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Emmets Notes 16th December 2013

posted 17 Dec 2013, 01:43 by Listowel Emmets

Sponsored by McMunns Bar & Restaurant Ballybunion - 2013 Bernard O'Callaghan Memorial North Kerry Senior Football Championship Final:

Listowel Emmets 1-08 Castleisland Desmonds 0-10

This was a hard fought but very entertaining North Kerry Senior Football Championship Final that never failed to thrill the large attendance for the full hour. The game was played in wet and slippery conditions but both teams gave everything they had from start to finish.

Castleisland looked less nervous than Listowel during the opening exchanges but the two chances they had resulted in wides. Castleisland were moving the ball better but the Listowel defence were breaking up their attacks. Bryan Murphy had a goal chance for Listowel in the 5th minute but his shot was wide of the target. A minute later Murphy registered the 1st score of the game with a well-taken point. Both defences were playing very well and both sets of forwards were finding it very hard to make an impact on the game. Castleisland corner forward Cian O’Connor put over a free in the 11th minute to bring the sides level. A minute late O’Connor put over another free to put Castleisland in front. Castleisland were now dominating the game and were looking dangerous when they came forward. In the 15th minute Tomás Lynch was given a great through ball as he ran into space approaching the Listowel goal. His shot had Listowel goalkeeper Shane Quinn beaten but it hit the bottom of the upright and trickled wide. This was a major let off for Listowel.

In the 17th minute Cian O’Connor put over his 3rd free of the game to give Castleisland a 2-point lead. Castleisland were putting the Listowel defence under serious pressure. In the 18th Thomas Hickey who was causing the Listowel defence numerous problems drove over a brilliant point to give Castleisland a 3-point lead. Within the same minute midfielder Pat Fitzgerald drove over another Castleisland point. Listowel were being ripped apart and their supporters were starting to get very anxious. Listowel introduced Tadhg Kennelly for Ger McCarthy who went into the game with a hamstring injury after 19 minutes. Maurice O’Connell extended Castleisland’s lead with another point in the 20th minute. Thomas Hickey who was having a brilliant game drove over his 2nd point in the 25th minute to give Castleisland a 0-07 to 0-01 lead. Listowel had no answer to the onslaught and they looked a beaten side with a mountain to climb. Castleisland had taken the game by the scruff of the neck and were on top in every sector. Listowel looked rattled but as most people know you should never write them off. They went on a rare foray into the Castleisland half and won a free, which Conor Cox converted. The Listowel midfield and half forward line finished off the half a lot better. In 1st half stoppage time Listowel were given a real lifeline when Cormac Mulvihill struck for a goal. The Castleisland goalkeeper Marc O’Connor blocked his attempt but the ball rebounded off his teammate and into the net for a very fortuitous goal against the run of play. Listowel were back in the game now just trailing by 2 points. Moments later Tadhg Kennelly found his brother Noel with a great pass who gave the ball to Conor Cox who kicked over an amazing point from what looked an impossible angle. Listowel were just 1 point behind as referee Mike Hennessy blew for half time.

Half Time: Listowel Emmets 1-03 Castleisland Desmonds 0-07

Listowel Emmets came out for the 2nd looking very fired up. They needed to up their game from what they produced in the 1st half and they did. Listowel were back on level terms in the 31st minute when Conor Cox put over his 3rd point of the game from a free. Both defences were giving nothing away and scores were hard to come by. Both sides were intent on minimising mistakes. Thomas Hickey put over his 3rd point of the game from a free in the 35th minute to put Castleisland back in front once again. There was to be no score for the next 15 minutes and possession was evenly divided. The game was poised on a knife-edge and the next score would be vital. Both teams were giving everything they had and the game was always highly entertaining. Bryan Murphy had a goal chance in the 43rd minute for Listowel but his punched effort went wide. One Listowel player who was really involved all over the pitch was Cormac Mulvihill. He was having an outstanding game breaking up attacks at one end and setting them up at the other.

Listowel really needed a score and they got it in the 50th minute when Conor Cox drove over a massive free from over 50 yards out. The sides were level again for the 3rd time 1-05 to 0-08. In the 53rd minute another Cox free put Listowel into the lead for the first time since the 11th minute again with another free from long range. The game became very tense and as both sides battled for possession. Any mistake would now be very costly. Castleisland swarmed forward and Thomas Hickey won and converted a free to level matters once again for the 4th time. The tension was almost unbearable as the game ebbed and flowed into the final minutes. In the 58th minute Conor Cox got on the ball and kicked over a point to put Listowel in front once again 1-07 to 0-09. Castleisland kept their heads and showed great bottle as they passed the ball around very well in the 1st minute of 3 additional minutes. They won a close range, which Thomas Hickey expertly converted in the 61st minute to level the game again for the 5th time 1-07 to 0-10. The game looked to be heading for a draw but Listowel attacked once again. Conor Cox received a pass from Noel Kennelly. Conor had to run away from the goals to make space to shoot. He shot from a very acute angle and put over an amazing point to give Listowel Emmets a certain victory as the 3 minutes of injury time has elapsed. The umpires after a deliberation with the referee decided that the ball had gone over the bar. This was the last action of a pulsating contest that neither side deserved to lose.

Conor Cox was awarded the Man Of The Match before Listowel Emmets Captain Denis Walsh accepted the Eamon O’Donoghue memorial cup from North Kerry Board Chairman Billy Enright much to the delight of the large Listowel Emmets following. This was Listowel Emmets 14th time to win the Championship.

It was a great pity that it had to end in controversial circumstances. Sport can be very cruel and Castleisland Desmonds were devastated to have lost such a great game of football. It looked as if they had put the game beyond Listowel’s reach after 25 minutes but Listowel showed great grit and determination to get back into a game they had no right to be in. They also had to do this against Brosna in the Semi Final when they were 5 points down early in the 2nd half. The Listowel Emmets defence of the McGuire brothers Jack and Brian, Brendan Guiney, John Heaphy and Denis Walsh deserve great credit for the way they kept their heads when things were not going their way. Goalkeeper Shane Quinn didn’t have a lot to do but his kick outs were very well judged all afternoon. Shane is the 2nd Listowel Emmets man in the modern era to win North Kerry Championship keeping a clean sheet in all games. The last was Derek Dalton in 1997. Special mention also has to go to Noel Kennelly who was playing in his 12th North Kerry Senior Final (his previous 11 were 95, 97, 98, 98 Replay, 04, 05.06, 08, 09, 10, 10 Replay). That is some feat. He now has 6 Championship medals and he will only turn 34 on Christmas Day. Noel played in his 1st Final in 1995 when he was just 15 years of age. He is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest Listowel Emmets player of all time.

Listowel Emmets were in 4 competitions in 2013. They were promoted from Division 2 to Division 1 of the County League, were beaten by a point in the County Intermediate semi final by St. Mary’s Cahersiveen, won Division 1 of the North Kerry League and have now captured the North Kerry Championship. The management team of Mikey Kennelly, Paddy Walsh and Kieran Lynch deserve great credit for overseeing such a successful year.

Castleisland Desmonds have had a good year. They may have only won a County Shield title but very importantly they have been promoted straight back up from Division 3 to Division 2 of the County League. They have an abundance of young talent which if it is guided in the right direction could be a potent force for years to come.

Listowel Emmets: 1. Shane Quinn 2. Jack McGuire 3. Brendan Guiney 4. John Heaphy 16. Ger McCarthy 6. Denis Walsh 7. Brian McGuire 8. Noel Kennelly 9. Micheal Lynch 10. Jamie Barry 11. Cormac Mulvihill (1-00) 12. Bryan Murphy (0-01) 5. Maurice Whelan 14. Conor Cox (0-07(0-04F)) 15. David Sheehy.
Subs Used: Tadhg Kennelly for G. McCarthy, Aengus Fitzgerald for M. Lynch & Jake Moriarty for Jamie Barry.

Substitutes: Billy Doyle, Sean O’Mahony, Daragh Leahy, David Keane, Daragh Broderick, Darren Halpin, John James Buckley, Martin Flavin, Eimhin O’Brien, Eddie J. Walsh, Jack Hartnett, Paul Kennedy.
2013 North Kerry Novice Football Championship Final:
Listowel Emmets (C) 2-06 Brosna (B) 2-05
The Listowel Emmets C team laid the ground work for the Senior Team as they led at half time by 1-05 to 1-0, Brosna came back into the game to go one point in front, a superb fetch by Emmets Captain Sean Carey saw his effort in the back of the Brosna net, a good point from Mikey Paul Kelliher saw a great Victory for the Emmets C Team.
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