O'Mahony on one leg inspires Rathmore to Club Final win
By Murt Murphy for kerrygaa.ie
Laune Rangers 0-10
Kerry star Aidan O'Mahony played through the pain barrier, to inspire Rathmore to a historic first Kerry Senior Club title, when they came from being two points adrift entering the final quarter, to score four unanswered points to deny Mike Frank Russell and Laune Rangers, in this keenly contest final, played in wretched conditions at the Fitzgerald Stadium.
O'Mahony, who started at midfield, picked up a leg injury in a clash with Kerry and UCC defender Peter Crowley inside the opening ten minutes, and though hobbling on one leg, as the other was heavily bandaged, O'Mahony refused to go off and he was moved to the edge of the square. Within minutes he had kicked over a point with his good leg and another on the stroke of half time that gave Rathmore a 0-7 to 0-5 lead.
Then, when Rangers fought back in the third quarters, to lead by two 0-10 to 0-8 thanks to two points each from Mike Frank Russell and Seamie Foley, and a superb Pa Sheehan effort, O'Mahony dug even deeper to win vital ball as Rathmore responded with two unanswered points, from Mark Reen and Cormac O'Sullivan to level the contest by the 52nd minute.
Rathmore had the momentum, and O'Mahony was eventually persuaded to give in and was replaced by Paul Reen, but his heroics were central to Rathmore's win and team boss Denis Moynihan was quick to acknowledge the bravery of O'Mahony and the contribution of his Kerry team mate Tom O'Sullivan "We should have taken him off earlier. But he didn't want to come. We moved him into full-forward and he scored two points.
However it was a thought in our head before we ever played that we might put him in there. Certainly we were forced to move him there.
He spoke about that at half-time that even on one leg he would give it everything. That will tell you what it means to Aidan, and to Tom. They have been huge the last few weeks with us; they have really taken up the mantle. After losing to Dublin, it was good for them and we would not be celebrating now only for them. We really, really wanted it. The boys showed great character."
The importance of Rathmore's win will not be known until after next Sunday's SFC Final between Mid Kerry and Crokes because If Mid Kerry win, then it will be Rathmore that will; represent Kerry in the Munster Club. How does that go down in Rathmore?
"It would be incredible for Rathmore to be involved in the Munster series. We wish Dr Crokes the best of luck but we just might be shouting slightly for Mid Kerry." Quipped a delighted Moynihan.
The game was there for the taking in the final eight minutes, but Rathmore thanks to points from Mark Reen and Michael O'Riordan, hit the front and despite instance late pressure from Rangers, Tom O'Sullivan and Rathmore held on for their first senior Club title in 12 years.
M O'Riordan 0-4 (0-3 frees), M Reen 0-3, A O'Mahony and J Moynihan 0-2 each, C O'Sullivan 0-1 each
M F Russell 0-5 (0-3 frees, 0-1'45), S Foley 0-3, P Sheehan and S McSweeney 0-1 each
P McCarthy, C Kelly, T O'Sullivan, J O'Sullivan, P Murphy, K Cahill, C O'Sullivan, A O'Mahony, J Buckley, E Lawlor, M Reen, G O'Keeffe, M O'Riordan, Donal O'Sullivan, J Moynihan
Subs: Paul Reen for A O'Mahony (52 inj), S Lehane for D O'Sullivan (54)
T Lyons, K Crowley, J Carey, C Johnson, P Sheehan, J Sheehan, P Crowley, S McSweeney, T McGillycuddy, M Foley, K Doona, S O'Connor, M F Russell, S Foley, G O'Mahony
Subs: P Joy for S O'Connor (h/t), R Keane for G O'Mahony (52),
Referee: Denis Sayers (Austin Stacks)