Could Cham­pi­onship ben­e­fit

Ja­son O’Con­nor asks if the South Kerry cham­pi­onship could bene­fir from a re­vamp with maybe Tem­ple­noe com­pet­ing for the Jack Mur­phy Cup

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT -

Brian O’Leary; Cian Ó Sé, Gra­ham O’Sul­li­van, Shane O’Con­nor; Do­minic O’Sul­li­van (1-0), Padraig J O’Sul­li­van, Kevin Shee­han; Ai­dan S O’Sul­li­van (0-1), Niall O’Con­nor; Di­lan Dono­hoe (0-1), Chris Far­ley (0-4, 4f), Kealan Far­ley (1-0); Eoin O’Leary, To­mas Cur­ran, Niall O’Shea (0-2, 2f). Subs: Donal O’Sul­li­van for Niall O’Con­nor, Gearóid O’Sul­li­van (0-1) for Eoin O’Leary, Kevin O’Leary for Cur­ran, De­nis S O’Sul­li­van for Kealan Far­ley

REF­EREE: Sea­mus Mul­vi­hill (St Se­nans)

THE GAME IN 60 SEC­ONDS MAIN MAN

Match­ing Austin Con­sta­ble’s 11 South Kerry medals, Bryan Shee­han was the chief con­duc­tor of the St Marys suc­cess. De­nis Daly is cer­tainly learn­ing well along­side him in mid­field too.

KEY MO­MENT

De­nis Daly ris­ing high to fist in St Marys sec­ond goal in the 43rd minute so soon af­ter Dro­mid had scored their first. Any chance of a dra­matic turn­around in the game was nipped in the bud firmly with St Marys eight-point ad­van­tage quickly re­stored.

TALK­ING POINT

Venues shouldn’t mat­ter too much over­all and while it never looked like St Marys would lose re­gard­less of where it was played, might Dro­mid have made it a tighter en­counter if they had re­quested a neu­tral venue?

MAYBE the most in­ter­est­ing thing in re­flect­ing on St Marys bridg­ing a 74-year gap in be­com­ing the first side from both club and dis­trict to win the Jack Mur­phy Cup five years in suc­ces­sion since 1944 was that the clos­est any­one came to beat­ing them this year in their own patch was the only other side to win the com­pe­ti­tion this decade, St Michaels/Foil­more.

Although not the side they were when they were din­ing at Kerry’s top ta­ble be­tween 2009 and 2015, St Michaels/Foil­more were level with St Marys af­ter 40 min­utes of their open­ing round en­counter.

Two frees from Bryan Shee­han and a Daniel Daly point were enough for St Marys to with­stand a strong late ef­fort from the hosts in try­ing to repli­cate their 2013 semi-fi­nal win over the Ca­her­siveen side. That still stands as St Marys last loss in the com­pe­ti­tion with a draw against Water­ville in the 2014 de­cider the only time they have not won a South Kerry Cham­pi­onship match since.

Valen­tia couldn’t quite fol­low on from their grip­ping win over Water­ville in the open­ing round when it came to the semi-fi­nals as Dro­mid again emerged from the pack to chal­lenge on Fi­nal day.

Over­all, it’s eight out of 10 now for St Marys in South Kerry, in­ter­est­ing to think back in 2009 they had not won their lo­cal Cham­pi­onship for six years and had to over­come two All-Ire­land Club cham­pi­ons to win in that year in the form of St Michaels/Foil­more (semi-fi­nal) and Skel­lig Rangers (Fi­nal) in start­ing their present dom­i­nance.

Pop­u­la­tion, play­ing num­bers and re­sources will al­ways be high­lighted when ur­ban clubs dom­i­nate dis­trict Cham­pi­onships but there still had to be a hunger there amongst the play­ers for it to keep go­ing and St Marys have it strongly in play­ers like Oisín Mo­ran, Conor O’Shea, Bryan Shee­han, De­nis Daly Ai­dan Walsh and Sean Cour­nane to name a few.

When you see play­ers like Paulie O’Donoghue and Conor Quirke on the bench (big fig­ures for St Marys in their All-Ire­land In­ter­me­di­ate win of 2016) you see how much they can move on in com­par­i­son to the re­sources of other teams. Although they would have been dis­ap­pointed to have lost an In­ter­me­di­ate semi-fi­nal at county level for the sec­ond-year-

Bryan Shee­han ac­cepts the Man of the Match award from spon­sor Padraig Fogarty af­ter the South Kerry SFC Fi­nal in Con Keat­ing Park, Ca­her­siveen last Satur­day.

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