O’Brien stars as Kenmare power to Munster final

Kenmare Shamrocks (Kerry) 2-15 Rockchapel (Cork) 1-8
A year ago to the day, Stephen O’Brien was playing with UCC against Crokes in the Munster Club SFC final at Fitzgerald Stadium.

That day his side lost by seven points but yesterday he inspired his Kenmare side to victory in this Munster JFC semi-final.

O’Brien, who has been called up to the Kerry senior panel, kicked all his scores from play in a one-sided game. Kenmare’s attack was too strong for Rockchapel as, apart from O’Brien, three-time All-Ireland senior winner Paul O’Connor was on hand.

Ian Guiney converted a Rockchapel free in the opening minute but Kenmare responded a minute later with Mark Crowley flicking an Aaron O’Callaghan centre to net. Midfielder DJ O’Callaghan scored Rockchapel’s only first half point from play in the fourth minute before the floodgates opened.

A succession of unanswered Kenmare points followed from O’Brien (four), DJ Brennan, Paul O’Connor and Kevin O’Sullivan, as Kenmare raced 1-7 to 0-2 clear. In the 21st minute, when Paul O’Connor’s attempt for a point dropped short, O’Brien flicked it to the Rockchapel net and by half-time, Rockchapel trailed, 2-10 to 0-3.

To their credit, Rockchapel restored some pride as they took the game to Kenmare, and a flicked goal by William Murphy in the 34th minute gave them hope. But it was shattered minutes later when full-back Batt Curtin received a second yellow.

Rockchapel won the second half 1-5 to 0-5, but only managed 1-2 from play in the hour and even when Jimmy Wharton’s second yellow evened the numbers, Kenmare were safe. They face Cappamore (Limerick) in Sunday’s Munster final in Mallow.

Scorers for Kenmare: S O’Brien 1-6, M Crowley 1-0, P O’Connor 0-3 (2fs), K O’Sullivan 0-3, DJ Brennan 0-2, A O’Leary 0-1

Scorers for Rockchapel: W Murphy 1-0, D Curtin 0-3fs, L Collins (1f), I Guiney (2fs) 0-2 each, DJ O’Callaghan 0-1,

KENMARE: H Murphy; D Crowley, T O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; A O’Callaghan (R O’Sullivan 40), S O’Leary, A Crowley; S Dalton, J Wharton; A O’Leary, M Crowley, K O’Sullivan; DJ Brennan (S Duncan 56) .

ROCKCHAPEL: T Collins; P Murphy (M Doody 25, {M Stack 49}), B Curtin, E O’Callaghan; B Cahill, K Collins, J O’Callaghan; DJ O’Callaghan, J Doody; J Forrest, D Curtin, W Murphy; I Guiney (C Murphy 53), S Hickey, L Collins (DJ O’Sullivan 43 {K Burke 58}).

Referee: R Moloney (Limerick)


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