MID KERRY UNDER-21 FC FINAL: Glenbeigh-Glencar/Cromane 2-11, Milltown-Castlemaine 2-10 (After extra time)


Glenbeigh-Glencar/Cromane (GGC) won their first Mid Kerry under-21 title as a combined outfit with a thrilling one-point win over Milltown-Castlemaine in Beaufort on St Patrick’s Day.



The game ebbed and flowed throughout before a storming start to the first period of extra time when they outscored their opponents 0-3 to no score gave GGC the platform for victory.

In truth they probably should have secured victory in normal time. They had played against 14 men for 35 minutes, after Milltown-Castlemaine midfielder Padraig O’Reilly received a straight red card just before half time, and led by two points (2-7 to 1-8) . GGC for reason decided to play keep ball rather than using their one man advantage in an attacking sense, this was to prove costly with time ticking into the third minute of injury time they were then hit with a sucker punch when Milltown-Castlemaine substitute Kieran Griffin, who had a fine game when introduced, pulled on a breaking ball in the GGC square to goal and put Milltown-Castlemaine up by one.

GGC regrouped and with time almost up worked the next play down the field (with Dara Casey,Daniel Griffin and Liam Roche working it well) a great run by Liam Roche who drew a foul on the 14 yard line and Darren Houlihan - who was excellent from placed balls throughout - tapped over the resultant pressure free to force extra time after a draw with 2-8 for both sides on the scoreboard.

Earlier in the afternoon Milltown-Castlemaine looked well in control in the opening quarter as they led 1-2 to 0-2 with their goal bizarrely coming from a mis-controlled solo by a GGC player and the ball ended up in the net for an own goal. Their forwards looked lively with Dylan O’Neill (early on) and Gavin McKenna (at centre-forward) impressing as David Roche drove them on from midfield.

GGC got back into the game when a Daniel Griffin shot was foot-blocked and referee Tom Harold awarded a penalty. Darren Houlihan stepped up and cooly slotted the place kick home to level matters at 1-2 apiece.

Milltown-Castlemaine, however, dusted themselves down and proceeded to kick four unanswered points, three in the first half to lead by 1-5 to 1-2 at the break and the first of the second half from Dylan O’Neill to push them out to a four-point gap, all the while coming to terms with being reduced to 14 when O’Reilly was red-carded just before the break.

GGC needed to respond, and they did with three points in a row from Caolim Teahan, Liam Roche, and Oisin O’Connor to get back within one. In the 45th minute they went back in front. Daniel Griffin showed great composure when he latched onto a ball in front of the posts, he twisted and turned before finishing to the net to give his side a 2-5 to 1-7 lead. Caolim Teahan and substitute Mike Dennehy then swapped points before the drama of injury time in normal time left the sides locked at 2-8 apiece.

GGC’s extra fitness and class showed in extra time, as Milltown-Castlemaine, even though returned to the full complement of 15, now had to contend with losing their impressive midfielder, and captain, David Roche to a hamstring injury.

Three GGC points in a row from Caolim Teahan (two from play) and one from from Shane O’Neill, as he shot clipped the crossbar, gave them their biggest lead of the afternoon, 2-11 to 2-8. From here, GGC never really looked like losing even though they failed to score in the second period of extra time. Two points from Milltown-Castlemaine full-forward Sean Hogan (one a free) pulled them to within one with two minutes of extra time remaining but GGC with Oisin O’Connor, Conor Sugrue, Caolim Teahan, Darren Houlihan, Liam Roche, Daniel Griffin, and Shane O’Neill all impressive in extra time as they held out to win by one: 2-11 to 2-10.

Afterwards Caolim Teahan received his man-of-the-match award from Morgan O’Sullivan, of the Mid Kerry Board, and GGC captain Darren Houlihan was presented with the Eugene Ferris Memorial Cup by Mid Kerry Board chairman Mike Sayers.

Well done to all involved, the players, naturally, and their management team of Peter O’Sullivan, Paudie McCarthy, and Seanie Barton.

Scorers – Glenbeigh-Glencar/Cromane (GGC): Darren Houlihan 1-2 (1-0 penalty, 0-2 frees), Daniel Griffin 1-2, Caolim Teahan 0-4 (0-2 frees), Liam Roche, Oisin O’Connor, and Shane O’Neill 0-1 each.

Teams – GGC: Donal O'Neill; Shane Ahern, Oisin O'Connor, Ethan Griffin, Conor Sugrue, Caoilte Purcell, Liam Roche; Caolim Teahan, Darren Houlihan, Sean Tadhg Sheahan, Dara Casey, Cathal Crosby; Gearóid Griffin, Daniel Griffin, Adrian O'Connor. Subs: Shane O'Neill for G Griffin 38m, Jack O'Sullivan for E Griffin half time in extra time, Tommy Quirke for Adrain O'Connor 72m, Maurice O'Connor for Shane Ahern 76m.



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