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Donaghy the star as Austin Stacks end 20-year wait for Kerry senior football glory

Austin Stacks had nine points to spare in today’s replay in Killarney.

Kieran Donaghy and captain Barry Shanahan celebrate with the Austin Stacks fans.
Kieran Donaghy and captain Barry Shanahan celebrate with the Austin Stacks fans.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Austin Stacks 2-13
Mid Kerry 1-7

KIERAN DONAGHY WAS man-of-the-match as Austin Stacks ended their 2o-year wait for Kerry senior football glory today.

Donaghy hit the net in the early stages and was fouled for a penalty that wing-back Pat McCarthy raised a green flag from as the Tralee club made a whirlwind start to the replayed decider at Fitzgerald Stadium.

That brilliant opening to the game saw Austin Stacks go 2-5 to 0-1 clear by the end of the opening quarter. They laid the foundations for their success during that time frame to ensure they would make no mistake after last week’s draw.

The victory was one to savour for Austin Stacks, one of Kerry’s most decorated football clubs, after they had endured plenty heartache since their last final victory in 1994. In 2001, 2010 and 2013, Austin Stacks were on the losing end of finals and last year’s final defeat to Dr Crokes was particularly harrowing as they were walloped by 16 points.

Today they washed away the pain of those setbacks as they took control of the game early on. Donaghy blasted home a fierce shot in the 8th minute to see them go 1-3 to 0-0 in front before McCarthy slotted home a 15th minute penalty after Mid Kerry goalkeeper Michael Moriarty was shown a black card for dragging down Donaghy.

Kieran Donaghy and Fergal Griffin Kieran Donaghy in action against the Mid Kerry defence Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Mid Kerry were left shell-shocked by that start. Kerry stars Darran O’Sullivan and Donnchadh Walsh tried to ignite their challenge but despite a couple of Gavan O’Grady points, they still trailed 2-7 to 0-3 at the interval and faced an uphill task.

It was a challenge that proved beyond them in the second-half despite their efforts as Austin Stacks defence spearheaded by Barry and Ronan Shanahan, Fearghal McNamara and Pat McCarthy never gave Mid Kerry the chance to string together enough scores. Goalkeeper Darragh O’Brien also made a couple of important first-half saves to deny Mid Kerry substitute Martin Burke goals.

By the end of the third quarter Austin Stacks were still in control as they held a 2-9 to 0-6 lead. The game petered out to its inevitable conclusion from there but Mid Kerry did grab a consolation goal at the death through O’Grady.

Denis McElligott and Donnchadh Walsh Mid Kerry's Donnchadh Walsh in action Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Yet Austin Stacks commanding start to the game had essentially sealed their victory. They were able to introduce veterans William Kirby and Darragh Long in the closing stages with Long applying the finishing touch to their success with a late point.

The final whistle sparked huge scenes of celebration amongst the Rock Street faithful as captain Barry Shanahan lifted the Bishop Moynihan Cup. Austin Stacks now advance to face Cork champions Ballincollig in the Munster semi-final on November 16th.

Pat McCarthy celebrates with Wayne Guthrie Pat McCarthy celebrates with Wayne Guthrie Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for Austin Stacks: Kieran Donaghy 1-2, Shane Carroll 0-5 (0-4f), Pat McCarthy 1-1 (1-0 pen), Mikey Collins 0-2, Shane O’Callaghan, David Mannix, Darragh Long 0-1 each.Scorers for Mid Kerry: Gavan O’Grady 1-4 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Sean O’Sullivan 0-2, Liam Carey 0-1.


1. Darragh O’Brien

2. Fearghal McNamara
20. John Dennis
4. Ronan Shanahan

5. Pat McCarthy
3. Barry Shanahan – captain
21. Denis McElligott


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8. Wayne Guthrie
7. Greg Horan

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

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

13. David Mannix for 18. O’Brien (half-time)
6. Conor Jordan for Ronan Shanahan (37)
12. Fiachra Mangan for Bohan (46)
9. William Kirby for Horan (53)
22. Darragh Long for Collins (55)
19. Ciaran O’Connell for McCarthy (55)

Stephen Stack celebrates after the game Manager Stephen Stack after today's game. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO


1. Michael Moriarty (Beaufort)

2. Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
3. Fergal Griffin (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
4. Ger Hartnett (Beaufort)

5. Danny O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
6. Ronan Murphy (Beaufort)
7. Aaron Cahillane (Keel)

8. Colin McGillycuddy (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
9. Tomas Ladden (keel)

10. Gary Sayers (Keel)
11. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
12. Liam Carey (Beaufort)

13. Gavan O’Grady (Glenbeigh/Glencar)
14. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)
15. Kieran Courtney (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

16. Rory O’Connor (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for Moriarty (black card) (15)
25. Martin Burke (Keel) for McGillicuddy (20)
23. Sean O’Sullivan (Cromane) for Sayers (half-time)
18. Jeremiah Hoare (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for Murphy (half-time)
21. James Long (Keel) for Burke (53)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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