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Stacks win SFL Round 4 and Division 1 Final 2014 2015-05-09 23:55:00

 Credit Union Senior Football League Division 1 Final (2014)

Austin Stacks 2-9              Dr Crokes 0-13

Goals win matches they say and this was well and truly borne out at Connolly Park this evening where Austin Stacks overcame Dr Crokes in the Credit Union Senior Football League Division 1 Final (2014) after a game that went to extra time before a winner could be determined. The game of course doubled up as Round 4 of the current League and the points were shared for that competition with the sides on level terms after the hour.

Dr Crokes lined out without Fionn Fitzgerald, Ambrose O’Donovan, Alan O’Sullivan and Chris Brady from their selected side while Stacks lined out as selected with Daniel Bohan at wing forward and Kieran Donaghy at full forward.

This may not have been a game for the purists – there were too many stop-start passages of play and too many niggles for that – but the big crowd were kept interested by the closeness of the scoring and at the end of the day it was the two goals that decided where the 2014 Division 1 honours would go.

We did not have to wait long for the first goal – it came a mere 20 seconds or less into the game when after the throw in, a long ball  from Conor Jordan was flicked to the net by Kieran Donaghy past the advancing Alan Kelly. Thereafter, the Kerry “Star” was double marked by Mike Moloney and the outstanding Eoin Brosnan. Stacks were playing with the fresh wind, but Dr Crokes fought back to be level by the 16th minute following points from Daithí Casey (free), Jordan Kiely, Colm Cooper (2 frees)to one in reply from Shane Carroll. David Mannix pointed Stacks in front once more and then Donaghy was brought down in the square but Shane O’Callaghan’s penalty was well saved by Alan Kelly. Both goals had narrow escapes with claims for penalties on both sides but Conor Jordan’s point was the only other score of the half as Stacks led by 1-3 to 0-4 at the break.

With the strengthening breeze this lead did not seem  enough especially when Dr Crokes had 4 points in quick succession on the restart from Colm Cooper (2 frees), Kieran O’Leary and Daithí Casey (free), to go two clear with just seven minutes gone in the half. Stacks had a number of let offs especially when Jordan Kiely put Kieran O’Leary through in the 8th minute of the half but his shot came off the butt of the post to safety. Shane O’Callaghan pointed a free in response but then another fine Dr Crokes move ended with Daithí Casey’s shot being somehow pushed out for a “45” when a goal looked certain in the 44th minute. Brian Looney pointed the resultant kick  and when Cooper pointed a free at the three quarter stage, Crokes were three clear. With Donaghy roaving to good effect, the home-side came more into the game and indeed held the Killarney side scoreless for the remainder of the half – a feat in itself given that Crokes were wind assisted. Shane Carroll pointed a free and then had a fine score from distance before the same player fired over the equaliser from the right wing. Johnny Buckley, who was Black carded on the call of time for a foul on Donaghy, and Shane Carroll both had chances to win it for their respective sides but their shots sailed just wide as the teams retired on level terms after the hour 0-10 to 1-7.

Stacks had the aid of the wind for the first period of Extra Time and Fiachna Mangan pointed them in front two minutes in but Colm Cooper (Free) and Kieran O’Leary with a fine individual point, put Dr Crokes back in the driving seat. Not for long however as a long ball from over 50 yards from Shane Guthrie deceived friend and foe alike  in the Dr Crokes square and went all the way to the net for what turned out to be the decisive score of the game. By now Crokes had also lost the influential Eoin Brosnan to injury and his and Johnny Buckley’s loss were key issues by the end of the day. Stacks were ahead 2-8 to 0-12 at half time in extra time.

The remaining ten minutes was played out in fading light with Stacks determined to soak up the pressure with Donaghy playing a key defensive role under the high ball and sub Sean Ryan very influential up front. Colm Cooper narrowed the deficit to a point from a free but Shane Carroll did likewise for the home-side who never looked in danger of losing in that final period.

After the game, the Chairman of the County Committee, Patrick O’Sullivan presented the winning Shield to Stacks Captain Barry Shanahan and Jack Harrington, Chairman Chapter 23 of the Irish League of Credit Unions presented the Man of the Match Trophy to Shane Carroll of Austin Stacks.

Scorers:  Austin Stacks; Shane Carroll 0-6 (3 frees), Shane Guthrie and Kieran Donaghy 1-0 each, Conor Jordan, Fiachna Mangan  and David Mannix (free) 0-1 each. Dr Crokes; Colm Cooper 0-7 (frees), Kieran O’Leary and Daithí Casey (frees)  0-2 each, Jordan Kiely, Brian Looney “45” 0-1 each.

Reiteoir: Cathal Ó Dubhda (An Ghaeltacht).

 Click here for some photos from the game tonight

Credit Union Senior Football League Round 4 – Austin Stacks play Dr Crokes in 2014 Final

The meeting of County Champions for the past five years, current champions, Austin Stacks, and their predecessors for four years, Dr Crokes, takes centre stage in the Credit Union Senior Football League this weekend. Their Round 4 clash in Connolly Park doubles up as the Senior League Division 1 final for 2014. To add flavour to the occasion, Dr Crokes are top of the League right now and have made no secret of the fact that they intend to regain their County Championship title this year at the expense of their Tralee hosts. Add in the fact that both sides have a plentiful supply of County players at their disposal and football followers will be in for a treat on Saturday evening (7 pm).

If both sides finish level after normal time, each side will receive one point in respect of the 2015 League while extra time will be played to decide the 2014 champions. Austin Stacks defeated Waterville in a back game in the league last weekend (3-15 to 0-4) to move to four points on the table and leave the South Kerry side rooted to the bottom of the table pointless along with St Michaels Foilmore and Glenbeigh-Glencar.

Legion and Kerins O’Rahillys, the two teams a point behind Dr Crokes in the table have contrasting assignments this weekend. Legion face a tough away trip to Dingle while the Tralee side have a home game against pointless Glenbeigh-Glencar.

In Division 2, Kenmare and John Mitchels, the joint leaders at the top of the table on full points, clash in Kenmare while in a game brought forward to Friday evening, second placed Rathmore take on a Laune Rangers side who are struggling towards the foot of the table with just one point to their credit this season. Emmets, who have dropped just one point so far, have a home tie with Gneeveguilla while at the bottom of the table, Glenflesk and Currow, who are both still without a point, clash in Glenflesk.

In Division 3, leaders Beaufort, who top the table on 5 points, have an interesting home game against An Ghaeltacht who are one of five teams with two points. All Ireland Junior champions Brosna entertain St Pats and All Ireland Intermediate champions Ardfert make the long journey to Portmagee to take on struggling Skellig Rangers. There are two back games in this Division on May 16th when An Ghaeltacht play Brosna and Skellig Rangers play Listry.

In Division 4, leaders Castlegregory take on a Ballydonoghue side who are one of three teams a point behind them in the table. The other two teams, Dromid Pearses and Cordal, have a home tie with Firies and an away trip to St Senans respectively. Bottom club, Lispole face a tough trip to Lewis Road to take on Dr Crokes “B” and Fossa will be the latest team to play on Churchill’s fine new playing field.

In Division 5, struggling Tuosist face the long trip to take on leaders Moyvane  who have full points so far, while the two teams a point behind the pace-setters, Sneem/Derrynane and Valentia have home venues against Duagh and Ballyduff respectively.

The next round of the League will not be played until the weekend of June 7th as the Senior Football Championship  takes centre stage in the coming weeks.