NORTH KERRY LEAGUE DIVISION 2
Asdee 0-10 Ballyduff 0-8.
By virtue of this hard earned and just about deserved win Asdee senior footballers secured a North Kerry League Division 2 semi final place by defeating a gusty Ballyduff challenge at Walsh Park on Saturday evening last, April 5th. Certainly this was not for the faint hearted as both teams went all out for the 2 league points on offer with the game being played in championship fervour throughout. In fact this encounter could have gone either way as play swung from end to end for the duration of the contest. The men from the Cashen enjoyed plenty of the play and led for the bigger part of the game until 2 late points from Man of the Match Darragh Keane gave his side that much sought after victory.
The opening half saw Ballyduff getting off to the better start and inside 5mts had 3pts on the scoreboard without reply courtesy of Barry O Grady who was to give the Asdee defence a torrid time when in possession and was to finish the game as his sides top scorer with 6pts; (3f). Noel Long opened Asdees account in the 9th minute when he shot over with a goal at his mercy and was followed a minute later with a close in free from Mike Breen.
Another great goaling opportunity went a begging for the home side as Ballyduff were taking advantage of some sloppy defending as both Pat Joe Connolly and Barry O Grady split the uprights to put their side 5pts to 2 ahead by the 19th minute. At this stage there was a royal battle at midfield between Darragh Keane and John Doran against the Ballyduff pairing of Rodger and Sean Costello with honours maybe slightly on the home teams favour.
The remainder of the half say Asdee click into gear and points from Darragh Keane, (2) and Mike Breen and another Barry O Grady effort saw the sides go in at the break 6pts to 5pts in Ballyduffs favour. On resumption Asdee now playing with the aid of a slight wind looked to have all the advantages and when Charles Dalton levelled matters inside the first minute it to tie up the game for the first time it certainly looked as if Asdee may well pull away.
However this did not happen because Ballyduff showed their true qualities and with a mixture of poor play and 10 second half wides by the home side when it looked as if the game may well end in a draw or worse for Asdee a loss. However on saying all that Ballyduff had their share of missed scoring opportunities as well and with a tight defence they were always able to make life difficult for their opponents.
Scores were at a premium in this half; Charles Dalton and Barry O Grady exchanged points by the 21st minute and in the 26th minute the teams couldn’t be seperated with a 45 from Darragh Keane and a beautiful overhead kick from Eddie Joy; 8pts a piece. 2 minutes later the home side went into a 1pt lead through Darragh Keane but still Ballyduff came forward and only for some strong defending by the home side keeping their opponents in check.
Then on the stroke of the final whistle it was that man again Darragh Keane who was simply magnificent and again coming to the rescue as he did in the recent Munster Final success splitting the posts to seal victory.
Both teams sides had some excellent performers; for Asdee Darragh Keane was head and shoulders over everybody, Noel Long, Con Carmody. John Doran, Micheal Walsh and Charles Dalton. For Ballyduff Padraig O Grady, Pat Joe Connolly, John Paul Leahy, Barry O Grady and the Costellos at midfield.
Teams and scorers; AsdeeConor Coughlan, Brian Coughlan, Martin Collins, Con Carmody, Noel Long, 1pt, Sean Keane, Kieran Kelly, John Doran, Darragh Keane, 6pts, (45), Micheal Tydings, Darren Russell, Michael Walsh, Mike Breen, (2f), Charles Dalton, 2pts, Eoin Tydings. Ballyduff, John Hussey, John Regan, Anthony O Carroll, Cathal Kearney, Cathal White, Padraig O Grady, John Paul Leahy, Sean Costello, Rodger Costello, Pat Joe Connolly, 1pt, Padraig Harrington, Eddie Joy, 1pt, Barry O Grady, 6pts, (3f), Sean Brown, Eric McHale. Referee, Seamus Mulvihill, St. Senans.