KERRY DUG DEEP to end a 20-year wait in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football final this afternoon.
Killian Spillane kicked five points and Micheál Burns turned in a Man of the Match display from wing-forward as the Kingdom ran out four-point winners against Donegal.
There’s a place in the history books too for manager Jack O’Connor. He joins Tyrone’s Mickey Harte as only the second man to lead minor, U21 and senior teams to All-Ireland glory.
Kerry led by two points at the break, 0-8 to 0-6, and looked to be home and hosed when they stretched the gap to six with 10 minutes to play.
But Jamie Brennan threw Donegal a lifeline in a dramatic finale when he fired in the game’s only goal on 51 minutes
Captain Niall Harley and Lorcán Connor followed up with a point apiece to bring Donegal back to within a single point.
But Kerry finished with a flourish and three unanswered points from Tom O’Sullivan, sub Jordan Kiely and Spillane capped a famous day.
Scorers for Kerry: K Spillane 0-5 (3f), M Burns, B O’Sullivan, L Carey, J Kiely 0-2 each, M Flaherty, T Ó Sé, S Ryan (f), T O’Sullivan each.
Scorers for Donegal: J Brennan 1-1, S McBrearty, J Campbell (f), L Connor (2f) 0-2 each, C McGonagle (f), C Mulligan, N Harley 0-1 each.
1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)
2. Dan O’Donoghue (Spa)
3. Brian Ó Beaglaioch (An Ghaeltacht)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)
5. Brian Sugrue (Renard)
6. Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil)
7. Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahillys)
8. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)
9. Mark O’Connor (Dingle)
10. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes)
11. Brian Rayel (Lispole)
12. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle)
13. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
14. Liam Kearney (Spa, capt)
15. Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)
Subs: Liam Carey for Coffey (29), Jordan Kiely for Kearney (HT), Robert Wharton for Sugrue (40), Stephen O’Sullivan for Ó Sé (50), Ivan Parker for Rayel (62).
1. Danny Rodgers (An Clochán Liath)
2. Danny Monagle (Carn Domhnach)
3. Ciarán Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair)
4. Colm Kelly (Aodh Ruadh BAS)
5. Stephen McMenamin (Aodh Rua Killygordan)
6. Tony McCleneghan (Bun an Phobail)
7. Cian Mulligan (Gaoth Dobhair)
25. Eoin Bán Gallagher (Na Cealla Beaga)
9. Caolán McGonagle (Bun Crannacha)
10. Stephen McBrearty (Cill Chartha)
11. Lorcán Connor (Na Dúnaibh)
12. Micheál Carroll (Gaoth Dobhair)
13. Jamie Brennan (Bun Dobhráin)
14. John Campbell (Bun Crannacha)
17. Ethan O’Donnell (Naomh Conaill)
Subs: Niall Harley for Kelly (37), Gavin McBride for O’Donnell (47), Christian Bonner for Gallagher (51), Ciarán Diver for Harley (57).