later before Gallagher hit over his second free.

Brigid’s 0-03 to 0-01 lead was bolstered by a goal on 22 minutes through corner forward Kevin Bonner as he swept inside his marker Ronan Flaherty to hit a low drive inside Healy’s right post.

Yellow cards for Lally and Brigid’s skipper Jason Ward came the way of the Dubliners before the break with two scores from Conal Crowley, the first from a fisted pass by Darragh O Se on 27 minutes, brought An Ghaeltacht to within three points at 0-03 to 1-03 down at half-time.

Brigid’s seven wides in the first half were to cost them as two minutes in an O Cinneide free, batted out by Brigid’s Declan Cahill was bent between the uprights by man-of-the-match Darragh O Se.

O Cinneide’s right-footed free on 38 minutes brought An Ghaeltacht to within a point, before two goals in the space of two minutes spiced the game into life.

Brigid’s went into a 2-03 to 0-05 lead through Declan Lally’s brilliant right wing run and low shot from ten yards before Rob MacGearailt swung sweetly on a loose ball to net on 42 minutes.

O Cinneide pointed another free and midfielder Paul Quinn pointed the Munster men in front for only the second time in the game with 12 minutes remaining. O Cinneide began to find his feet with his third point on 51 minutes.

Rory Gallagher, looking for Brigid’s second score of the half, missed wildly with a placed ball on 54 minutes and Breathnach sallied up with three minutes remaining to send an Gaeltacht through with his second point.

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