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
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.
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.
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.