By Jack Hennessy
NORTH KERRY LEAGUE DIV. 2. Ballyduff 2-4 Asdee 1-10.
Asdee senior footballers made an impressive start to the North Kerry League when they overcame a very much understrength home side in blustery conditions at Ballyduff on Sunday last. Certainly weather conditions proved difficult for the players but in fairness the game itself was very competitive with some good passages of football on view.
Asdee playing with a stiffish breeze that blew directly from goal to goal looked the sharper side early on but some of their shooting had to be seen to be believed; squandering numerous scoring opportunities and but for some excellent defending by Paddy Moran in the Ballyduff rearguard the visitors could have enjoyed a comfortable lead by the end of the first quarter.
The home side were first off the mark with a point after 6mts but 4mts later Noel Long Asdees outstanding performer was on the end of a five man move to finish clinically to the net. John Doran and Darren Russell were on the mark for the visitors as Ballyduff were finding it difficult against the elements but Barry O Grady and Tomas O Rourke were always in the thick of the action and when the latter found the net in the 25th mt it gave Ballyduff the lift they needed facing into the second half. Half time Asdee 1-5 Ballyduff 1-2.
The second half had just begun when Conor Coughlan the visitors custodion was called into action to make a superb save from Barry O Grady at point blank range. Darren Russell and Barry O Grady exchanged points but a defensive mix-up led to Kieran Houlihan nip in for an opportunist goal after 11mts.to level up the tie. It was now advantage to Ballyduff but Asdee showed fierce determination and with John Doran showing up well at midfield, Eoin Kennedy grafting in attack with 3pts in a row and Noel Long showing his many talents the visitors seemed to be in control.
Barry O Grady and Darren Russell swapped points as we approached the full time whistle but in those last few minutes Asdee had to withstand some severe pressure from the home side as they came in search of an equaliser and that last whistle was greeted with joy.
Overall even though victory was against an understrength home side the performance of Asdees younger players; Eoin Tydings and Sean Keane who were making their senior debuts; Con Carmody, Kieran Kelly and Michael Tydings was most encouraging. Ballyduff as always are hard to overcome and on this occasion it proved no different; Barry O Grady, Tomas O Rourke, Evan Doyle, Eddie Joy, Paddy Moran and Damian Lynch are some of their starting 15 that impressed.
Team and scorers; Conor Coughlan, Sean Keane, Martin Collins, Brian Coughlan, Eoin O Carroll, Noel Long, 1gl, Kieran Kelly, John Doran, 2pts, Padraig Ruddle, Michael Tydings, Eoin Kennedy, 3pts, Micheal Walsh, Con Carmody, Darren Russell, 4pts, Eoin Tydings, 1pt. Subs; David O Connor for Brian Coughlan, Tom Mulvihill for Micheal Walsh, Charles Dalton for Eoin Tydings.