Monday, June 8, 2015

Senior Football: Wolfe Tones v Kerry

Kerry 4-8 Wolfe Tones 2-15

Kerry and Wolfe Tones played a tremendusly exciting senior football match, a game in which the Tones will be relieved to have come away from with both points.  The Tones seemed to have had the game fairly safe on a few occasions, but Kerry hit with goals to keep themselves in with a shout and the Tones supports anxious, to the very end.  For the second week in a row, however, the Kingdom walked off the field wondering what might have been, while the Tones had two points in their pocket.

Marty Farrell in action for Wolfe Tones
Wolfe Tones motored well in the first half.  From Mike “Frodo” O’Brien in the half back line, though midfielders Jerry Troy and Danny O’Callaghan, and a well tuned forward line, the Tones looked in synch for much of the first 30 minutes.  Two goals were tallied, Neill Flynn at wing forward netted the first and Dan McCabe the second following an exquisite pass from fellow Down native Marty Farrell.  Gary Brilly worked hard in the full forward line, and supply was in abundance as Kerry were on the back foot for long spells. 

Kerry kept themselves in the game with a John O’Keefe goal, the wing forward is proving to be a valuable asset for the Kerry men this year.  Robbie Croft and David Larkin kept their side in touch with points, however, Kerry needed to make the most of every possession to do so as it was their opponents who held the upper hand in that department.   McCabe, Flynn, Barry McShea, and Danny O’Callaghan each found the space between the posts for the Tones who led by a score of 2-5 to 1-4 at the break. 

Darren Foley and Jerry Troy battle for this ball.
About half way through the second period the teams were level.  The Tones looked to be getting a firmer grip on affairs as Kerry started to look tired.  The Tones chipped away at the points through O’Callaghan, Hurley, McCabe, and Flynn but their Achilles heel was in their penchant for opening the door to Kerry’s forwards for goals.  Phil O’Sullivan stole in for a goal after the Tones coughed up the ball coming out of defence, and O’Keefe had the teams on level terms after forcing the ball over the line from inside the small square. 

There were close calls at either end, Cathal Moriarty pulled a ball off the line at one end, and Kerry keeper Stephen Enright was called on to get low to save from O’Brien at the other as the game hung in the balance.  Kerry attacked in waves for a brief period, throwing the kitchen sink at their opponents in a huge effort to turn the tables, however, the green and gold had nothing to show for it by the time the Tones gathered themselves.  

The Tones punished Kerry with three quick points in as many minutes, almost drawing a contrast between the fortunes of each side, to restore the gap.   The insurance point came from Ciaran Hurley to put four between the teams.  It was just as well from a Tones viewpoint as Croft fisted a high ball into the net with 2 minutes left as Kerry still refused to accept defeat.  Kerry, however, could not find that extra bit to pull themselves ahead and the game ended with a relieved Wolfe Tones taking both championship points back to South Boston.

Kerry: S. Enright, J. O’Keefe, J. Barry, J. O’Shea, S. Driscoll, D. Larkin, D. Foley, L. Healy, J. Long, R. Driscoll, J. O’Keefe, P. O’Sullivan, R. Croft.  Tones:  D. McDonnell, E. Powderly, B. McShea, M. O’Brien, S. George, C. Moriarty, D. O’Callaghan, J. Troy, M. Farrell, D. McCabe, N. Flynn, G. Brilly, C. Hurley.

By Rory O'Donnell

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