COUNTY CLUB IFC GROUP 3 ROUND 2
An Ghaeltacht 1-13
When the chips are down, that’s when character reveals itself.
That was affirmatively the case for An Ghaeltacht in Gallarus on Sunday afternoon. Down by three points at the break, down their manager, sent to the stand by referee Seán Joy mere moments into the second half, the native speakers roused themselves to take an important and impressive victory.
By doing so they’ve blown the group wide open. Coupled with Castleisland Desmonds’ 2-8 to 0-11 victory against Glenbeigh / Glencar it means that all four sides are on two points heading into the final weekend of action. Talk about tasty.
Still for Micheál O’Shea’s charges there was something more valuable than two points won here. It was an affirmation that they’re on the right track, playing for each other, playing for their manager, and having come close to seeing their championship hopes dashed, they can roar into next weekend with new-found confidence.
In large part their second half revival was based upon a goal absolutely out of the top-drawer by Ciarán Ó Coileáin, who running off the shoulder took a slide rule pass from Roibeard Ó Sé to level it back up, 1-7 apiece with 33 minutes gone.
Even then Kilcummin weren’t listing or anything like it. With a point in response from Mark O’Shea six minutes later, they were still very much in the game. Leading it in fact.
An Ghaeltacht, though, one could visibly see grow into the game, even if they were still behind at the second water break, 1-9 to 1-10 following a sweetly stuck free from about 45 metres out by Kerry goalkeeping coach Brendan Kealy.
After the break, though, the home side took near total control over the game with four points on the spin from PJ Mac Láimh, from a mark, from Cathal Ó Beaglaoich (who injured himself in the process) and a pair of frees from Dara Ó Sé.
That left An Ghaeltacht 1-13 to 1-10 clear with three minutes of regulation time to play, and while Kilcummin did strike back through a Paul O’Shea free, the red and white were looking relatively comfortable.
True enough the game ended with some drama as Kilcummin tried to force a late winning goal (maybe they ought to have been thinking score difference at that stage) losing Gary O’Leary to what looked a straight red card on 63 minutes.
All that late drama was so different to how the game began: a little tamely, truth be told with Kilcummin slow out of the traps and An Ghaeltacht a little profligate, dropping a few short early doors.
Still the hosts were leading by the end of the opening quarter with scores from Dara Ó Sé, Cathal Ó Beaglaoich and Brian Ó Beaglaoich giving them a four points to three lead over the visitors to Gallarus.
Kilcummin looked maybe a touch sharper in those early exchanges and Mark O’Shea and Danny Cronin (with a pair of sweet points) had them up and running, but neither they, nor the game, were fully clicking.
It can often take something a little special to kick-start a game of football. After a relatively underwhelming opening quarter, a moment of magic from Kilcummin corner-forward Noel Duggan seemed to have that effect.
In kicking a sideline kick over the bar from the right hand side on sixteen minutes, not only did he level the game back up again at four points each, it also seemed to have the effect of upping the ante more generally.
Certainly it seemed to kick start something in Kilcummin who up to then had been playing well within themselves. The East Kerry men followed it up with a point from Kevin Gorman – quickly responded to by the impressive Tomás Ó Sé – and after that another 1-2 to take control of the game.
Duggan fired another free on twenty minutes and a minute later Cian Foley scored a fantastic goal, finishing powerfully to the net off his right, having played a sweet one-two, give-and-go with Eoghan O’Donovan to make it, 0-5 to 1-6 in favour of the visitors.
It was out to a five point game following another Duggan free on 28 minutes. An Ghaeltacht, though, to their credit rallied again to half-time with a pair of points to give them hope for the second half.
First Pádraig Óg Ó Sé and Dara Ó Sé combined to drop a short first into Tomás Ó Sé who managed to direct it over, and then Éanna Ó Conchúir assisted Dara Ó Sé to make it 0-7 to 1-7 at the break.
Like we say, character. An Ghaeltacht had it before the break, they had it after. For Kilcummin, of course, all is not lost as they host Glenbeigh/Glencar next weekend.
An Ghaeltacht, meanwhile, face a visit to Castleisland to take on the Desmonds in a repeat of their epic quarter-final at the same venue last year. Can lightening strike twice? We’ll soon find out.
AN GHAELTACHT: Seán Ó Lúing, Colm Ó Muircheartaigh, Adam MacAmhlaoibh, Cathal Ó Gairbhia, Gearóid Mac an tSaoir, Brian Ó Beaglaoich (0-2), Ciarán Ó Coileáin (1-0), Roibeard Ó Sé, Cathal Ó Beaglaoich (0-2), PJ Mac Láimh (0-1m), Dara Ó Sé (0-6, 4f), Pádraig Óg Ó Sé, Éanna Ó Conchúir, Tomás Ó Sé (0-2), Caoimhghín Ó Beaglaoich Subs: Pádraig Óigí Ó Sé for G Mac an tSaoir, 46, Fergghal Ó Cuanaigh for C Ó Beaglaoich, 52
KILCUMMIN: Brendan Kealy (01f), Kevin McSweeney, Dara Ó Callaghan, Chris O’Leary, Dan Moynihan, Philip O’Leary, Eoghan O’Donovan, Gary O’Leary, Kevin Gorman (0-1), Cian Foley (1-0), Mark O’Shea (0-3), Kelvin Teahan, Danny Cronin (0-2), Paul O’Shea (0-1f), Noel Duggan (0-3, 2f, 1 sideline) Subs: Kieran Murphy for D Cronin, 40,
REFEREE: Seán Joy (Laune Rangers)