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Resilient Rathmore’s late rally against Legion ensured they made history

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RATHMORE staged a late comeback last Sunday to defeat Legion in the O’Donoghue Cup final and in the process become only the second club ever to win four East Kerry Championships in a row, Rathmore 0-11, Legion 0-10.

Trailing by three with ten minutes to play, Rathmore showed great heart to rally and score the last four points of the game as Legion, who had dominated the early exchanges, faded quite dramatically in the final quarter.

Rathmore are used to winning these kinds of games and that was probably the deciding factor in what was a fiercely-contested encounter.

Much of the talk in the build up to this game had been centred on Dr Crokes’ decision to pull out of their semi-final date with Legion, which in turn sent Alan O’Neill’s team through to the decider without kicking a single ball.

The Derreen side hadn’t played a competitive game since the start of September so there were real concerns about their match sharpness heading into this one but those fears seemed to be misguided when they raced into a commanding first-half lead.

Shane Ryan cancelled out Jamie O’Sullivan’s opener in the 8th minute but then Legion’s talisman James O’Donoghue took the game by the scruff of the neck as he kicked three points in as many minutes to make it 4-1. Brian Kelly kept Legion ahead with a smart save from Eoin Lawlor before O’Donoghue tapped over a free at the other end to extend Legion’s lead to four.

Shane Ryan somehow powered his way through a series of tackles and swung over an excellent score in the 22nd minute to make it 5-2 and Eoin Lawlor pulled another one back moments later when he cleverly played a one-two from a free out on the right and popped over his first score of the game.

O’Donoghue continued to terrorise the Rathmore defence and, with five minutes to play in the half, he turned and kicked a beauty from the left-hand side. Two more scores from Shane Ryan made it a one-point game as the period drew to a close but the former Player of the Year had the last say in stoppage time as he took his tally to six with another expertly taken point.

Although Rathmore were improving steadily, Legion led 7-5 at the break.

Rathmore started the second half strongly. Ryan reduced the deficit with another free and in the 39th minute, Eoin Lawlor equalised with a huge score from distance.

Legion needed to steady the ship and they did just that as frees from O’Sullivan and O’Donoghue re-established their supremacy heading into the final fifteen minutes. When O’Donoghue burst forward in the 47th minute and kicked his eighth point of the day, Legion, who were hoping to win their first O’Donoghue Cup since 1976, led by three.

Rathmore still trailed by a goal with just ten minutes remaining and their quest for a historic four in a row was in real jeopardy. It was certainly a time to stand up and be counted and Derek Moynihan’s players duly obliged as a remarkable two-minute spell completely turned the tie on its head.

In the 51st minute, Shane Ryan made it 10-8 with another well-taken free and it was 10-9 just seconds later when substitute Mark Reen chipped in with a crucial score. The comeback was complete a minute after that when youngster Mark Ryan came forward from midfield and kicked an inspirational leveller.

Now Legion were on the ropes and although they had enough of the ball, they just couldn’t create the right kind of opening in the closing stages. Rathmore could have won it with a goal in the 55th minute but Kerry minor Brian Friel sliced his shot wide.

With both teams running out of ideas, the game appeared to be creeping towards extra time but Rathmore midfielder Donal O’Sullivan had other ideas. O’Sullivan gathered possession around 45 yards from goal, slipped by an opponent and nailed a monumental point to give his side the lead for the first time in the game.

Jamie O’Sullivan had one final opportunity for Legion but he missed his long-range free and Rathmore were champions once again.

In the end, a Man of the Match display from James O’Donoghue wasn’t enough for the Legion as they fell to another crushing final defeat. One positive was the performance of Sem captain Cian Gammell who was exceptional in his first big championship game at senior level.

For Rathmore, Shane Ryan and Eoin Lawlor were a real handful all day but overall it was a tremendous team effort, particularly down the stretch when their backs were against the wall. O’Donoghue Cups don’t come easy so to win four on the bounce is a truly incredible achievement.

Rathmore scorers: Shane Ryan (0-6, 4f), Eoin Lawlor (0-2), Mark Reen (0-1), Mark Ryan (0-1) and Donal O’Sullivan (0-1).

Legion scorers: James O’Donoghue (0-8, 3f) and Jamie O’Sullivan (0-2, 1f).

Rathmore team: P McCarthy; C Murphy, A O’Mahony, MJ Kelliher; C O’Connor, C O’Sullivan, B O’Keeffe (c); Donal O’Sullivan, M Ryan; G O’Keeffe, B Friel, Daniel O’Sullivan; S Ryan, E Lawlor, J Moynihan.

Subs: M Reen for J Moynihan, C Kelly for C O’Connor and D Fitzgerald for E Lawlor.

Legion team: B Kelly; C Davies, D Sheahan (c), D O’Doherty; C Gammell, D O’Sullivan, J Lyne; B McGuire, S Keane; D Lyne, J O’Donoghue, F Murphy; J O’Sullivan, P Lucey, C Keane.

Subs: J O’Neill for D Lyne, R Leen for D O’Doherty, P McCarthy for P Lucey and S McCarthy for B McGuire.

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No spare change – no problem, as charity embraces new technology

By Sean Moriarty With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier. For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier.

For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank card to make a donation.

The Society’s annual churchgate collection will be held on the weekend of December 11/12 at places of worship in the town and surrounding areas. This year’s collection has be renamed as ‘Giving Sunday’ and makes a return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s fundraiser.

“We are moving towards a cashless society,” explained Killarney Conference President Breda O’Dwyer. “You can tap and swipe your card to make a donation.”

Breda added that they are hoping to have the buckets ready by next week in time for the collection.

She said the local conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society has seen a marked increase in the number of families it is helping mainly caused by the increase in the cost of fuel and home heating products.

The annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas Jumper Day, in association with Radio Kerry is scheduled for December 10.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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