Damien O’Connor was tremendous in the middle with Mike Nester also dropping into a defensive role for long periods.
John Curran cancelled out Paul McComiskey brilliantly and despite taking a heavy knock early recovered. Mike Jim Fitzgerald and Paddy Kelly were outstanding in their own ways. Kelly got hit harder than anyone in the early going and was getting stronger as the game went on; he was also the receiver of a knock early on.
Gary O’Driscoll had the most effective game despite not scoring. He burned his marker continually and was fouled for the free on four occasions.
Leitrim will head back to the drawing board. Pa Ryan was a close second in the man of the match accolades. His saves were pivotal in keeping the game as a contest.
Mike Creegan battled to the end. Kevin Meaney started brightly while Quigley had a number of breathtaking catches in the middle.
Other than Gavin McPartland, however, the forward line never got going, and after Rory Woods went to the line their best chances were gone.
Kerry: Jer O’Sullivan, 2 Kieran Scannell, 3 Kieran O’Connor, 4 James Huvane, 5 Sean Kelly, 6 Damien O’Connor, 7 John Curran, 8 Mike Fitzgerald (0-2), 9 Paddy Kelly, 10 Niall Farrell, 11 Gary O’Driscoll, 12 Keith Quinn (0-4), 13 Mike Nester, 14 Robbie Moran (0-1), 15 Paul O’Donoghue (0-7). Subs: Ronan McLoughlin, Daryl O’Brien.
Leitrim: 1 Pa Ryan, 2 Mike Creegan, 3 Ciaran Hughes (0-2), 4 Lonan Maguire, 5 Gareth Bradshaw, 6 Declan McKenna, 7 Cian Maher (0-1), 8 Kevin Meaney, 9 Brendan Quigley, 10 Pat Glynn, 11 Eoghan Carew, 12 Paul McComiskey, 13 Gavin McPartland (1-3), 14 Rory Woods (0-1), 15 Kenny O’Connor. Subs: Adrian O’Connor, Aiden Power, Peter Fahy.
Man of the match: Paul O’Donoghue (Kerry).
Referee: John Fitzpatrick.
Saints at the Pearly Gate
St. Barnabas 1-14 St. Raymond’s 1-13
St. Barnabas used a last second goal with the buzzer about to sound to complete the double in the junior division over a determined St. Raymond side in the junior league final.
Trailing for most of the match, they proved that the game is most certainly not over until the final whistle as Conor Hogan got the final touch to divert a long drive to the net and secure the one point victory.
Ray’s had held a 0-9 to 0-6 lead at the break, with Barry Torshey firing over seven of the points from frees and play while Mike Travers was the main scorer at the other end as he scored five.
The winners had held a two point advantage at the 20 minute mark, but four points for Ray’s before the break gave the side the lead.
Both sides had points to open the second half, but the Barnabas pressure was already now becoming a problem for the overworked Ray’s defense.
Sean Carbin and Hogan with a fisted effort brought the winners closer but against the run of play, Torshey had a goal for Ray’s as he punished a defensive mistake with a perfect soccer style effort that would have Robbie Keane flipping.
He followed with a point from a free, but then Barnabas finally started to hit the mark. They had five of the next six points to get within two with time ticking down.
Shane Hogan had two from frees while Brian Dennehy had his second of the contest.
They had time for one final attack. A long ball delivered to the square resulted in Conor Hogan getting the final touch and the ball was in the net.
They now move on into the intermediate ranks on the crest of a victory wave.
St. Barnabas: 1 Dion Narney, 2 Shane Dennehy, 3 Brian McGovern, 4 Mike McBrien, 5 Tom McGovern, 6 Conor Hogan (1-1), 7 P. McDermott, 8 Brian Whitney, 9 Shane Hogan (0-3), 10 Adrian Wynne, 11 Mike Travers (0-6), 12 Liam Deane (0-1), 14 Rory Redican (0-1), 15 Adrian Clarke. Subs: Sean Carbin (0-1), John Clarke, Tom Vaughan.
St. Raymond’s: 1 Ryan Sullivan, 2 Thomas Huvane, 3 Eoghan Moore, 4 Tom Enright, 5 Ollie Collins, 6 James Huvane, 7 Mike Murphy, 8 Kieran Slattery, 9 Denis Kilkenny, 10 Dan Murphy, 11 Barry Torshey (1-9), 12 Kevin Daly, 13 Donie Broderick (0-1), 14 Gary Dowd (0-1), 15 Shane O’Neill (0-1). Subs: Steven Gomez (0-1) Paudie Kyne.
Man of the match: Conor Hogan (St. Barnabas).
Referee: Dermot O’Donnell.