COUNTY LEAGUE DIVISION 5. Asdee 0-10 Valentia 1-9
The clash of the Munster Junior “B” champions of 2013 and 2014 clashed at Dowling Park, Coolard on Sunday last in round 1 of the Credit Union County League and after a very competitive encounter it was the South Kerry side that emerged victorious by a two point margin. Even though this game could have gone either way it was the power play of Brendan O Sullivan at midfield, Andy Quigley at number 11 was involved in the majority of their scores, the safe hands of Paul O Sullivan at full back and at corner forward was to be the chief architect of victory giving a man of the match performance and was the games top scorer with 1-6 with all but one coming from play that proved to be the difference at the final whistle. In fairness to Asdee they battled hard but a lack of scoring power in attack proved vital to the end result despite an impressive defensive set up. Noel Long and Darren Russell were the pick of the back line, Padraig Ruddle and Martin Collins had their moments at midfield but squandermania when scores presented themselves proved costly and just to mention a few; Eoin Kennedy, Eoin Tydings and Darragh Keane impressed.
Asdee playing with the aid of a stiffish wind but it was the visitors who were first on the scoreboard with full back Paul O Sullivan splitting the posts after 4 minutes. Asdee then kicked 2 wides in a row but it was still the Islanders who were on top playing some very attractive football but in fairness the home defence were holding firm. Paul O Connor got the first of his 1-6 tally shooting over after Andy Quigley was fouled. It took until the 12th minute before the home side got on target when Charley Dalton shot over. At this stage Asdee weathered that early storm and despite Valentias dominance a Mike Breen point levelled matters two minutes later. Padraig Ruddle and Noel Long and Darragh Keane added further points and after 25 minutes Asdee led 0-5 to 0-2 and prior to this Asdee were unlucky not to have goaled but a very alert Brendan O Connor the Valentia keeper made a smart save. But back came the South Kerry men and points from Andy Quigley and Paul O Connor pointed narrowed the gap but on the stroke of half time Eoin Tydings pointed for Asdee. Half time score Asdee 0-6 Valentia 0-4.
Inside the opening minute on resumption Asdee stretched their lead further with Eoin Tydings swinging over fron close range. However Valentia were quickly into their stride and Paul O Connor traded points with Mike Breen. Then came what was to be the crucial score of the game when Brendan O Sullivan burst his way from midfield passing to substitute Jim Lynch who fed Paul O Connor who rocketed to the net in the 10th minute. Still Asdee were keeping in touch with a long range free by Eoin Kennedy putting the sides on level terms after 15 minutes. Once again it was Brendan O Sullivan calling the shots and after some brilliant fielding he set up Jim Lynch for the leading score. From here to the end the Islanders dictated matters and really should have closed out the game with a patch of poor shooting. Paul O Connor made it a 3 point lead only for Michael Tydings to narrow to 2points; but an all out attack coming up to the final whistle by Asdee almost paid dividends only for the ball to come off the crossbar. This was the end of the action and even though Asdee had plenty play it was Valentia who fully deserved their victory.
Team and Scorers; Asdee, Conor Coughlan, Sean Keane, Eoin O Carroll, Con Carmody, Noel Long, 1pt, Darren Russell, Michael Tydings, 1pt, Martin Collins, Padraig Ruddle, 1pt, Mike Breen, 2pts, Eoin Tydings, 2pts, Kieran Kelly, Darragh Keane, 45, Charles Dalton, 1pt, Eoin Kennedy, 1pt. Sub Dinny Dalton for Kieran Kelly.