Templenoe (Kerry) 2-17 Coolmeen (Clare) 0-3: Josh Holland, with the second last kick of this Munster final contest, billowed the Coolmeen net with a rasping left-footed drive.
The result had long since been wrapped up, but Holland’s goal drew, arguably, the loudest cheer of the afternoon from the blue and white clad supporters resident in the main stand.
Holland, up until the 62nd minute, was the sole member of the Templenoe starting front six not to have etched his name onto the scoresheet and when his gilt-edged goal chance on 55 minutes was well saved by Coolmeen ‘keeper Aidan Corry, it appeared the left half-forward would finish the hour without a pen stroke beside his name.
His injury-time goal then, in which he was set-up by sub Colm Breen, was Templenoe’s 19th score from play and brought to nine their number of scoreboard contributors.
Referee James Bermingham sounded the final whistle from the ensuing kick-out, Templenoe celebrating Munster glory with 20-points to spare. This was a stroll in the park for Mike Crowley’s young side.
“I don’t care who does the scoring,” quipped the winning manager. “If I have a half-forward who doesn’t score, but does the job he is asked to do for us and keeps the lads buzzing inside, that is enough.” Yesterday afternoon in Mallow, not one of Crowley’s troops failed to shine.
“We had the football and once our fellas were up to the pitch of the game, there was only going to be one outcome after that. It is a big achievement for a very small club. Templenoe have had some very bad days.
“We were in Division 5 of the league for a long time. The attitude of this squad is good, their form is good and this is a great day for Templenoe because we don’t get many days like this.
“We have seen plenty of Kerry junior club teams walking up the steps of Croke Park and it is a great incentive for the boys. We could do it the same as anybody else.
“I know we are a small club, but we seem to have a decent team. We are going to milk it wherever we can.”
Heavy favourites arriving into this game, the Kerry champions were out of sight as early as the 20th minute. Of the opening eight chances created, both teams enjoyed four apiece. The difference was that Templenoe raised four white flags; Coolmeen, on the other hand, managed just the solitary minor.
With Teddy Doyle hugely influential at centre-forward and Adrian Spillane similarly dominant at midfield, Coolmeen spent a large portion of the first period trapped in their own half.
The Clare champions were cleaned out under their own kick-out and were always struggling to counter Templenoe’s direct and fluent style.
Their passing was remarkably sharp, with Killian Spillane, Danny Cahalane and Stephen O’Sullivan able and confident in finding the target, irrespective of space or angle.
Doyle (0-3), Gavin Crowley, Cian Hallissey (0-2) and Adrian Spillane (0-1) also got in on the act as Templenoe returned to the dressing room 0-12 to 0-1 ahead.
A Cathal O’Connor free on eight minutes marked Coolmeen’s sole first-half score and although the losing captain struck their first from play 10 seconds upon the restart, the Clare side would find the target on only one further occasion in the second period – O’Connor again the provider. Just the one scorer and just the one score from play told the full tale of Coolmeen’s difficulties and while their opponents were a far tamer outfit in the second-half, the gap between the teams continued to widen.
Danny Cahalane, set-up by Holland, struck the opening goal on 33 minutes, with Stephen O’Sullivan (0-2), near-impenetrable full-back Tadhg Morley and sub Pat Spillane (0-2) their most impressive second-half performers.
“Their tempo was unbelievable,” said Coolmeen manager Martin Daly of the newly crowned Munster champions. They are an exceptional team and more than likely these guys are going to win the All-Ireland.”
Scorers for Templenoe:
D Cahalane (1-3); T Doyle, S O’Sullivan (0-3 each); J Holland (1-0); P Spillane, K Spillane, C Hallissey (0-2 each); A Spillane, G Crowley (0-1 each).
Scorers for Coolmeen:
C O’Connor (0-3, 0-2 frees).
A Sheehan; K O’Neill, T Morley, M Hallissey; P Clifford, J Spillane, G Crowley; S Sheehan, A Spillane; D Cahalane, T Doyle, J Holland; S O’Sullivan, C Hallissey, K Spillane.
J Rice for C Hallissey (34 mins), P Spillane for A Spillane (38 mins, inj), S Cremin for Clifford (45), C Breen for M Hallissey (55), J Sheehan for Morley (58), K McCarthy for Crowley (60).
A Corry; D Cleary, V McMahon, K McMahon; M Meaney, E O’Connor, G Meaney; N Meaney, B Cleary; A Normoyle, C Murphy, J Corry; D Neenan, B Markham, C O’Connor.
M McMahon for D Cleary (40 mins), S McMahon for Neenan (41), M Brooks for B Cleary (45), S McMahon for Corry (55), T Coffey for C Murphy (56), P Corry for M Meaney (59).
J Bermingham (Cork).
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