We were away for this game against a Regional side full of quality. While the game was a close affair it has to be said that we did not play to our true potential and at this level of competition it was always going to be a difficult fixture. We were unfortunate that our two Internationals players Jessie and Shane were unavailable due to international training camps this weekend.
On a good pitch and in near perfect conditions the first half was closer to a game of chess that a football game. It was a nervous affair with both sides cancelling each other out and while they did have a cutting edge up front we were reasonably comfortable for the majority of the first half. In the middle of the first half some tentative tackling allowed Regional a shot at goals and with Jack beaten it was left to Sean Dukes to engineer a Richard Dunne like clearance off the line. Disaster struck a minute into injury time when we were dispossessed in midfield and a through ball to their winger allowed him in for a good strike to put Regional a goal up before the break. It was also unfortunate that the winger was clearly offside when the ball was played to him but these things happen at times.
We were again slow to start the second half and from our goal kick an uncontested header from Regional found us on the back foot and after a scramble in our box the ball ended up in the net for a scrappy goal. Two down we went for two strikers up front with Calvin and tried to take the game to Regional. A huge effort was required and to be fair to the lads they gave their all and from a James Duggan free the magnificent Colin Griffin got the final touch for a goal to bring us back into the game with 15 mins left.
A series of corners and constant pressure as Karl and Ferdia replaced Fergal and Paddy and the fresh legs allowed us to dominate the final 15 minutes but some stout defending and a little luck in the goal mouth scrambles allowed Regional to hang on for the win.
The lads gave their all for the cause and if we can learn some lessons from this game we are sure to be contesting for honours in Kerry this season.
Team and Squad: J Carmody S Dukes C Griffin S Kelleher D Mulvihille F O Donaghue P Griffin R Dolan P Collins J Clifford J Duggan C Foley F O Brien K Mullins S Fitzmaurice G Nolan B Barrett