Goal rush seals In­ter­me­di­ate ti­tle for clin­i­cal St Bren­dans

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - TIMMY SHEE­HAN

COUNTY IHC FI­NAL

St Bren­dans 5-17 Kil­gar­van 2-15

THREE goals in a nine-minute spell in the first half was the sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in the County In­ter­me­di­ate Hurl­ing Fi­nal last Satur­day in the Dr Crokes pitch in Lewis Road. Kil­gar­van had led from the third to the fif­teenth minute, but a hat trick of ma­jors, all con­verted with great ac­cu­racy and con­vic­tion re­ally put day­light be­tween the sides by the twenty third minute, and there­after de­spite the ad­mirable ef­forts of a whole­hearted Kil­gar­van com­bi­na­tion the end re­sult was al­ways point­ing in just one di­rec­tion.

Boosted by the in­clu­sion of John Mark Fo­ley, who was a doubt be­fore the game with an an­kle in­jury, Kil­gar­van got to grips with the sit­u­a­tion early on, and, af­ter Kieran Fitzger­ald and Conor Shorthall had ex­changed early points Kieran O’Sul­li­van cap­i­talised on some in­de­ci­sion in the St Bren­dans de­fence and fin­ished to the net in the third minute.

Fo­ley, who was im­pres­sive in the early stages, added an­other point from dis­tance, and but for a fine save by TJ Stack in the St Bren­dans goal in the tenth minute the South Kerry side could have been fur­ther in front, with a Sean God­frey free af­ford­ing them a 1-3 to 0-3 lead a minute later.

Jack O’Brien with an­other goal chance for Kil­gar­van was nar­rowly wide, and re­ally St Bren­dans were some­what ten­ta­tive and in­dif­fer­ent dur­ing pe­ri­ods of the open­ing quar­ter. Kil­gar­van were win­ning a lot of the fifty-fifty ex­changes, but, it wasn’t fully re­flected on the score­board.

St Bren­dans, by con­trast, when they did set­tle into the game were more re­source­ful and clin­i­cal in at­tack with both Shane Grif­fin and Brendan O’Con­nor stand­out per­form­ers. Their com­bi­na­tion and link play cre­ated some gilt edged op­por­tu­ni­ties and they con­verted in pretty spec­tac­u­lar style. Shane Grif­fin struck goal for the Sain­sts first goal in the 15th minute, and this par­tic­u­lar score had the ef­fect of al­ter­ing the trend of pro­ceed­ings con­sid­er­ably. With Gearoid Shee­han adding a point from play al­most im­me­di­ately St Bren­dans were 1-5 to 1-3 ahead at the end of the open­ing quar­ter.

Brendan O’Con­nor with a su­perb strike to the roof of the Kil­gar­van net ex­tended his side’s lead two min­utes later, and he added two more points with unerring ac­cu­racy from dis­tance.

St Bren­dans were at this junc­ture in full con­trol with their lead be­ing con­sol­i­dated by an­other goal from Jack McCarthy seven min­utes from the in­ter­val. With Brendan O’Con­nor de­light­fully split­ting the posts with a few more points St Bren­dans re­tired for the in­ter­val firmly in con­trol and in a most com­mand­ing sit­u­a­tion scor­ing wise, 3-10 to 1-5.

Mis­sion im­pos­si­ble to a large ex­tent for Kil­gar­van at that par­tic­u­lar junc­ture, but it cer­tainly didn’t lessen their be­lief or de­sire with Sean God­frey adding two more points on the restart, the sec­ond af­ter he had fetched and fin­ished su­perbly.

How­ever, St Bren­dans with Padraig Kear­ney quite in­dus­tri­ous and ef­fec­tive on the left wing, and Shane Grif­fin the chief or­ches­tra­tor up front, were al­ways able to re­spond to any scor­ing surge from Kil­gar­van, and their fourth goal in the 39th minute epit­o­mised the qual­ity of their com­bi­na­tion play with Gearoid Shee­han ap­ply­ing the fi­nal fin­ish af­ter Shane Grif­fin and Jack McCarthy had been in­volved in the build up.

John Mark Fo­ley con­tin­ued to pur­sue the is­sue with a lot of en­deav­our and con­verted some good scores from play and placed balls, while Sean God­frey con­tin­ued to be a pretty im­pos­ing fig­ure, even with lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties, and scored a fine in­di­vid­ual goal af­ter St Bren­dans had led 4-13 to 1-9 at the end of the third quar­ter.

How­ever the Ard­fert side with a solid spine, an­chored in the piv­otal po­si­tions by such as Ea­monn Cor­ri­dan, De­nis Mo­ri­arty and Eoghan Kear­ney were al­ways com­pact and in con­trol with their top scorer Brendan O’Con­nor adding to his own spi­ralling per­sonal tally, with an­other goal, his sec­ond and his side’s fifth, as the en­counter drifted to its in­evitable con­clu­sion.

In the end St Bren­dans fully jus­ti­fied the favourites tag, and again the level of their goal scor­ing which has been a fea­ture through­out the en­tire cam­paign was the most sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor. Sev­en­teen goals in four games is a statis­tic which con­firms the type of fire-power they pos­sessed up front, and it fired fully on all cylin­ders on this par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion also.

ST BREN­DANS: TJ Stack, Michael Davis, Ea­monn Cor­ri­dan, Jim Mc Carthy, Kieran Fitzger­ald (0-1 free), De­nis Mo­ri­arty, Kil­lian Woulfe, Adrian Nolan, Eoghan Kear­ney, Jack McCarthy (1-0), John Galvin (0-1), Padraig Kear­ney (0-1), Shane Grif­fin (1-3), Gearoid Shee­han (1-1), Brendan O’Con­nor, (2-9, 0-4f). Subs: Conor Fla­herty for J McCarthy, JP Leen for E Kear­ney, Donal Mo­ri­arty for A Nolan, Pa­trick Done­gan (0-1) for J Galvin, Liam O’Sul­li­van for G Shee­han.

KIL­GAR­VAN: Flor O’Brien, Chris Cree­don, Philip Healy, Timmy Healy, Sean Casey, Jeremiah Kel­li­her, Shane O’Sul­li­van, Con­nie Cremin, John Mark Fo­ley (0-6, 3f, 1 ‘65’), Jack O’Brien, Pa­trick O Shea (0-2), Kieran O’Sul­li­van (1-0), Conor Shorthall (0-1), Sean God­frey (1-5, 0-4f), Gearoid Fen­nessy (0-1). Subs: Flor O’Sul­li­van for C Shorthall, Jack Healy Rae for C Cree­don.

REF­EREE: John Hen­nessy (Bal­ly­duff)

The St Brendan’s ‘B’ hurl­ing team cel­e­brate af­ter de­feat­ing Kil­gar­van in the County IHC Fi­nal in Lewis Road, Kil­lar­ney on Satur­day. Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin

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