Cormac Coffey causes a stir as impressive Kerins O’Rahillys claim first U21 crown

Kerins O’Rahillys 2-15 East Kerry 2-9: Underdogs Kerins O’Rahillys caused a major upset capturing their first Kerry County U21 Football Championship title in a high-octane final at Castleisland last night.

This was an impressive a team performance from the Strand Road side, who dominated in every sector from the very outset, and only for gifting East Kerry two goals early in the second half, the margin of victory would have been more emphatic.

O’Rahillys had a number of outstanding performers with former Kerry minor star Cormac Coffey, at wing forward causing havoc, as he shredded the East defence, scoring 1-3. Kerry U21 star Jack Savage chipped in with seven frees and corner forward Ronan Quill kicked 0-3 from play and set up Diarmuid O’Sullivan, for O’Rahilly’s crucial second goal, in the 45th minute, after East Kerry closed to within two points.

Kerins O’Rahillys jumped into 0-7 to 0-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes, with Diarmuid O’Sullivan and Gavin O’Brien dominating midfield as East Kerry were forced to play Kerry Junior Liam Kearney at full-forward due to hamstring trouble. Jack Savage kicked 0-2 from frees, Quill and Coffey had two from play and one from Gearoid Savage, as East Kerry were left chasing shadows.

Then East Kerry suffered two major body blows before half time, when firstly top marksman Conor Keane was black carded in 25th minute, and then Cormac Coffey collected from Cian Sayers to blast the ball to the net, as O’Rahilly’s led 1-9 to 0-3 at the interval.

East Kerry to their credit, did go down fighting as they stormed back into the game in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Gary O’Sullivan lording matters at midfield, while Shane Cronin was embarking on some defence splitting runs.

O’Sullivan scored a fortuitous goal as he was trying for a point in the 32nd minute, and in the 38th minute, a Garry O’Sullivan free was punched home by Liam Kearney as he contested the ball with the keeper and it was now a two point game (1-11 to 2-6).

However O’Rahillys responded with a goal of their own, which was created by Ronan Quill, who beat three defenders, before punching the ball across the goal for Diarmuid O’Sullivan to finish to the net.

That secured the win, as Jack Savage and Cormac Coffey excelled, with Kerins O’Rahilly’s cruising to victory despite late East Kerry points.

Scorers for Kerins O’Rahillys:

J Savage 0-7 frees, C Coffey 1-3, D O Sullivan 1-0, R Quill 0-3, B Scannell and G Savage 0-1 each.

Scorers for East Kerry:

L Kearney 1-2 ( 0-2 frees), G O’Sullivan 1-1, P Clifford 0-2 frees, G Kelly and C Keane 0-1 frees, D O’Donoghue and S Cronin 0-1 each:

Kerins O’Rahillys:

R O’Connor, D Murphy, M Tierney, T Begley, K Mullins, C Coffey, M Donnelly, D O’Sullivan, C Sayers, G O’Brien, J Savage, B Scannell, G Savage, P Griffin, R Quill:

Subs:

D Ronan for K Mullins (h/t), R Carroll for G Savage (54), E Carroll for C Sayers (54), G Nolan for P Griffin (60), D Nix for G O’Brien (60):

East Kerry:

A Farrell (Spa), S Courtney (Glenflesk), D.J. Murphy (Gneeveguilla), C Sheahan (Legion), D O’Donoghue (Spa), S Cronin (Spa) J O’Donoghue (Firies), L Kearney (Spa), K Murphy (Glenflesk), P de Brún (Firies), P Clifford (Fossa), G O’ Sullivan (Listry), L O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), C Hickey (Spa) C Keane (Legion).

Subs:

J McCarrick (Glenflesk) for C Sheahan (23) , G Kelly (Glenflesk) for C Keane (B/c 23), P O’Sullivan (Gneeveguilla ) for J O’Donoghue (46), M Rennie (Fossa) for C Hickey (46), T O’Shea (Fossa) for L O’Donoghue (56).

Referee:

J Griffin (Glenbeigh/Glencar)


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