Use­ful ex­er­cise for Strand Road ahead of County League de­cider

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - BY TADHG EVANS

KERINS O’Rahillys’ man­ager Mike Quirke was de­lighted to see his team come out as cham­pi­ons of their home patch af­ter a dire Coiste Trá Lí Fi­nal on Satur­day night, and he de­scribed it as a wel­come runout ahead of a County League fi­nal against Dr Crokes in the com­ing weeks.

Strand Road tri­umphed in spite of miss­ing a number of strong play­ers such as Gary Kis­sane, Shane Bros­nan, Barry John Keane, Jack Sav­age, and Gavin O’Brien. Quirke ex­plained, how­ever, that there are no sig­nif­i­cant in­juries to re­port from the camp.

It was a sim­i­lar story on the Stacks’ side, and Quirke was sym­pa­thetic to­wards play­ers near the end of what he de­scribed as a very long year.

“Barry John [Keane] is away, Jack [Sav­age] is away, John Fer­gu­son is study­ing above in Dublin. They’re all fine, noth­ing ma­jor,” he said.

“It’s hard to keep fel­las go­ing; we had our first train­ing ses­sion of the year out in Banna last Jan­uary, and it could be De­cem­ber be­fore we play Crokes. It’s too long, it’s too pro­tracted, but we’ll try to get some work done be­tween now and then.

“This was a use­ful ex­er­cise for us though,” he added. “We haven’t a lot done since los­ing to Crokes in the Cham­pi­onship.

“That’s our third Tralee ti­tle in a row, and we hadn’t won it in a while be­fore that. When you’re not win­ning County Cham­pi­onships and you’re not win­ning other stuff, it’s im­por­tant to keep wins com­ing, and I know the cup isn’t go­ing to be taken to schools on Mon­day morn­ing, but it’s nice to win on your own patch, and it’s nice to come away with a tro­phy.”

Quirke ac­knowl­edged that the ter­ri­ble weather had a huge bear­ing on a game that was low on qual­ity, but he ad­mit­ted his team is “a long way short of where Crokes will be af­ter they play in the Mun­ster Cham­pi­onship”.

He also added that he was as im­pressed as ev­ery­one else at goal­keeper Shane Fo­ley’s per­for­mance.

“He had a mas­sive game,” Quirke said.

“He’s a young guy, early 20s, 20 or 21. He’s a very good shot-stop­per.

“His kick out is fine too; it’s hard to judge on nights like these, but it wasn’t too bad. His han­dling is solid, he’s get­ting older, and he’s get­ting bet­ter.

“We need new guys like that to come out of the wood­work.”

MAIN­MAN

Shane Fo­ley has a bright fu­ture with the Strand Road clubifthis match is any­thing to­goby.He pro­duced four ex­cel­lent saves, and the an­nounce­ment of the young man as man of the match had team­mates and sup­port­ers alike nod­ding in agree­ment af­ter the game.

KEY MO­MENT

Yo u could name any one of Fo­ley’s saves, but in a tight game, Tommy Walsh’s fan­tas­tic goal, show­cas­ing good han­dling, aware­ness and ac­cu­racy as he turned his marker and fired to the net, was the cru­cial score.

TALK­ING POINT

Most of the O’Rahillys play­ers came out in dif­fer­ent num­bers for the sec­ond half hav­ing changed their jer­seys due to the ap­palling con­di­tions. It made for a jour­nal­ist’s night­mare, but it­was en­tirely for­giv­able. The weather was just­that bad.

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