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Austin Stacks hold off Ballincollig in extra-time battle to reach first Munster final in 38 years

The Kerry champions defeated the Cork champions by three points in Tralee today.

Austin Stacks Kieran Donaghy and Ballincollig's Stephen O'Donoghue.
Austin Stacks Kieran Donaghy and Ballincollig's Stephen O'Donoghue.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Austin Stacks (Kerry) 0-15
Ballincollig (Cork) 1-9

AUSTIN STACKS PREVAILED after a huge battle in Tralee today to defeat Cork side Ballincollig in the AIB Munster senior club football semi-final at Austin Stack Park.

The Kerry champions required extra-time before getting over the line in a tight and tense encounter. A stunning long-range point by the experienced John Miskella saved Ballincollig in normal time as it tied the teams at 1-7 to 0-10 to send the game to extra-time.

But in the additional periods it was a powerful opening by Austin Stacks that paved the way for their ultimate success. Points from substitute Darragh Long, Pat McCarthy and David Mannix sent Austin Stacks ahead by 0-13 to 1-7 at the midway mark in extra-time.

A Kieran Donaghy point then sent them four clear in the second-half of extra-time. Ballincollig fought back with Miskella scoring from play and Cian Dorgan converting a ’45 to cut the deficit to two. But Long swung over a late free which proved the insurance score and sealed Stacks success.

The victory propels Austin Stacks to a Munster club final meeting with The Nire on November 30th and it will be their first appearance in a provincial senior club decider since 1976.

An Austin Stacks fan ahead of the game An Austin Stacks fan before the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Such a prospect didn’t look likely in the early exchanges as Ballincollig, buoyed by winning their first Cork senior football crown recently, exploded from the starting blocks.

They were ahead 1-4 to 0-1 after 20 minutes with Patrick Kelly finishing clinically to the net while youngsters Cian Kiely and Dorgan also swept over quality points. The Cork champions were flying but critically Austin Stacks hit their stride before the break.

Man-of-the-match Greg Horan, McCarthy, Mannix (2) and Shane O’Callaghan ensured they only trailed 1-4 to 0-6 at the interval.

Stephen Stack’s side slowly gained control of the game in the second-half and were 0-10 to 1-5 ahead with 12 minutes remaining. Ballincollig showed their battling qualities with Sean Kiely blasting over a point and Miskella nailing the levelling score deep in injury-time.

But in extra-time Austin Stacks forged a lead and that proved crucial as they advanced to the final.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Austin Stacks
Shane Carroll (0-3f), David Mannix 0-3 each, Greg Horan, Pa McCarthy, Darragh Long (0-2f) 0-2 each, Shane O’Callaghan, Denis McElligott, Kieran Donaghy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballincollig
Patrick Kelly 1-0, Cian Dorgan (0-1 ’45′, 0-1f), John Miskella 0-3 each, Cian Kiely, John Kelly, Sean Kiely 0-1 each.

Conor Jordan and John Paul Murphy Ballincollig's John Miskella. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

AUSTIN STACKS

1. Darragh O’Brien

2. Ronan Shanahan
3. Fearghal McNamara
20. Conor Jordan

5. Pat McCarthy
6. Barry Shanahan – captain
7. Denis McElligott

8. Wayne Guthrie
9. Greg Horan

15. Michael Collins
11. Shane Carroll
12. Daniel Bohan

13. Darragh O’Brien
14. Kieran Donaghy
10. Shane O’Callaghan

Stephen Stack Austin Stacks boss Stephen Stack Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Subs
Fiachna Mangan for M Collins (HT)
John Dennis for R Shanahan (33)
Darragh Long for S Carroll (53)
Ciarán O’Connell for D Bohan (56)
William Kirby for G Horan (59)
Greg Horan for D McElligott (67)
Michael Collins for D Mannix (70)
Daniel Bohan for F MacNamara (74)
Michael Collins (Black Card, 75)

David Mannix celebrates David Mannix celebrates after the game Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

BALLINCOLLIG

1. David Lordan

2. Luke Prendergast
3. Liam Jennings
4. Noel Galvin

5. JP Murphy
6. Stephen O’Donoghue
7. Cian Kiely

8. Seán Kiely
9. Ciarán O’Sullivan

12. Niall Allen
11. Patrick Kelly
10. George Durrant

13. John Kelly
14. Cian Dorgan
15. John Miskella

Subs
Peter O’Neill for O’Sullivan (29)
Colin Moore for Prendergast (HT)
David Tobin for Allen (40)
Ian Coughlan for J Kelly (48)
Dylan Kerstein for Murphy (56)
Sean Lucey for N Galvin (61)
Murphy for O’Neill (70)

David Lordan Ballincollig manager Michael O'Brien Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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