Tarbert Minors are County League Civision 2 Champions!!

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TARBERT 2-6 KILCUMMIN 1-7…Tarbert produced an inspirational comeback to see off the challenge of Kilcummin in an exciting County MFL (Division 2) Final at Brosna on Monday evening 10th April. Six points behind approaching half-time in this decider, Joe Coolahan and Paddy Moriarty’s boys dug deep to eventually prevail. Things did not go well for the red and black in the opening half, with the difficult cross-field wind favouring Kilcummin at the outset, the East Kerry side were the better team in the first 30.

A foul on Shaun Wren enabled Caolam Moriarty to point Tarbert into an eighth minute lead, but that was as good as it got for a while with Kilcummin enjoying lots of possession in attacking areas. Kilcummin scored from play in the 12th minute and added a free nine minutes later. It was an evenly balanced contest at this stage but Tarbert were soon rocked by a Kilcummin goal in the 24th minute. When Kilcummin added two more points, Tarbert were under pressure. Late in the first half David Mulvihill took off on a solo run from his own centre back position beating three players on his way to goal. His fine effort at goal was saved by the Kilcummin goalkeeper but Caolam Moriarty half-volleyed the rebound to the roof of the net. Tarbert were now only three points down going into half time. (1-4 to 1-1).

At the start of the second half, David Mulvihill sent in a long ball into the Kilcummin defence where once again Caolam Moriarty guided the ball to the net. Shaun Wren was fouled again in the 39th minute, and Moriarty added his second pointed free, Tarbert were now in front (2-2 to 1-4) and, to the credit of all involved, they were never to lose the lead again, despite the dogged persistence of Kilcummin. Kilcummin pointed a free in the 44th minute, but two placed balls, from Moriarty and Tarbert’s outstanding midfielder Paudie Finucane, had Tarbert two points ahead (2-4 to 1-5) heading into the final ten minutes. Kilcummin added another point before Tarbert’s Adam Enright slotted over a lovely point from play to keep matters firmly in the balance. In the 57th minute Tarbert’s goalkeeper Aaron White made an excellent save to deny Kilcummin a goal but the East Kerry side converted the resultant ’45. The margin was down to the bare minimum, but Moriarty once again settled the Tarbert nerves with the best of his four pointed frees from 45 metres. Conor Egan was outstanding at full back all evening and repelled attack after attack from Kilcummin throughout the match.

There was an almighty cheer from the Tarbert players, management and supporters when the referee blew the final whistle, as captain David Mulvihill lifted the winners’ trophy, and Caolam Moriarty winning the man-of-the-match award.
Well done to the management team of Paddy Moriarty and Joe Coolahan, who have guided this marvellous group of players all the way through the age grades. In what was, unquestionably, a wonderful team effort, Aaron White’s two big saves, and the kick-outs he rained down on Paudie Finucane in the second half were vital factors in the eventual victory. Conor Egan produced an outstanding full-back performance from beginning to end. Even when Tarbert were struggling in the first half, his marshalling of the defence was exemplary. Tigerish corner-backs Shane Stack and Thady Mulvihill were superb alongside him.

In the half-back line, David Mulvihill was dominant throughout the match with wing-backs Lee Moriarty and Dylan Kennedy also performing well. At centre field Michael Coolahan was a powerful and influential figure while Paudie Finucane soared into the clouds time after time in an exhibition of high fielding that lit up the whole second half. In attack, Shaun Wren, on the ’40, was always a creative and hard-working presence, covering acres of ground throughout, while star man Caolam Moriarty, contributed 2-4 of the 2-6 tally. Elsewhere, up front, Donal Finucane, Tadhg O’Connell, Adam Enright, Mikey Carmody and substitute Cathal Halton contributed hugely to this win.
The reception afforded this group of winners on their return to the village said it all about what this particular victory means to Tarbert. A County League (Division 2) title for this never-say-die outfit was richly deserved. The future is bright. Very bright indeed.

Scorers: C Moriarty 2-4 (0-4fs), P Finucane (f), A Enright 0-1 each.
Team: Aaron White; Thady Mulvihill, Conor Egan, Shane Stack; Dylan Kennedy, David Mulvihill, Lee Moriarty; Paudie Finucane, Michael Coolahan; Donal Finucane, Shaun Wren, Mikey Carmody; Tadhg O’Connell, Caolam Moriarty, Adam Enright.Subs: Cathal Halton for Carmody (ht), Jack Walsh, Pa Dillon, Lee Mulvihill (injured).