Cathal Noonan/INPHO Kieran Donaghy [file pic].
back of the net

Drama as Donaghy edges penalty shootout to secure Kerry league title

The four-time All-Ireland winner kept his composure to convert his spot kick.

THERE WAS DRAMA in the Kerry County League Division 1 final on Sunday, as the clash between Austin Stacks and Rathmore was settled after a penalty shootout. 

The teams couldn’t be separated after their extra-time battle finished at 1-10 apiece, with spot kicks required to determine a winner.

It was the first shootout to decide a Kerry club game, with four-time All-Ireland winner Donaghy ultimately kicking the decisive penalty to win the shootout 4-3 for Stacks.

The former Kerry forward kept his cool as he sent the keeper the wrong way and fired his shot into the back of the net, prompting huge celebrations for the Tralee outfit.

Securing some silverware was a nice way for Austin Stacks to bring 2019 to a close after losing out to Cork’s Nemo Rangers in the Munster Club SFC semi-final last month.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner after the game, Rathmore’s County Board delegate Donal Murphy said playing the final before Christmas was “lunacy”

“It was a dramatic finish to a captivating game but in my opinion it is total lunacy to be dragging players out in the middle of December,” said Murphy, who is the father of Kerry player Paul.

Austin Stacks made the better start to the final, with Fiachna Mangan finding the back of the net to help them into 1-6 to 0-3 lead in the first half.

Rathmore responded with a Shane Ryan goal in the 25th minute as Stacks held a five-point lead at the break.

Stacks lost Ronan Shanahan to a sending off in the second half after he received a second yellow card while a late score from Anthony Darmody sent the game to extra-time.

The penalty shootout followed after both sides failed to score in the second period of extra-time.

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