Report: Garveys Supervalu SFC - Relegation play-off

garveylogo_web.jpgSt Michaels/Foilmore 2-14 Ardfert 1-9 
By Murt Murphy for kerrygaa.ie
St Michael's/Foilmore secured their Senior Football Championship for 2012, when they proved far too strong for Ardfert in a bruising relegation play-off game, played at Listry on Saturday afternoon.

It was an entertaining and full blooded championship game and never resembled a contest between two teams who were fighting for their very Championship survival; it was a game that would have done justice to a county semi final.
It was end to end stuff, some great scores, two penalties( both missed), high quality flowing moves, two red cards and a plethora of yellow as referee James O'Sullivan struggled to keep control at times.

It was also a game where there was plenty of goalmouth incidents and Ardfert keeper Nicky O'Sullivan would probably get man of the match with three incredibly point blank saves, including a penalty but his heroics were in vain, as a fitter and more focussed looking St Michaels/Foilmore proved far too strong for an Ardfert who just looked as if they had not taken the build up to this game as serious as the South Kerry side.
Ardfert lost the game in the opening seventeen minutes when St Michael's Foilmore's inside line of Eanna O'Connor, Ronan O'Connor and Damien Kelly shredded the Ardfert defence and ended the game scoring 2-10 between them. Sean Fogarty and Sean O'Connor were winning good ball at midfield, while it was St Michael's/Foilmore who were quicker to most of the breaking ball.

Ardfert's because was not helped by the absence of midfielder John Dowling (injured) as Damien Wallace, their best attacker, had to be deployed in the middle of the park.
Ardfert should have goaled after a sweeping move saw Darran Wallace set up John Egan and while he beat the keeper, Adrian O'Connell took the ball off the line.

Another Ardfert wide followed before Eanna O'Connor and Brian O'Sullivan swapped points and then the direct ball to the inside line, saw St Michael's/Foilmore grab the initiative, with superb points from Ronan O'Connor and the very lively Damien Kelly.
Brian O'Sullivan responded with a second point, this time with his left, but Ardfert just could not contain the supply to the Bally/Foilmore inside line, who began to punish their opponents. Kelly popped over another point after a Padraig King assist.
Two Eanna O'Connor wides did not seem to matter as the South Kerry side struck for their first goal in the 13th minute, when a high Sean Fogarty centre saw Padraig King through on goal, only for Nicky O'Sullivan to make a brilliant stop with an outstretched foot, King poked the rebound past him, only for a defender to dig it off the line, but Ronan O'Connor settled the issue when he forced the ball over the line!
Damian Wallace responded with a super point but in the 17th minute Eanna O'Connor matched this with a great catch, before turning and splitting the posts.

St Michaels/ Foilmore led 1-5 to 0-3 but then for the next ten minutes, Ardfert enjoyed their most productive period with Brian O'Sullivan kicking his third point, while in the 19th minute Shane Griffin was at the end of a flowing move, but his goal bound shot shaved the post.
Damian Wallace then reduced the gap to three in the 22nd minute when he converted a free after John Egan was fouled.

Then we had the strange sight of a St Michael's Foilmore mentor being chased off the field by an Ardfert player, who could not catch up, and then the South Kerry side should have got a second goal when Colin Grandfield's final pass to Sean Fogarty was lost over the end line with goal on.
However in the 28th minute, the goal came, Padraig King raced through the middle, drew the marker and placed Damien Kelly, who could not miss and two more points from DJ Moran and Sean Fogarty saw St Michaels/Foilmore lead 2-7 to 0-5 at the interval and Ardfert were just hanging on by a thread.

Shane Griffin gave Ardfert early second half hope but at the other end Fogarty found Kelly inside the cover and his effort for a goal was sensationally deflected over off the post for a point by Nicky O'Sullivan and that gave Ardfert hope as a goal then would have killed the game.
However Ardfert wasted good chances as O'Sullivan was wide and Damien Wallace had a goal bound shot blocked.

However a forty five from Eanna O'Connor was followed by another Fogarty point and at 2-10 to 0-6 with twelve minutes gone it looked game over.
However Ardfert introduced Jonathon Best around midfield and moved Damien Wallace to full-forward and suddenly they looked more dangerous.
Damien Wallace kicked a point, and then in 44th minutes a penalty to Ardfert when Shane Griffin was taken down. Damien Wallace beat the keeper but the ball hit the butt of the post and then after the ball was half clear, Shane Griffin' s cross was helped into his own net by a defender.
Brian Galvin and Damien Wallace swapped points but Eanna O'Connor kicked two points to finish Ardfert off but the last five minutes were not pretty. Firstly John Paul Leen was sent off for a second yellow and then another explosive situation saw Damian Wallace get a straight red and there could well have been a couple of more but thankfully referee James O'Sullivan called halt to proceedings.

So St Michaels/Foilmore stays in the SFC and now looks forward to St Marys in the South Kerry SFC while Ardfert will no doubt regroup in the Intermediate ranks, and maybe Croke Park beckons!!"


Scorers
St Michaels/Foilmore
R O'Connor and D Kelly 1-3 each, E O'Connor 0-4 (0-1 '45), S Fogarty 0-2, D J Moran and B Galvin 0-1 each


Ardfert
Damian Wallace 0-4 (0-2 frees), S Griffin 1-1, B O'Sullivan 0-3, Darran Wallace 0-1

 

Teams:
St Michael's Foilmore
Roger Harty, Brian Smith, Mark Griffin, Adrian O'Connell, Colin Grandfield, Brian Galvin, Ciaran Grandfield, Sean O'Connor, Sean Fogarty, Sean O'Shea, D J Moran, Padraig King, Eanna O'Connor, Ronan O'Connor, Damien Kelly

Subs:
Cormac O'Sullivan for Mark Griffin, David King for Sean O'Shea, Keith McCarthy for Padraig King, Alan Smith for Ciaran Grandfield, Sean O'Shea for Adrian O'Connell ( inj)

Ardfert
Nicholas O'Sullivan, Darren Dineen, Eamon Corridan, Trevor Wallace, Michael Moloney, Rory Horgan, Brian Moloney, Damien Wallace, Mairtin Ferris, Brian O'Sullivan, John Egan, Brian Egan, Shane Griffin, Alan Kelly, Darran Wallace

Subs:
Jonathon Best for Brian Egan, John Paul Leahy for Alan Kelly, David Griffin for Brian O'Sullivan, John Galvin for B Moloney

Referee: James O'Sullivan (Firies)