Sunday, August 29, 2010

Intermediate Football Final: Blues too Good for Kerry

Shannon Blues 2-10 Kerry 1-8

Last year’s senior football finalists took the intermediate football championship with a comfortable win over Kerry. The Blues at times this year looked like contenders for the senior trophy, but having not made the playoffs, proved to be well capable of taking the intermediate. Kerry played from behind for almost all of the game. Two first half goals put the Blues in a commanding position and the Blues shut up shop in the second period to run out five point winners.

Alan Holland lines up a shot.
With the sides level at a point each the first Blues goal came after five minutes of play. An Alan Holland free dropped short and Pat Murray set up Paul O’Connor who finished from close range. Kerry hit back with two points. Robbie Croft was out in front of his man and was hit with good passes both times and pointed on the turn. After Holland replied with a point for the Blues, the second goal came. This time Ken Killeen was the provider and Alan Garry the finisher. In spite of the two body blows, Kerry hung in and kept the points ticking over. Croft pointed twice from frees and once from play, while Holland and O’Connor kept the Blues lead from slipping with a point apiece. At the half the Blues held a 2-4 to 0-6 lead and the game was still within Kerry’s grasp.

Kerry's Kieran O'Connor and the Blue's
Michael O'Brien contest a kickout.
After the sides traded points to open the second period, the Blues began to pull away. Kerry struggled to penetrate the Blues rearguard. Pat Murray and Michael O’Brien worked hard in midfield for the Blues, and four unanswered points from Paul O’Connor widened the gap between the sides. The Blues now held a commanding eight point lead with the final whistle approaching. To compound Kerry’s misery, Frankie O’Sullivan was given his marching orders and the Kingdom had to finish the game short of personnel. A consolation goal was scored by Joe McGillicuddy, it was a goal worthy of more than just a consolation as McGillicuddy struck the ball low and hard into the bottom corner with the outside of the left foot from 21 yards out. There was a flurry of action in the Blues defence as Kerry went in search of a second goal, but the Blues cleared. Celebrations for the Blues as they took something from the season, Kerry will look back at conceding the two first half goals and wonder what might have been.

Kerry: B. Kelly, S. Hogan, A. Fenton, M. Godley, S. O’Leary, F. O’Sullivan, K. O’Connor, J. McGillicuddy (1-0), G. Molloy (0-1), T. Dennehy, C. O’Sullivan (0-1), R. Croft (0-6), M. Fallon. Blues: D. Hawes, S. Kelly, B. Russell, C. Fitzgerald, D. McElligott, S. Sinnott, M. O’Brien, P. Murray, M. McDonagh, K. Killeen, A. Holland (0-3), A. Garry (1-1), P. O’Connor (1-6).

By Rory O'Donnell

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