Asdee 0-9 Charleville 1-5.
By Jack Hennessy
MUNSTER FINAL. Before this game got underway there was a minutes silence for the late 14 year old Jack O Sullivan of Gullane who passed away suddenly on March 9th.
On a weekend when the Country were celebrating clinching the Six Nations Rugby title so too were the Asdee Senior Footballers who were also celebrating the Munster Junior “B” Title at the expence of a fancied Charleville of Cork played at Knockaderry on Sunday last.
Carrying on the great Kerry success in this competition this was a real battle between two teams who had only one thing on their minds and that was to lift the Munster Cup at the final whistle; it was a real physical battle always played within the rules and despite some heavy hits going in the Referee in question Martin Doherty, Limerick added to the occasion with a fair minded approach to the game. There is no doubt but the huge band of Asdee supporters had plenty to cheer about but had to endure some anxious moments as the game approached the finishing line.
Nerve wrecking to say it mildly; Asdee down 3pts at the break and 1mt into the second half were 3 down but a remarkable comeback at a time when things were not that rosy in the field they managed to plug away and they showed it in the end that Asdee were the team that wanted it more and they duly obliged. Asdee were first out of blocks and John Doran from play and a similar score from an acute angle by Eoin Kennedy had their side 2pts without reply after 5mts. Mark Kavanagh who opened Charlvilles account with the first of his 4 pointed frees after 8mts.
At this stage it was the Cork side who were starting to make inroads into Asdee territory with Danny O Flynn lording the midfield proceedings and James O Brien who got their only point from play leveled up matters after 10mts. Some good runs by both sides broke down but in fairness it was a day for defences who seemed to have the edge on their opponents. Still the North Kerry men even though their midfielder Padraig Ruddle was struggling with an injury kept on the move and went 2pts ahead after 22mts courtesy of Mike Breen and Eoin Tydings. Points were exchanged by Mike Breen and Mark Kavanagh as the game approached the remaining 5mts of play.
Then Charleville were thrown a lifeline when wing forward Brendan Casey got inside his marker and he finished clinically to the roof of the net. Mark Kavanagh pointed as the teams made their way to the dressing rooms and Charleville led on a score of 1-4 to 0-5 at the break.
A number of substitutions were made on both sides at the break and it was Mark Kavanagh who put the Cork boys further in front with a pointed free. However certainly one of the subs who came on for Asdee at the interval was to play a huge role in his sides victory; 17 year old Darragh Keane who went into the engine room of midfield and in doing so rectified the areal power of Charlvilles Danny Flynn and gave his side the lift they needed quickly making his presence felt with his first touch kicking a fantastic point.
In fact that point that put Charlville 3pts in front was to be their only score of the second half. However this was not to say that they were out of the game; They were off target on a few occasions but in fairness Asdee were guilty of similar offinces. Eoin Kennedy who was making life difficult for his marker squeezed 2pts with one coming from play to level up the contest with 9mts left for play.
Those final 9mts or so was hectic as both sides went for the score that would give them victory and it looked as if the game might go into extra time but Darragh Keane was to become the hero of the hour when he lofted over the winning score which gave his side a Munster Final victory to savour.
Charleville did have a chance to tie up the game in injury time but the ball from a free drifted wide of the left hand post much to the delight of the hugh continguent of Asdee supporters. This is a win that will never be forgotton and well done to each of the panel of 24 players and the Management team of John Kennedy, Dan Dalton and Sean Doran who instilled the confidence to reach new heights.
It would be unfair to single out any player other than Noel Long who was named Man of the Match; it was a team performance and when the final whistle it was a sea of black and amber that greeted team captain Eoin O Carroll who accepted the Munster Junior “B” Cup from the Chairman of the Knockaderry club Tom Sheehy amid scenes of great jubilation from both supporters and players alike. So isn’t there a lovely ring to it; Asdee Munster Junior “B” Champions 2013.
Teams and scorers; Asdee; Conor Coughlan, Eoin O Carroll, capt, Martin Collins, Sean Keane, Kieran Kelly, Noel Long, Con Carmody, Padraig Ruddle, John Doran, 1pt, Charles Dalton, Darren Russell, Mike Breen, 2pts, Eoin Tydings, 1pt, Eoin Kennedy, 3pts, (2f), Micheal Tydings. Subs, Tom Mulvihill for Con Carmody, Michael Walsh for Micheal Tydings, Darragh Keane for Padraig Ruddle, Paul O Carroll for Charles Dalton, Padraig Ruddle for Kieran Kelly. Charlville; David O Connell, Dave McCarthy, Jack Buckley, P J O Halloran, Micheal O Flynn, Barry McCarthy, Dwane Collins, Danny O Flynn, Shane O Sullivan, Gavin Kelliher, Gavin Casey, Brendan Casey, 1gl, Shane Connolly, Mark Kavanagh, 4f, James O Brien, 1pt. Subs; Maurice O Brien for Shane Connolly, Gavin Kelliher for Shane Connolly, Finbarr Cagney for Brendan Casey. Referee Martin Doherty, Limerick.