John Joe Naughton Kerry Cup Semi-Final
- Killorglin AFC 3 – 0 Tralee Dynamos
Killorglin faced last year’s premier league champions in the Kerry cup semi final on Thursday night (30th April). And although the home team had a full squad to choose from, it was always going to be a challenging tie. And so it proved from the word go. The first ten minutes were played at a frantic pace. While Dynamos looked good on the ball, Killorglin kept their own shape and imposed themselves on the game. Jack O’Leary really looked up for the game, and the captain dominated the midfield, encouraging those around him, and breaking up play well. Cillian Burke and Aaron Broderick made up a midfield three that gave the visitors no space, and it was Aaron that gave the home side the lead mid way through the first half. An in-swinging corner whipped in from the right side was half controlled by Stephen O’Loughlin, and despite not being able to get a clean strike away, the ball fell kindly for Aaron who tucked it away brilliantly. Towards the end of the half, a long-range free kick from the visitors saw Martin Fay parry over the bar well to keep the home side in front. Fantastic organisation from Darragh McKeefry at the back kept the Dynamos attacks to a minimum. Kaiya O’Flaherty, Jason O’Sullivan and Dylan Francis were superb alongside Darragh. 1-0 at half time.
The visitors again started brightly in the second half, but straight from a Dynamos corner, Stephen O’Loughlin picked up a loose ball on the edge of his own penalty area and set Gearoid Hasset away with a good clearance upfield. With Stephen in support, Gearoid showed wonderful skill and balance to beat three defenders, and a slip the ball past the keeper to put Killorglin well and truly in control of the tie. For the first time in the game, the visitors realised they had to chase the game, and this opened up space for Ethan Coffey, Gearoid and Stephen up front. Killorglin were now looking more likely to nick a third than concede. Another good save from Martin in the Killorglin goal saw the home team mount an incisive attack, and when Gearoid Hasset was taken down in the penalty area it looked a certain penalty. Even the opposition stopped briefly waiting for the whistle, but the ref wasn’t giving it! However, Stephen O’Loughlin was alive to it, and took the ball off a Dynamos defender and beat the remaining defender and keeper with a lovely strike! At 3-0, Killorglin looked comfortable, and Cillian Burke worked tirelessly to help Killorglin keep ownership of the middle of the park. The introduction of Dylan Moriarty gave the home team even more to trouble Dynamos, and Dylan was unlucky on a number of occasions. Another good take from Martin in goal late on ensured a clean sheet and a Kerry Cup Final against Park in Mounthawk Park next Friday (May 8th) at 8.30pm.
Team: Martin Fay, Jason O’Sullivan, Dylan Francis, Darragh McKeefry, Kaiya O’Flaherty, Aaron Broderick, Cillian Burke, Jack O’Leary, Ethan Coffey, Gearoid Hassett, Stephen O’Loughlin. Subs: Dylan Moriarty (on for Stephen), Dean Cahill (on for Ethan), Max Doyle, Callum Russell.
Goals: Aaron Broderick, Gearoid Hassett, Stephen O’Loughlin