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Austin Stacks celebrate Kerry senior glory after final test against rivals Kerins O'Rahillys

The Tralee derby took centre stage today in the Kingdom.

Austin Stacks 0-13

Kerins O’Rahillys 0-10

THE TRALEE BRAGGING rights were secured by Austin Stacks for 2021, the black and amber support base delirious at the final whistle in Tralee this afternoon as they lifted the Kerry senior football crown.

kieran-donaghy-consoles-jack-savage Kieran Donaghy consoles Jack Savage after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Captain Dylan Casey claimed the Bishop Moynihan Cup after Austin Stacks controlled much of the second half against their town rivals Kerins O’Rahillys, who saw their challenge critically damaged by the early loss through injury of Kerry senior midfielder David Moran.

The Narries fought to the finish, cutting a six-point deficit at the second water break down to three by the final whistle, their resilience epitomised by stirring showings from Cormac Coffey and Jack Savage.

But the Austin Stacks rearguard impressed throughout, goalkeeper Wayne Guthrie was a model of consistency while midfielder Joseph O’Connor was outstanding. Up front Darragh O’Brien struck 0-6, substitute Sean Quilter contributed an important brace of points and Kieran Donaghy was typically influential.

If Kerins O’Rahilly’s wanted a smooth start to settle into the major occasion that is county final day, those hopes were quickly scuppered.

They lost Gavin O’Brien to a hamstring injury in the warm-up and then more critically their midfield talisman Moran was left limping in the early minutes, manager William Harmon later confirming he had injured his groin. After trying to play on, Moran accepted defeat in the 6th minute and had to be replaced.

The loss of those towering figures around the middle hit Kerins O’Rahilly’s hard. Tommy Walsh showed the leadership to emerge around the middle to claim primary possession while mixing that with some fetches closer to goal to set up points. They battled manfully with Savage from frees and Barry John Keane from play, hitting a brace of points apiece in the first half.

joseph-oconnor-and-greg-horan-with-david-moran-and-tommy-walsh Midfielders rise in the Kerry county final. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Austin Stacks had started brightly with three early points but the Strand Road side were level at 0-3 apiece by the water break. Stacks almost netted in the 20th minute, a lovely move after Colin Griffin’s delivery was swiftly transferred by Shane O’Callaghan to Darragh O’Brien. He drilled in a low shot that goalkeeper Shane Foley did excellently to save.

Rahilly swept downfield from the rebound with Conor Hayes feeding Keane for a point to leave them 0-5 to 0-4 adrift. But they didn’t score before the break as Stacks pushed further ahead, O’Brien bringing his total to 0-4 for the opening half from dead balls and Brendan O’Sullivan lofting over a fine shot off his left.

tommy-walsh-yellow-carded-by-referee-jonathan-griffin Tommy Walsh is booked in the first half. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

There was a fractious end to the half with Tommy Walsh and Kieran Donaghy both seeing yellow for separate incidents. The lively Conor Hayes and Savage pointed after the break, scores that sandwiched another O’Brien free. Then Stacks made a telling burst with three scores on the bounce courtesy of Quilter (2) and O’Connor.

Staring at the scoreboard which read 0-12 to 0-6 with seven minutes left was an onerous task for Kerins O’Rahilly’s. But they made a good fist of retaining the interest of the 8,453 attendance.

Savage hit over two points and Coffey hit a magnificent score to leave three in it, 0-12 to 0-9, entering injury-time. Stacks relieved the pressure with O’Connor winning a free that O’Brien converted before Savage slung over another sublime point. That left Rahillys chasing a goal but Stacks packed their defence and protected Guthrie’s goalmouth to win a first Kerry senior crown since 2014.

Scorers for Austin Stacks: Darragh O’Brien 0-6 (0-5f), Seán Quilter 0-2 (0-1 mark, 0-1f), Joseph O’Connor, Michael O’Gara, Fiachna Mangan, Brendan O’Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy (0-1 mark) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kerins O’Rahillys: Jack Savage 0-6 (0-4f), Barry John Keane 0-2, Cormac Coffey, Conor Hayes 0-1 each.

Austin Stacks

1. Wayne Guthrie

2. Colin Griffin, 17. Barry Shanahan, 3. Dylan Casey

6. Conor Jordan,  4. Jack O’Shea, 5. Paul O’Sullivan

8. Joseph O’Connor, 9. Greg Horan

10. Michael O’Gara, 11. Fiachna Mangan, 12. Brendan O’Sullivan

15. Darragh O’Brien, 14. Kieran Donaghy, 13. Shane O’Callaghan

Subs

19. Seán Quilter for O’Callaghan (42)

23. Jack Morgan for Griffin (inj) (46)

18. Michael O’Donnell for O’Gara (48)

20. Adam Curran for Brendan O’Sullivan (53)

21. Armin Heinrich for O’Brien (64)

Kerins O’Rahillys

1. Shane Foley

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3. Ross O’Callaghan, 6. Shane Brosnan, 4. Cormac Coffey

5. Darragh McElligott, 21. Patrick Begley, 17. Cian Sayers

8. David Moran, 9. Tom Hoare

12. Gearoid Savage, 11. Jack Savage, 7. Con Barrett

13. Barry John Keane, 14. Tommy Walsh, 15. Conor Hayes

Subs

20. Diarmuid O’Sullivan for Moran (inj) (6)

19. Shane McElligott for Barrett (temporary) (7)

7. Barrett for McElligott (11)

19. McElligott for Gearoid Savage (53)

Referee: Jonathan Griffin (Glenbeigh-Glencar)

BTL 5

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Austin Stack Park

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