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Austin Stacks are Munster Senior Club Champions 2014 2014-11-30 22:13:00

Austin Stacks are Munster Champions

Austin Stacks rode out the strong challenge of The Nire from Waterford to be crowned Munster Champions for the first time since their inaugural victory in 1976 in what is likely to be the last Munster Final to be played at the soon to be demolished Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday last. They did so the hard way having been reduced to 14 men at the end of the first quarter, but thereafter, they took their scores and whatever slice of luck that came their way to run out deserving winners (3-5 to 2-4). They will now face Ulster champions Slaughtneil from Derry in the February 14th semi final but in the meantime they will take a well earned rest.


Fourteen man Austin Stacks won an incident packed Munster club football final at a sunny Pairc Ui Chaoimh as the Kerry champions ended a 38-year wait for provincial silver. Green flags from Shane O’Callaghan, David Mannix and Pa McCarthy proved significant in a five goal thriller.

Stephen Stack’s side trailed by four points when Shane Carroll was dismissed by referee Conor Lane on 14 minutes but they rebounded in a composed manner. Their retention of possession was impressive throughout and flame haired full forward Shane O’Callaghan proved a thorn in the side for The Nire all afternoon, the Man of the Match finishing with 1-1 from play. Kieran Donaghy and Greg Horan got a grip around the middle particularly in the second period while corner back Fearghal McNamara limited Conor Gleeson to one point from play.

The Nire, looking to become the first Waterford side to collect the Munster title, will regret 12 wides and two gift wrapped concessions at the opposite end. The second of those mistakes allowed Pa McCarthy drill home a decisive penalty on 42 minutes.
The Déise winners bolted from the traps and led by 1-3 to 0-0 within eight minutes. Captain Shane Ryan lofted a stunning shot to the top corner of the net on three minutes as Michael O’Gorman, Brian Wall (free) and Conor Gleeson added singles. Against the grain, Shane O’Callaghan worked his way in for a goal in the ninth minute.

Shane Ryan answered with a free but The Nire failed to register for the remainder of the half. Stacks’ number eleven Shane Carroll received his marching orders on 14 minutes after a second yellow for a late challenge on Jamie Barron. This setback prompted them into action and The Nire never regained the composure they showed during the early stages and Stacks weaved their pattern patiently.
After 19 minutes, disaster struck for The Nire when a short kickout fell straight into the hands of O’Callaghan and he supplied David Mannix for a straightforward finish (1-4 to 2-0). Mannix levelled the tie before the break from a free as the momentum swung towards Austin Stacks.

A fantastic Shane O’Callaghan point off his left boot sent them into the lead for the first time 24 seconds after the restart as Donaghy fetched the throw in. Mikey Collins then claimed his first point as Stacks assumed control of the contest (2-3 to 1-4).
There was another twist nine minutes into the second half when Shane Walsh robbed Donaghy of possession in the centre of the park. The Kerry All Star appealed for a free but Lane waved away his claims and The Nire went on the offensive. Seamus Lawlor found Michael Moore and he placed the ball past Darragh O’Brien (2-4 to 2-3). It was to prove their last score of the afternoon and another huge turning point was just around the corner.

The Nire spilled the ball in front of goal and that forced Tom Wall into giving away a cheap penalty. Wing back Pa McCarthy stepped up to the mark and smashed the spot kick straight down the centre of the goal. Another Mannix free gave them three points to spare entering the last quarter.

Benji Whelan’s charges continued to spurn easy chances in front of the posts as Stacks laid back on their advantage. Too many turnovers also proved the undoing of The Nire. Stacks held their nerve and worked the insurance score. Fiachna Mangan tagged on a late point much to the delight of the noisy band of Austin Stacks supporters in the stand. Captain Barry Shanahan raised the Munster cup to keep the All Ireland dream alive into the New Year.
Scorers for Austin Stacks:
D Mannix 1-2 (2f), S O’Callaghan 1-1, P McCarthy 1-0 (1-0 pen), M Collins, F Mangan 0-1 each.

Scorers for The Nire: S Ryan 1-1 (1f), M Moore 1-0, C Gleeson, Michael O’Gorman, B Wall (f) 0-1 each.

D O’Brien; D McElligott, B Shanahan, F McNamara; P McCarthy, C Jordan, C O’Connell; W Guthrie, K Donaghy; M Collins, G Horan, D Bohan; D Mannix, S Carroll, S O’Callaghan. Subs: J Dennis for O’Connell (H-T), F Mangan for Collins (44), W Kirby for Guthrie (48), D Long for Mannix (56), M O’Donnell for Bohan (61).

THE NIRE: T Wall; J Walsh, T O’Gorman, Maurice O’Gorman; S Lawlor, B Wall, D Wall; C Guiry, S Walsh; Michael O’Gorman, M Moore, J Barron; S Ryan, L Lawlor, C Gleeson. Subs: K Guiry for J Walsh (40), T Cooney for Ryan (50), D Ryan for Guiry (59).

Referee: C Lane (Cork).
Report: Tomás McCarthy for GAA.ie