Oscar Traynor Cup , Limerick DL 1-1 Kerry DL
By Padraig Harnett
Anything Martin can do John can do!!
If watching Ireland against Germany proved anything it is that old adage ‘It’s never over till it’s over’. Swop the Kerry District League Oscar Traynor side for Ireland and John O’Regan for Martin O’Neill and to really stretch the metaphor David Hennessy for John O’Shea and you have the story of the game.
Limerick started very brightly and in the 4th minute Shane Walsh got in on goal. KDL keeper Kevin Moran came off his line and Walsh went down. Limerick screamed for a penalty but credit to excellent referee David Power he spotted the dive and booked the Limerick striker.
Without really threatening Moran’s goal Limerick were still on top and Clarke shot over from a Harkin pass and Moran saved easily from Walsh.
Kerry’s best early effort early came on came after a Stephen Conway free found its way to Ryan Downey. But there were too many bodies in the way and his effort was blocked.
Limerick went ahead in the 19th minute following a corner off the training ground. Harkin went short to Madigan who put the ball into the box. Kerry will be disappointed that they let Shane Clarke bring down the ball, swivel and plant it in the bottom corner.
Credit to Kerry and the got a foothold on the game. Stephen Conway was dangerous from and set pieces and Paudie Quinn was finding room. In the 41st minute he cracked a great effort off the angle of the bar and post with the Limerick keeper well beaten. Brian Murphy also went close but it stayed at 1-0 at the break.
The second half was more of the same with chances at a premium. Both sets of defences were on top and the strike forces were finding it hard to get room.
Moran made good saves from Clark and Walsh and Hanrahan did hit the post while Gee and Ryan Downey had Kerry’s best efforts.
Kerry needed a break and John Regan, assisted by Tadgh Healy, Robert Powell (and kit-man Denis ‘Guerin’) made two changes that had a big impact on the game.
Ian Murphy replaced Stephen Conway who had just been booked and David Hennessy came on for Paudie Quinn who had covered every blade of grass. This allowed Con Barrett to push forward and Kerry began winning more ball in Limericks area.
Barrett went on a great run and there looked to have been contact as he went down in the box but the ref wasn’t interested.
Just as it looked like Kerry wouldn’t get that vital break they won free inside their own half as the clock ticked into the 91st minute.
Moran sent it long and a group of heads went after the ball. It ended up in the Limerick net and David ‘Studdy’ Hennessey was adamant he got the final touch.
A minute later it was all over and Kerry had secured what could be a very valuable point. They now have two home games to come against the Desmond League and Cork AUL.
John Regan was delighted with his teams efforts. “Everyone one of those 13 players gave it their all and indeed I feel we were the better team and deserved to win. Some of the newer players showed they were certainly at home at inter county level”.
Kerry DL: Kevin Moran, Seamus O’Keeffe, Kevin McCarthy, Shane Guthrie, Aidan O’Callaghan, Con Barrett, Brian Murphy, Stephen Conway, Gee Pakaturus, Paudie Quinn, Ryan Downey. Ian Murphy for Conway, David Hennessy for Paudie Quinn.
Limerick DL: Gary Neville, Bobby Tier, Alan Harkin, Thomas Clarke, Kieran O’Connell, Craig Maddigan, Mike O’Gorman, Jeff Judge, Shane Walsh, Shane Clarke, Owen Hanrahan. Subs used- Seamus Carroll, Paul Danagher and Adrian Power.