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Lee Strand Feile Finals 2015 2015-04-21 23:17:00

Last Saturday was a thriller for GAA fans in Kerry as the U14 Lee Strand Feile Finals took place in venues around the county in glorious sunshine, and the enthusiastic spectators were treated to a fabulous feast of high standard football.

 

A Finals

In Listry, an understrength Kenmare put up a terrific battle but superb teamwork from Dr. Crokes exposed the cracks, with four goals sending them on their way to JP O’Sullivan Park for the Final.

The semi-final in Killorglin was a different proposition. Legion opened with a great pass by Darragh Lyne to a sharp Ryan O’Grady for a goal and it took great play By Gabriel Griffin (2) and Shane Doona (2) to get back to level pegging, 1-2 to 0-5, at the break. Hoever, Laune Rangers had the wind in the second half and despite heroic resistance from Adam Kissane and Kieran O’Donoghue, a brace from Shane Doona and a well-taken goal by Gearoid Hassett saw Laune Rangers through on a 1-17 to 1-3 scoreline.

That pitted Dr. Crokes against home side Laune Rangers – one of the oldest pairings in the history of Kerry football, there has been mutual respect between the clubs for well over a century.

A Final: Dr. Crokes 2-1 Laune Rangers 0-4

There was a huge crowd of enthusiastic supporters for both sides and they were quickly enthralled as the action got underway. A Michael Lenihan free drew first blood for Crokes and the same player superbly teed up Tom Doyle for a goal. A blistering shot by Shane Doona was parried by an alert Lorcan Martin, but Jack Evans put over the rebound. Just before the half-time whistle, a speculative effort by Sean McGann deceived everybody and fell into the Laune Rangers’ net for a crucial goal. Dr. Crokes 2-1 Laune Rangers 0-1.

Laune Rangers had the wind in the second half and proceeded to lay a relentless siege, with the outstanding David Mangan (1) and Shane Doona (2, 1f) leading their charge. Dr. Crokes brought back Michael Lenihan into defence and that proved to be a trump card, with Evan Looney and Mark Cooper also excellent at rebutting dangerous attacks. In the end, Laune Rangers just couldn’t penetrate the mass of bodies enough, and paid the price for some wayward shooting when they did. It was a magnificent and gallant effort by the home side, but when the final whistle sounded, Dr. Crokes were ahead by 2-1 to 0-4 and Kerry Feile champions for the first time since  2003 with a team that included Fionn Fitzgerald, Daithi Casey, and Johnny Buckley​. Coiste na nOg Chairman Tom Keane presenting the cup to captain and man of the match Michael Lenihan.

Laune Rangers: Cian Naylor, Rory O’Connor, Evan Madden, Conor Burke, Eoin Clifford, Dave Mangan, Ronan O’Shea, Roan Moriarty, James Hurley, Timmy O’Shea, Shane Doona, Barry O’Connor, Gabriel Griffin, Jack Evans, Gearoid Hassett. Sub Sean Cleary

Dr. Crokes: Lorcan Martin, Neil O’Shea, Gary O’Connor, Eamon Looney, Evan Looney, Mark Cooper, Keith Myers, Oran O’Donoghue, Caolan Ryan, Jer Cronin, Padraig Looney, Sean McGann, Michael Lenihan, Harry Potts. Subs Jamie Muldoon, Adam O’Connell, Seamus Gallagher, David Moriarty, Aaron Brennan

 

B Finals

In Na Gaeil, Listowel Emmets and Austin Stacks shared a thriller. There was some confusion about the final score but there were no arguments when the referee declared a draw and extra-time; nor were there any complaints when Austin Stacks ran out winners.

The real story was unfolding in Blennerville, where division eight side St. Pats were proving that ambitious dreams allied to hard work can make things happen. Beaufort went into this one as strong favourites and led by 1-2 to 1-1 at the break. The second half was a titanic struggle before Fergal O’Brien nailed an equalizer and in extra-time, the same player produced an absolute masterclass, including scoring 2-1, to take his side into the final.

The fairytale ended there, with Austin Stacks always on top. Sean Quilter was superb, while Colin Myers and Daniel O’Rourke also score at will and Padraig Linnane was a colossus in the backline. Padraig Duggan and a defiantly brilliant goal by Fergal O’Brien were St. Pats only scorers as Austin Stacks ran out comfortable winners. The Rockies must be given credit for running their bench early and often, taking off the likes of Quilter as soon as they could – that kind of sportsmanship is very much a part of Feile too.