Listry take deserved win over gallant Castlegregory in Kerry Premier JFC


LISTRY 2-15:


The scoreline rightly suggests Listry were deserved winners of their championship opener against Castlegregory on Saturday evening in Blennerville, but this was both more competitive and more watchable than the seven-point margin might lead you to think.

When they look back on it, both sides may identify the first 20 minutes as key. During that open and enjoyable first third, Castlegregory got more shots away, but they registered seven wides and scored just 0-4. Listry, meanwhile, only put one shot off target – a rasping Ruairí Murphy strike on goal – and worked their way into a five-point lead, the most notable score arriving on 18 minutes when Joe Clifford gained compensation for the earlier missed goal chance by palming a Gary O’Sullivan pass to the net.

At 0-4 to 1-6 down after 20 minutes in which they looked a decent match for Listry, it was hard to see how Castlegregory could lift themselves for the remainder, and it became harder still between there and half-time. Goalkeeper David Carroll pushed Listry further in front with a sweetly struck ’45’, and Michael Keane immediately followed with his first point of the game to stretch the gap to eight. Castlegregory outscored Listry by 0-3 to 0-2 between there and the short whistle, but at 1-10 to 0-7, Listry had earned what looked like a decisive advantage.

Be that as it may, the underdogs gained plenty of credit for putting in a spirited third quarter and making a contest of things. Maurice O’Connell got the second half’s first score for Castlegregory, a beautiful strike after cutting in from the wing, and O’Connell created an opportunity three minutes later, passing off to oncoming Cian O’Grady, who broke through Listry’s cover and knocked over his fourth point.

On 48 minutes, Castlegregory had reduced their arrears to three points at 0-11 1-11, and where the West Kerry team had been wasteful in the opening half, Listry were now the ones finding it harder to score as the once eye-watering gap in the wide-count narrowed quickly.

But the East Kerry outfit, who looked the physically stronger and more streetwise side on the night, were awake to pounce when Castlegregory lost possession deep in their own half 12 minutes from time. Listry worked the turned-over ball between their forwards and through Castlegregory’s defense, with Ruairí Murphy finishing the move to the net for a 2-11 to 0-11 lead.

Although the match could have fizzled out from there, the contest instead continued with its fairly open and fast-paced rhythm right to the conclusion, with both sides combining for seven points in the final quarter. Three of those went Castlegregory’s way – including a quick brace by Timmy Moriarty, which gave his side a modicum of hope for the closing act – but Listry were, again, marginally the better team over that home stretch, kicking four points, including another two from Ruairí Murphy, and Aaron O’Shea’s fourth single of the match.

LISTRY: David Carroll (0-1, 1 ’45’), Séamus Giles, Paudie Lehane, Caolan Ryan, Darragh Lehane, Anthony Kennedy, Jack Walsh (0-2), Billy O’Brien, Ruairí Murphy (1-3, 1m) , Gary O’Sullivan, Aaron O’Shea (0-4), Joe Clifford (1-1), Seán Lehane (0-3, 1f), Jimmy O’Leary, Michael Keane (0-1). Subs: Daire Murphy for G O’Sullivan, 50; Pa Delee for J Clifford, 53; Cain Bradley for J Walsh, 53; Danny Wrenn for M Keane, 56; Damian Clifford for S Lehane, 60+2.

CASTLEGREGORY. Shane Kenny, Eoin Lyne, Seamus Lyne, David Sheehan, Michael Scanlon, Alan Fitzgerald (0-1), Timmy Moriarty (0-2), Conor Greaney, Thomas O’Donnell, Cian O’Grady (0-4, 1m) , Anton Kelliher (0-2, 2f), Jimmy Grady (0-1), Patrick O’Donoghue, Brandon Hoare (0-1), Maurice O’Connell (0-2). Subs: Conor O’Leary (0-1) for P O’Donoghue, 2; William Goodwin for C O’Leary, HT; Jason Griffin for C Greaney, 53; Maurice Slattery for J Grady, 53; Jack Shannon for M O’Connell, 60.

REFEREE: Denis Kennelly (Moyvane)

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