Junior Football: O'Sullivan leads Templenoe to glory
AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Junior Club Championship Final: Templenoe (Kerry) 4-13 Ardnaree-Sarsfields (Mayo) 1-10
Stephen O’Sullivan had a day he will never forget as Templenoe became the seventh Kerry team to scale the heights in an open AIB All-Ireland junior club football final at Croke Park.
O’Sullivan tormented the Arndaree-Sarsfields defence and was the difference between the sides, scoring three wonderful goals in the nine-point victory.
The game turned in a 15-minute spell either side of half time, as O’Sullivan struck for two of his goals to open up a gap that Ardnaree couldn’t reel in, despite Ronan O’Malley’s goal within seconds of his introduction.
The Munster men began well and with the Spillane brothers, Killian and Adrian, amongst the points, were 0-8 to 0-4 ahead entering the second quarter.
Ardnaree took some time to settle and in this period, the accuracy of captain Eoin McCormack from placed balls was vital.
O’Sullivan had his first attempt at goal brilliantly saved by Blaine Ginty but made no mistake in the 17th minute, giving the Ardnaree custodian no chance.
O’Malley was introduced soon after and with his first touch, stabbed to the Templenoe net from close range, after Anthony Sheehan had saved Stephen Tighe’s shot.
Soon, the margin was down to two but crucially, that was six at half time, 2-10 to 1-7 as Brian Crowley was on hand at the end of a splendid team move to goal.
Points were exchanged inside the opening minute of the second half but when O’Sullivan cut in from the left in the 32nd minute for his second goal, there was no way back for Ardnaree.
O’Sullivan completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute, when breaking down a long ball to Mike Hallissey. The centre-forward returned the ball to his team-mate, who turned sharply inside his marker and slid a low shot to the far corner.
That sparked animated celebrations, as by then, the verdict was assured.
SCORERS FOR TEMPLENOE: S O’Sullivan 3-1; B Crowley 1-3; K Spillane 0-4(3fs); A Spillane 0-2; D Cahalane, P Spillane, T Doyle (45) 0-1 each
ARDNAREE-SARSFIELDS: E McCormack 0-6(5fs, 1 45); R O’Malley 1-0; M Rafter 0-2; R Clarke, C Walsh 0-1 each
TEMPLENOE: A Sheehan, K O’Neill, T Morley, M Hallissey, P Clifford, J Spillane, G Crowley, S Sheehan, A Spillane, B Crowley, C Hallissey, D Cahalane, K Spillane, T Doyle, S O’Sullivan. Subs: P Spillane for Cahalane (52), J Rice for M Hallissey (54), S Cremin for Clifford for (57), J Holland for O’Sullivan (59), J Moriarty for O’Neill
ARDNAREE-SARSFIELDS: B Ginty, Conor Naylor, Colm Naylor, C Cawley, M McCormack, P Lacken, S Timlen, S Tighe, M Rafter, N Beattie, R Clarke, C Noone, R Doherth, C Walsh, E McCormack. Subs: R O’Malley for Noone (20), I Clarke for Cawley (ht), J Timlin for Walsh (34), B Fitzpatrick for Colm Naylor (39), J Egan for R Clarke (48), K McCarron for Beattie (48)
REFEREE: N Cullen (Fermanagh)