It took a penalty shootout to separate Austin Stacks and Rathmore at a cold Rathbeg on Sunday with Kieran Donaghy scoring the decisive penalty in the first shootout to decide a Kerry club game.
What a dramatic end to @Kerry_Official County League Div 1 final which was won on penalties 4-3 after ET when a certain @starryboy14 fired @AustinStacksGAA to victory over @rathmoregaa video via @BarryDonal #GAA pic.twitter.com/XT97wgxRWu— KerrySportsHub.ie (@kerrysportshub) December 15, 2019
Rathmore’s County Board delegate Donal Murphy - father of Kerry star Paul - described playing a final ten days before Christmas as lunacy.
“It was a dramatic finish to a captivating game but in my opinion it is total lunacy to be dragging players out in the middle of December.”
Stacks dominated the opening half and raced 1-6 to 0-3 clear by the 25th minute with Fiachna Mangan getting the goal in the second minute and wing-forward Michael O’Donnell kicking some fine points along with efforts from Dylan Casey, Michael O’Gara and midfielder Joseph O’Connor.
Chrissy Spiers scored all of Rathmore’s points but they were boosted by a 25th-minute goal from Shane Ryan. However, late points from Sean Quilter and man of the match Michael O’Donnell saw Stacks retire 1-8 to 1-3 in front.
Stacks faced the lively breeze in the second half and also had to contend with Aidan O’Mahony, who was introduced at half-time to cover Donaghy.
Stacks were reduced to 14 players when their captain Ronan Shanahan received a second yellow card. And an Anthony Darmody point sent the game into extra-time.
Both teams failed to score in the second period of extra-time, leading to the penalty drama.
Shane Ryan went into goal for Rathmore and saved a penalty from Shane O’Callaghan. But Chrissy Spiers then sent his effort wide.
Kerry keeper @Shane_r14 did all he could do in this afternoons penalty shootout for @rathmoregaa by saving this effort and he also goaled for his side in their 1-10 all draw after extra time #GAA pic.twitter.com/wKtk5iWNBy— KerrySportsHub.ie (@kerrysportshub) December 15, 2019
Stacks Michael O’Gara converted his and Rathmore’s Brendan O’Keeffe also scored. Sean Quilter made it 3 -3 but crucially Anthony Darmody missed his effort and it was left to Kieran Donaghy to clinch it for Stacks.
Scorers for Austin Stacks: M O’Donnell (0-5, 2 frees), F Mangan (0-1), D Casey, J O’Shea, J O’Connor, M O’Gara and S Quilter (0-1 each).
Scorers for Rathmore: M Reen (0-4, 2 frees), C Spiers (0-4 3 frees), S Ryan (1-0), B O’Keeffe and A Darmody (0-1 each)
AUSTIN STACKS: D O’Brien; C Griffin, D Casey J O’Shea; C O’Reilly, R Shanahan, S Walsh; J O’Connor, D Fitzmaurice; M O’Gara, F Mangan, M O’Donnell; S Quilter, K Donaghy, G Fitzgerald.
Subs: S O’Callaghan for G Fitzgerald (37), Daragh O’Brien for D Fitzmaurice (41), J Dennis for M O’Gara (46), C O’Connell for S Walsh (E/T), D Fitzmaurice for C Griffin (E/T)
RATHMORE: K O’Keeffe; T Moynihan, B O’Keeffe, M J Kelliher; C Kelly, P Murphy, T Houlihan; D O’Sullivan, A Darmody; M Reen, G O’Keeffe, D Rahilly; D Murphy, S Ryan, C Spiers.
Subs: A O’Mahony for T Moynihan ( h/t) , J Moynihan for Dan Murphy ( h/t) D Dineen for D Rahilly ( 43) , T J Friel for G O’Keeffe ( 54) , B Moynihan for T Houlihan (54) , G O’Keeffe for D Dineen E/T, C O’Sullivan for D O’Sullivan E/T
Referee: G Lynch (Ballymacelligott)