The decade and a half history of the Munster Junior B Football Championship has been dominated by Kerry teams and, when Scartaglin took to the field in Knockaderry on Sunday, a lineup featuring recent Kingdom senior panellist Pádraig Reidy and current county under-20 stars Eddie and Seán Horan was already heavily favoured to uphold that record. (SCARTAGLIN 2-11 BANOGUE 2-8)
Forty minutes into the game, they'd absorbed the shock of conceding an early goal, were back to full strength with black-carded Sean Tangney returning to the fray and looked to be coasting to victory on as their strength up the middle and their decisiveness up front carved out a nine-point lead.
But that didn't take account of the spirit Banogue brought with them to their day as Limerick's representatives. Refusing to be overawed, they hung in for most of the first-half only to be caught for a second goal just before the brerak and, once their opponents slipped back a gear, they set about eating into the gap. Three successful frees built the momentum, a goal brought them within touching distance, a glorious chance to equalise flashed agonising inches past the target and they were still hammering away when the referee's whistle rescued their opponents who now progress to a decider date with Tipperary's Killenaule.
Scartaglin could have goaled inside a minute but Shay Walsh's shot screamed inches over and, while they kept up ther opening preesure, they were socked by Banogue's first attack when Kieran Larkin fisted against the upright and Mark Fitzpatrick ground-kicked the rebound to the net.
However, after Eddie Horean's free was met by Gary McInerney, the wind kept ball up the other end and, despite shooting a few wides, the Kerry champs moved in front when, following points from Horan and Hugh O'Connor, Horan ripped through the defence to drill low past Kevin Purcell.
McInerney pulled one back for Banogue but the Horan borthers were creating mosst of the play up the middle as Seán Horan and a pair from Brendan Rahilly widened ythe gap. Adam Costelloe hit back with a free on to see Rahiily finish off a classy five-pass move to the net before sending over a second to narrow the Lierick team's half-time deficit to 2-7 to 1-4.
Just after the restart, Kieran Purcell spectacularly blocked Rahilly's rasper but the Kingdom club kept up the pressure for Shay Walsh's free and Edward Horan from play and from a mark to widen the gap to nine. At that point, the tempo dropped, Banogue fought their way back into possession and found the momentum from three Costelloe
They could haver drawn closer had McInerney's bullet not bee saved on the line and Jason Lenihan's follow-up sky wide of the open goals andScart made the most of their escape for O'Connor to nab his second score. But Banogue weren't finished and, after collecting off the kickout, Peter Ryan's huge delivery found Lenihan on the edge of the square to round past David Kerins at tap to the net.
Just a goal separated the sides after McInerney converted a mark and he almost found it when collecting off Lenihan only to blaze inches wide of the upright. Backs to the wall, Scart held out for the five regulation and three added minutes as the Limerick champions just couldn't find another opening.
SCORERS, SCARTAGLIN: Edward Horan 1-4 (0-1 free, 0-1 mark), Brendan Rahilly 1-2, Shay Walsh(1 free), Hugh O'Connor 0-2 each, Seán Horan 0-1;
BANOGUE: Adam Costelloe 0-5 (5 frees|), Mark Fitzpatrick, Jason
Lenihan 1-0 each, Gary McInerney 0-3.
SCARTAGLIN: David Kerins; Seán Tangney, Ger O'Connor. Alan Horan; Declan O'Mahony, Pádraig Reidy, Pádraig O'Connor; Thomas Ford, Seán Horan; Brendan Rahilly, Eddie Horan, Hugh O'Connor; Niall Casey, Shay Walsh, Brian Riordan. SUBS: Conor Cremin for Alan Horan (half-time), Josh Kerin for Thomas Ford (halt-time), Damien O'Connor for Seán Tangney (52 minutes), Giles O'Connor for Brendan Rahilly (injured, 53 minutes), Donnacha Daly for Niall Casey (59 minutes).
BANOGUE Kevin Purcell; Shane Kenny, Enda Hehir, Ciarán Shortt; Rian Brady, Mike Reidy, Peter Ryan; Jason Lenihan, Donnacha Higgins; John Paul Costello, Kieran Larkin, James Kelleher; Mark Fitzpatrick, Adam Costelloe, Gary McInerney. SUBS: James Houlihan for Rian Brady (21 minutes), Mark Reidy for Shane Kenny (36 minutes).
REFEREE: John O'Leary (Cork).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.