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James Crombie/INPHO Paul Murphy was the hero for East Kerry.
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Murphy hits 55-metre winning point as East Kerry reach third county final in four years
Murphy’s long-range score sends East Kerry into a decider where they will meet Mid Kerry.

East Kerry 1-9

Dingle 1-8

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park

WITH ALL THE forward talent in the East Kerry team, their 64th minute winner came from an unlikely – though not unsurprising – source, as centre back Paul Murphy launched the winning score from 55 metres to send his team back to their third county final in four years.

Just as it looked like this often scrappy, always gripping semi-final was going to extra-time, Kerry panellist Murphy boomed over the winner in the fourth and final minute of additional time to break Dingle hearts and set up a repeat of the 2020 final between East Kerry and Mid Kerry.

That East Kerry only wrestled back the lead through Murphy’s winner, having never led this game since the 20th minute, says as much about Dingle’s gutsy and at times excellent challenge, as it does about East Kerry’s inability to ever really hit their best stride.

In mitigation, it was a dreadful afternoon of weather in Tralee, with wind and persistent rain somewhat spoiling the spectacle but, in its own way, that only added to the drama.

While the conditions played against the flashy football both these teams are more than capable of, the heavy showers did little to dampen the drama, though it did manage to cool the influence of David Clifford who finished the game with just one converted free to his name.

Dingle, though, must take huge credit for that; at different times Mark O’Connor and Tom O’Sullivan – and sometimes together – tied up the Fossa man to a large extent, and certainly enough to keep this game a proper contest to the denouement.

The first half produced just eight points, five to Dingle and three to the divisional team, with Paul Geaney the half’s top scorer with three points, two from play.

Geaney’s first came after just two minutes, pulling down a mark and converting the free hit. A couple of minutes later Paul Murphy skinned past Mikey Geaney to curl over a fine score, and then in the fifth minute David Clifford made his first notable contribution, converted a close-range free that Ruairi Murphy had won.

That was about as much as Clifford did in that first 30 minutes, as Dingle by and large dictated the terms of the half, though their primary tactic of playing first time, long ball to Paul Geaney proved more fruitless than bountiful with the wind at their backs.

Geaney’s second point came from a wonderful strike out near the terrace sideline to level the game at 0-2 apiece, a minute before Paudie Clifford got through to put East Kerry ahead again.

Shane Ryan had a 40-metre free hold up short in the wind, Ronan Buckely was booked for going high on Mark O’Connor and East Kerry butchered a ‘45’ before the first sit-up moment arrived.

In the 18th minute Dara Roche broke through and cracked off a fine shot that Dingle ‘keeper Gavin Curran pushed away, only for Darragh Lyne to follow up with another goal-bound shot that Curran did brilliantly to push away to safety.

Points from Tom O’Sullivan, Paul Geaney and Dylan Geaney put Dingle 0-5 to 0-3 ahead, which it remained at half time, but the latter probably should have raised a green flag instead of a white one.

Four minutes into the second half East Kerry were level, Cian Gammell and Buckley getting the scores, but in the 38th minute Paul Geaney did brilliantly to set up Dylan for a super Dingle goal to put them 1-5 to 0-5 ahead.

It was a lead that lasted barely one minute. James O’Donoghue and Ruairi Murphy had shots saved by Curran before Paudie Clifford fisted in a goal from the loose ball to level the game.

Seven minutes later East Kerry lost Buckley to a second yellow card, and three times after that Dingle took the lead through Paul Geaney, Barry O’Sullivan and Tom O’Sullivan, and each time East Kerry engineered an equaliser.

The third of those was a long-range score from sub Paul O’Shea in the 62nd minute, only to be bettered by Murphy from some 10 metres further out two minutes later.

It was the cruellest way for Dingle to lose this semi-final, but the best way, as their manager Jerry O’Sullivan said after, for East Kerry to win it.

Scorers for East Kerry: P Clifford 1-2, P Murphy 0-2, R Buckley 0-1, R Murphy 0-1, C Gammell 0-1, D Clifford 0-1 (f), P O’Shea 0-1

Scorers for Dingle: P Geaney 0-4 (1m), D Geaney 1-1, T O’Sullivan 0-2 (1f), B O’Sullivan 0-1


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Pa Warren (Gneeveguilla)

3. Jack Sherwood (Firies)

4. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk)

5. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)

6. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)

7. Daniel O’Brien (Glenflesk)

8. Darragh Lyne (Killarney Legion)

9. Ronan Buckley (Listry)

10. Ruairí Murphy (Listry)

11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

12. Cian Gammell (Killarney Legion)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)

14. Dara Roche (Glenflesk)

15. James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion)

Subs: Paul O’Shea (Kilcummin) for D Roche (55), Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan) for J Lyne (58), Patrick Darcy (Glenflesk) for J O’Donoghue (60)

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1.. Gavin Curran

2. Conor Flannery

3. Conor O’Sullivan

4. Tom O’Sullivan

5. Niall Geaney

6. Mark O’Connor

7. Pádraig O’Connor

8. Barry ‘Dan’ O’Sullivan

9. Billy O’Connor

10. George Durrant

11. Mikey Geaney

12. Ruadhán McCarthy

13. Dylan Geaney

14. Paul Geaney

15. Matthew Flaherty

Subs: Tom Leo O’Sullivan for M Geaney (36), Micheál Flannery for C O’Sullivan (51)

Referee: Paul Hayes (Kerins O’Rahillys)

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