Bat­tling Beau­fort win Mun­ster JFC ti­tle af­ter ex­tra­time thriller

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - JOHN TARRANT

BEAU­FORT bounced bril­liantly into the lime­light to col­lect the AIB Mun­ster JAFC from a bat­tling Drom­tar­iffe at the end of a com­pelling de­cider in Mal­low last Sun­day. Ul­ti­mately, it came down to the sur­vival of the fittest in 80 odd min­utes, high on oc­tane fare from the first to the last phase of play be­fore the Kerry cham­pi­ons shaded the out­come.

On do­ing so, Beau­fort were re­quired to dig deep, rais­ing their level of per­for­mance big time dur­ing the sec­ond half to erase a six point deficit. Op­er­at­ing with far more ur­gency, Beau­fort got their hands on real posses­sion to make it count and al­ter the score­board in their favour.

Again out­siders Drom­tar­iffe rat­tled into the tack­les with such in­tent that Beau­fort could never shake the men in red and white that pro­duced the will to force ex­tra time. From the sub­se­quent play, a waste­ful Beau­fort did make a de­gree of posses­sion count, cru­cially mus­ter­ing up the re­quired re­sponse to shade the out­come in a low scor­ing ad­di­tional 20 min­utes by 0-2 to 0-1.

A set­back for Beau­fort in the pre match warm up, an in­jury to play-maker and in­flu­en­tial cen­tre for­ward Liam Carey robbed the Kerry cham­pi­ons of an all im­por­tant linkman. That forced the in­tro­duc­tion of Daragh Cof­fey into at­tack with Ciarán Kennedy mov­ing to the 40.

The change of per­son­nel didn’t seem to im­pinge on Beau­fort early on, lay­ing down a marker in­side 45 sec­onds, team cap­tain Nathan Breen took a re­turn pass from Padraig Doona to drill home a fine goal. With the Breens, Nathan and Mike on top at mid­field, Beau­fort drove for­ward at pace yet the Drom­tar­iffe de­fence, once set­tled, stood up ad­mirably to a num­ber of dan­ger­ous sor­ties.

Goal­Keeper Dan Mann de­nied Doona of an­other goal be­fore the Beau­fort no.10 pointed for a clear 1-2 to

0-1 ad­van­tage. Though play­ing with the aid of the breeze, Drom­tar­iffe ap­peared to be in trou­ble, their re­solve faced a mas­sive chal­lenge.

To their credit, the re­sponse was mag­nif­i­cent, de­fen­sively, the Howard broth­ers and Jack Mur­phy stood tall as did the mag­nif­i­cent Conor O’Cal­laghan and Adam Buck­ley cre­ated in­roads in the cen­tre.

Up front Daniel O’Ke­effe and Evan Mur­phy trou­bled Beau­fort, the ploy of shift­ing vet­eran mid­fielder Sea­mus O’Sul­li­van to full for­ward, pay­ing div­i­dends, pick­ing up a de­liv­ery from Shane Collins to net for par­ity.

Sharper in the tackle, Drom­tar­iffe’s ris­ing con­fi­dence be­came ob­vi­ous, O’Ke­effe point­ing on the dou­ble. Though Beau­fort’s ef­forts didn’t drop, they found it dif­fi­culty to gen­er­ate scor­ing chances, break­ing a 15 minute bar­ren run from a neat Kennedy point.

Still Drom­tar­iffe dom­i­nated, to limit the grow­ing im­pact of 2017 Un­der 17 All Ire­land hurl­ing medal­list O’Cal­laghan, Beau­fort moved skip­per Breen onto the skil­ful dual player. If any­thing, Drom­tar­iffe grew on the as­cen­dency, Mark O’Con­nor put through only for ‘keeper Michael Moriarty to save but the per­fectly po­si­tioned O’Sul­li­van net­ted the re­bound to con­struct a healthy 2-6 to 1-3 lead at the break.

On the restart, Beau­fort cranked up the in­ten­sity, some ner­vous mo­ments within the Drom­tar­iffe de­fence as the op­po­si­tion at­tacked with men­ace, Ciarán Kennedy de­liv­ered an en­cour­ag­ing score. How­ever, the tac­tic of quick di­rect ball into at­tack failed to reap its po­ten­tial, poor shoot­ing im­pinged on the Beau­fort game.

Mean­while, Drom­tar­iffe were ca­pa­ble of in­ter­cept­ing the on­slaught, points to O’Ke­effe and De­nis O’Donoughue helped re­store a six points ad­van­tage(2-9 to 1-6). But not for the first time in the cam­paign, Beau­fort worked their way through the chan­nels, the chance ra­tio in­creased, typ­i­fied on a long ball from Doona cre­ated havoc within the Drom­tar­iffe rear­guard, Kennedy made the most of the hes­i­tancy to net.

That score ig­nited Beau­fort, throw­ing down the chal­lenge, de­fend­ers Ger Har­nett and Jonathan Kis­sane made telling con­tri­bu­tions as did the two Breens in the cen­tre with Fer­gal Hal­lis­sey and Kennedy a ma­jor threat up front.

In­deed, the at­tack­ing flair of Beau­fort proved a ma­jor bur­den for Drom­tar­iffe, points from Kennedy and Niall O’Con­nor lev­elled mat­ters be­fore the en­ter­pris­ing Hal­lis­sey nudged the Kerry side ahead twice.

Far from be­ing out of the equa­tion, Drom­tar­iffe re­quired a big re­sponse and it ma­te­ri­alised from mas­sive points by O’Ke­effe and O’Cal­laghan. With both sets of sup­port­ers on ten­ter­hooks in nail bit­ing ad­di­tional time, the two sides searched for a win­ner, the best chance fell to Beau­fort, Mike Breen found Kennedy who lined up at the post only for a heroic block from Seán Howard forced stale­mate at 2-11 apiece.

Even the fans in the stand and ter­race were drained, ap­plaud­ing two com­bat­ants off the field for a wel­come short re­cess ahead of ex­tra time. On their re­turn, Beau­fort pos­sessed pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence of en­coun­ter­ing this type of sit­u­a­tion emerged, a num­ber of sub­sti­tutes cre­ated an im­pact, most no­tably Seán Fo­ley and Padraig O’Sul­li­van.

En­joy­ing a monopoly of posses­sion, way­ward shoot­ing re­stricted Beau­fort be­fore Doona and Hal­lis­sey popped over all im­por­tant points. With both sides tir­ing, the scores didn’t come as fre­quent as they did ear­lier, Beau­fort lim­it­ing Drom­tar­iffe to just a sin­gle white flag t to en­sure the Mun­ster sil­ver­ware found a new home on the Kerry side of the

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