Following the success of our juniors in the Mid Kerry Junior Final on Monday night, our seniors were looking to collect more silverware on Saturday evening last in the Paddy Burke Memorial Park. Their opponents were Beaufort and like Milltown Castlemaine were without a number of players. Notably for Beaufort, Ronan Murphy was absent due to Kerry Junior duty while M/C were without Gavin Horan for the same reason. Other players were un-available due to injury and family commitments. Conditions were ideal with a slight breeze to the back of M/C in the first half and so they got off to an immediate scoring start with a well taken point by Jonathan O’ Sullivan in the 1st minute. Beaufort immediately levelled from play but M/C quickly took the lead again when Stephen Roche worked the ball up field assisted by Paul O’ Carroll who lined out in place of Ciaran O’ Connor at corner back. Jack McCarthy finished off the move with a well taken point. Beaufort were next to attack but the ball was nicely placed into the M/C keeper- Cormac Leane’s hands. M/C were very strong in defence -particularly with Damian Murphy making it very difficult for the Beaufort forwards to get through. The 8th minute however saw Fergal Hallissey point for Beaufort and so equal matters. M/C were awarded a penalty in the 9th minute and so it was Jack McCarthy who faced Beaufort keeper Mike Moriarty. A brilliant save saw Beaufort clear their lines and go up field with Fergal Hallissey popping over another free- giving the visitors a one point lead. With added confidence, Beaufort launched another attack. A brilliant interception by Gavin McKenna saved the day and the subsequent turnover saw Jamie O’ Shea (who started in place of Killian Kerins) point to bring matters level again-3 points all. Despite much possession by M/C, it was Beaufort who were next to score in the 16th minute -once again by Fergal Hallissey-who subsequently won a much-deserved man-of-the-match award.
Sides level at the half
David Roche started the next attack for M/C, (supported by Jeremiah Hayes), with an excellent ball into Jack McCarthy who was bearing down on goal. Unfortunately, this went narrowly wide. A mark by Brendan Delaney, who was having a splendid game alongside his mid field partner Donal Dennehy, passed off the ball to Pa Wrenn who made steadied himself and pointed for the home-side to level matters once again. Two minutes later, the visitors took the lead with Fergal Hallissey once again playing his part by laying off a fine pass to Rory Clifford who popped it over to give them a one point lead again after 20 minutes of play. Donal Dennehy was in top form centre field and his interlinking play with Shane Murphy, Jamie O’ Shea and Pa Wrenn saw the latter score his second point of the game and level matters once again in the 23rd minute. A water break gave both players and supporters alike a chance to hydrate and catch their breath! The 24th minute saw Gavin McKenna make another vital interception but Beaufort turned it over again and a subsequent free saw them take the lead. M/C regained composure and their patience paid off in the 26thminute when Paul Carroll pointed having received a great pass from Pa Wrenn. A converted 45 by Jack McCarthy in the 28th minute left proceedings level at the short whistle.
Beaufort win a close, cracking match
The second half saw the wind subside and so both sides were on a level playing field in all ways. The early minutes saw strong defence on both sides with many turnovers in possession. Damian Murphy, who had played over 80 minutes in the junior final on the previous Monday night, was invaluable in defence, making a vital interception despite being off balance in the process. At this stage, MC introduced Ciaran O’ Connor, Jerome Flynn and Craig Counihan onto the field of play over the next few minutes. It took until the 10th minute of the second half for the first score to be registered and it was off the boot of Fergal Hallissey who was using his height and strength to much avail. The 19th minute saw Pa Wrenn level matters with a super point having received an equally excellent pass from David Roche. The turning point of the game came in the 21st minute, when Fergal Hallissey palmed the ball into the M/C net and so gave the visitors a 3 point lead, 1/08 to 0/08. MC were unfortunate to lose Brendan Delaney to injury having earlier lost Jonathan O’ Sullivan to a back injury. Jamie O’ Shea popped over a free in the 24th minute to reduce the deficit to just 2 points. Stephen Roche, Kieran O Carroll and Pa Wrenn worked tremendously hard -with their determination resulting in a 45 which Jack McCarthy popped over in the 27th minute. The score was now 1/08 to 10 points and just under 3 minutes left. Could the home-side level matters once again and force the game into extra time? Man of the Match and captain Fergal Hallissey made that very difficult with a further point in the 28th minute to give Beaufort a 2 point lead heading into the dying moments of the game. David Roche fed Gavin McKenna a great ball and he duly popped it over to leave just one point between the sides. However, time ran out and when Peter Lyons blew the full-time whistle, it was Beaufort who was to receive the Dermot Twiss Memorial Cup. Final Score: Beaufort:1/09, M/C:11 points. Congratulations to both panels on a truly wonderful game of football. Thanks to their management teams and trainers for all their work and commitment.