Oscar Traynor Cup Semi Final , Kerry DL v Clare DL

Oscar Traynor Cup Semi Final

Sunday 23rd March 2014
Kerry DL 0-3 Clare DL

By Tommy Naughton

Clare booked their place in this years Oscar Traynor Cup final after an excellent team performance built on discipline, hard work and taking their chances when given the opportunity. Kerry will feel disappointed going out at this stage after some impressive performances along the way but a number of their players never rose to the standards they are capable of.

The game started at a very fast pace with both sides being put under pressure in the middle of the field which gave no time for anyone to relax on the ball. The opening chance of the game came after six minutes when Bryan Murphy played a one two with Gintarus Paketarus and as the ball came back it bounced up and Murphy failed to connect correctly with keeper John Mulready saving easily.

Mulready released the ball down the field quickly where Alan Brigdale played in Stephen Kelly but his shot from the edge of the box was held by Kerry keeper David Hennessey.

Kerry again were the ones to threaten next after Bryan Murphy made his way down the left wing and made his way into the box where he pulled a low ball across the six yard box towards Peter McCarthy but Mulready was alert and tipped the ball over the bar.

On the half hour mark the closest chance to get the opening goal was from the away side. David McCarthy dispossessed Shane Guthrie and rolled the ball down the wing to Eoin Hayes who turned inside before firing a powerful shot across the goal where Hennessey got the slightest of touches to send the ball crashing of the bottom of the far post before flying back into the keeper’s hands.

Kerry quickly broke down field and won a corner which John McDonagh crossed to Jonathan Burrows whose header looked like it would find the bottom corner only for a full length save by Mulready which he did magnificently to hold.

The game was not stop as both sides looked for the opening goal. Colin Smyth picked out a great run down the right wing by Eoin Hayes and his first time cross picked out David McCarthy whose header seemed harmless till it deflected off Burrows leaving Hennessey wrong footed as the ball just rolled the wrong side of the post for a corner.

The final chance of the first half fell to Kerry when Maurice O’Rahilly was picked out by Bryan Murphy who dinked the ball over the onrushing defence but O’Rahilly’s shot from a tight angle flew over the crossbar.

Kerry started the second half by changing formation and bringing on Mark O’Sullivan for Danny Roche. As the half started it was very apparent that whichever side scored the opening goal would go on to control this game and book their place in the final.

Within minutes of coming on O’Sullivan played Peter McCarthy in down the left wing, McCarthy got past the full back and cut inside but saw his shot blocked by the feet of the onrushing Mulready.

On the 58th minute mark Kerry should have taken the lead after McCarthy showed good footwork on the left wing before crossing a low ball across the box towards Paketarus who stepped over the ball for the on coming Gary Keane whose shot crashed of the crossbar from eight yards out.

This miss was to have a huge bearing in the game as within three minutes Clare were ahead. Stephen Kelly who was having a tremendous game played a first time diagonal ball over the Kerry defence where Eoin Hayes took the ball in his stride before shooting low into the far bottom corner to the delight of the big travelling support.

Clare’s game plan was now to sit back and hit on the counter attack and with Darren Murphy and Eoin O’Brien controlling the defence and Eoin Hayes a major treat at the other end. It was to work perfect for them.

Fifteen minutes left and Kerry were now throwing everything forward. Substitute Jonathan Hannafin saw his shot blocked by Murphy but as it hung in the air in the Penalty area Mark O’Sullivan reacted quickest and saw his header bounce the wrong side of the far post.

Kerry were furious with ten minutes remaining as they felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Bryan Murphy’s goal bound shot seemed to strike a hand of a defender but the match referee waved away the appeal.

Clare broke quickly down field were Eoin Hayes got past the last defender 40 yards from goal, as they keeper came out Hayes rolled the ball to his right for the onrushing Stephen Hickey inside the penalty area but Hickey with no keeper to beat saw his shot hit the near post. The ball rolled back to Hayes but under pressure from John McDonagh Hayes put the ball wide of the far post.

However Hayes was to make amends three minutes later when a long ball from the back by Darren Cullinan sent him through on goal with only the keeper to beat where he calmly rolled the ball into the back of the net and Clare knew that they had secured a place in the final which could be sensed by the celebrations on the side line by their management and substitutes.

In the final minute Hayes rounded of a fantastic performance with his hat trick and just about shaded Stephen Kelly for man of the match. Hayes played a lovely one two with Ronan McCormack just out side they Kerry penalty area before rounding the Kerry keeper and walking the ball into the goal to finish of in style.

Clare will now face the winners of the other semi final between the Inishowen League and the Dublin AUL which is a repeat of last years Final.

Kerry: David Hennessey , Maurice o Rahilly ,John McDonagh, Shane Guthrie , Jonathan Burrows , James Sugrue , Bryan Murphy , Gary Keane , Peter McCarthy , Gintarus Paketarus, Danny Roche . Subs , Mark o Sullivan for Roche 45 Mins ,Jonathan Hannafin for Paketarus 65 Mins, Con Barrett for Burrows 80 mins, Not used Kevin McCarthy , Fergal Maunsel , ,Brian Spillane, Jamie Spillane, Aaron Houlihan ,Joe Sheehy, David Hayes, Gary Sugrue .

Clare: John Mulready, Mattie Nugent, Darren Cullinan, Darren Murphy, Eoin O’Brien, Alan Kelly,Colin Smyth, Stephen Kelly, Eoin Hayes, David McCarthy, Alan Brigdale . Subs ,Stephen Hickey for McCarthy 53 Mins,Ronan McCormack for Brigdale 85 Mins,Darryl Eade for Smyth 90 Mins. Not Used Michael Crosby, David O’Grady, , Paddy O’Malley, Ciaran MacMathuna, Shane Daniels, Darragh Fitzgerald, Cian Bourke, Mark Roche, Niall Quinn.