All-Ireland Junior Football Championship Semi-Final – Kerry 4-17 Lancashire 3-10

Kerry defeated Lancashire by 4-17 to 3-10 in the All-Ireland Junior Football Championship Semi-Final on Saturday July 23rd at Old Bedians Sports Ground, Manchester.

Second-half goal rush fires Kingdom into junior decider

Kerry 4-17 Lancashire 3-10

Kerry turned on the gas in the second half to ruthlessly crush the best efforts of the Red Roses of Lancashire and set up a final against Mayo on August 6.

The opening half was nip and tuck and, if anything, Lancashire were playing the more composed football as they took the fight to their more renowned visitors.

Michael Higgins pointed for the home team before Kerry took a 0-3 to 0-1 lead as Sean Mici O Conchuir and Kieran Hurley pointed. Kerry native Darren Russell then collected a rebound off the upright to goal for Lancashire. Kerry replied through Niall O’Shea and David Foran to leave the sides tied at the interval, Lancashire 1-6 to Kerry’s 0-9.

Kerry resumed a rejuvenated side after the break, helped by three substitutions, and they put Lancashire to the sword. The Kingdom scored 1-3 without reply, with the goal coming from Kevin O’Sullivan when he easily palmed into an empty net.
Gerry McCaughey replied with a major for the hosts; however Kerry rattled off the next six scores, three of them goals from Kieran Hurley, Robert Wharton and O’Shea.

Young players like Wharton, Andrew Barry, Patrick Clifford, Fionan Clifford, Cathal O Luing, Adrian Spillane and Jason Foley look likely to graduate to Kerry’s senior ranks in the near future. A late consolation goal by McCaughey was just reward for a valiant Lancashire effort.

Scorers – Kerry: K Hurley 1-4, S M O Conchuir 0-6 (2fs), N O Shea 1-2, R Wharton and K O’Sullivan 1-0 each, F Clifford 0-2, J C O’Connor, D Foran and D Roche 0-1 each. Lancashire: G McCaughley 2-0, D Russell 1-1, S Sands 0-3, C Harper 0-2 (1f), M Higgins, C Conway, P McGuirk, and D Meaney 0-1 each.

KERRY – D O’Shea; F Clifford, J Foley, C Ó Lúing; L Bastible, A Barry, R Wharton; A Spillane, M O’Donnell; B Ó Seanacháin, K O’Sullivan, D Foran; S Michéal Ó Conchúir, K Hurley, N O’Shea
Subs: J C O’Connor for M O’Donnell (h-t), P Clifford for L Bastible (h-t), L O’Donoghue for D Foran (h-t), P O’Donoghue for K O’Sullivan (50), D Roche for A Spillane (53), Dara O’Shea for R Wharton (55).

LANCASHIRE – M Donnelly; C Owens, D McTaggart, M Collins; M Higgins, P McGuirk, G Morris; S Sands, N Donnelly; M Comney, G McCaughley, C Mullen; D Russell; C Conway, C Harper
Subs: D O’Malley for G Morris (42), R Devlin for M Collins (43), D O’Neill for C Mullen (43), J O’Hagan for N Donnelly (48), P Murphy (Brendans) for C Conway (55), P Murphy (Mitchels) for D Russell (55).

Ref – N McKenna (Monaghan)

Team News

The Kerry Junior team to play Lancashire in the All Ireland Junior Football Semi Final in Manchester on Saturday (2pm) shows 3 changes in personnel from the side that defeated Cork in the Munster final.

Fionán Clifford comes into the full back line in place of the injured Darren Brosnan; Robert Wharton starts in the half back line instead of Patrick Clifford and Kevin O’Sullivan starts at centre forward in place of team captain Paul O’Donoghue who is carrying an injury. Sean T Dillon, John C. O’Connor and Dara Roche join the substitutes list.

The team lines out as follows:

1 Darragh O’Shea Ballydonoghue
2 Fionán Clifford Waterville
3 Jason Foley Ballydonoghue
4 Cathal Ó Lúing An Ghaeltacht
5 Laurence Bastible John Mitchels
6 Andrew Barry Na Gaeil
7 Robert Wharton Renard
8 Adrian Spillane Templenoe
9 Michael O’Donnell Austin Stacks
10 Brian Ó Seanacháin Ballydonoghue
11 Kevin O’Sullivan Kenmare
12 David Foran St Senans
13 Sean Michéal Ó Conchúir An Ghaeltacht
14 Kieran Hurley St Pats
15 Niall O’Shea Dromid Pearses
Fir Ionaid:
16 Kieran Fitzgibbon Kenmare
17 Dara O’Shea Kenmare
18 Patrick Clifford Templenoe
19 Sean T Dillon St Senans
20 John C. O’Connor Kerins O’Rahillys
21 Lee O’Donoghue Glenflesk
22 Paul O’Donoghue (C) St Marys
23 Dara Roche Glenflesk
24 Adam Barry Brosna

Bainisteóir: Stephen Wallace (Ardfert)
Róghnóirí: Timmy O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahillys), Jimmy Keane (Brosna), Brian Hickey (Skellig Rangers).

Additional Players on the Kerry Junior Panel
Daniel Daly (St Marys), Conor O’Shea (St Marys) and Shane Fitzmaurice (Brosna). Darren Brosnan (Gneeveguilla), Stephen O’Sullivan (Templenoe) and Ciarán Keating (Skellig Rangers) were not considered due to injury.

All you want to know about Lancashire
Britain, just like Ireland, is divided into playing counties and within these counties are clubs. In Lancashire, there are 11 clubs. Manchester has 7 clubs: St.Lawrences, St.Brendans, Oisins, St.Peters, St.Annes, St.Marys and Fullen Gaels. In Liverpool there are two clubs: Wolfe Tones and John Mitchels; whilst Ellan Vannin Gaels are from the Isle of Mann and St.Patricks operate out of Chester.

Wolfe Tones are a dual club, whilst Fullen Gaels are a hurling only club. They are joined by Emerald Gaels in Leeds to complete a three team Lancashire Hurling League.

Ladies football is well represented in Lancashire where St.Lawrences, Oisins, John Mitchels and Wolfe Tones compete; they are joined by St.Christophers in Leeds. There are both Senior and Junior leagues to cater for all in both men’s and ladies football.

Lancashire men’s football can claim to be the strongest footballing county outside of London. They last won the All-Britain Inter-County Championship, the ‘Sam Maguire’, apart from this year; in 2013. This was the fourth consecutive year in which they won the competition. On the club front the competition is fierce. Typically, the club which captures the Lancashire Senior Championship go in as favourites for the All-Britain club championships. John Mitchels have won this competition for the last three years, having to compete with the winners of all the other counties. There are 8 competing counties in Britain .St.Peters won it only 6 years ago.

John Mitchels have competed in the All-Ireland Junior Final on two occasions, where they were defeated on both occasions by Kerry clubs. First up, was in 2009 when Skellig Rangers beat them by a single point. Secondly, Brosna stopped them only last year when they were defeated by only a point again. The Liverpool men were once again halted in their pursuit of the All-Ireland glory last year by another Kerry outfit, the impressive Templenoe.

In hurling, Lancashire have entered the Lory Meagher Cup this year for the second time and are competing well.

Kerry or Lancashire?
Darren Russell hails from Kerry and now plays for John Mitchels and Lancashire. He is a small and nippy corner forward and his fantastic ball skills and quickness of thought are a huge asset for Lancashire. He has settled well in Liverpool since he arrived this year and is vital not only vital for his club, John Mitchels; but also for the county.
Name: Darren Russell
DOB: 25/02/1998
Club in Kerry: Asdee
School: Tarbert Comprehensive
Honours: County and Munster Junior B Champions 2014
Difference between football home and abroad: The main difference is probably tactically as here you have many teams playing a short hand passing game where as at home most teams tend to play more direct. There’s definitely a difference in the physicality over here as well.

Kerry Juniors in action in Manchester

The Old Bedians Grounds in Manchester is the venue as Kerry Juniors put their All Ireland title on the line when they take on British champions Lancashire in the semi final that has a 2pm throw in time on Saturday Having won the title last year means that manager Stephen Wallace and his management team had to assemble a whole new team this season and while understandably, they were far from a coherent outfit in their opening game against Limerick, they played well against a seasoned Cork outfit in the Munster final.

Of course it must be conceded that they had a little element of good fortune in that semi final against what was effectively a second string Limerick side and Adrian Spillane’s winner could not have come at a better time given that Limerick had no time to respond. In the provincial decider, we saw the attacking side of the team in the first half while in the second period when their backs were to the wall at times, we saw at first hand the defensive qualities of the side.
Team captain Paul O’Donoghue led by example in those two games but he is rated doubtful for Saturday’s game as is corner back Darren Brosnan, half back Patrick Clifford and Stephen O’Sullivan. John C. O’Connor of Kerins O’Rahillys, who did not play senior championship with his club last year, has been drafted into the panel for Saturday’s game. This is a potential banana skin for Kerry but knowing the management team, they will leave no stone unturned in an effort to reach a third successive final. Referee is Niall McKenna of Monaghan. Beaten finalists from last year, Mayo and beaten semi finalists from last year, Wexford meet in the other semi final, also on Saturday.