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Austin Stacks Win Dramatic Kerry County League After Penalty Shootout

Austin Stacks Win Dramatic Kerry County League After Penalty Shootout
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Austin Stacks won the Kerry County League Division 1 title in dramatic circumstances against Rathmore on Sunday.

The Tralee side took victory in a penalty shootout after the game had finished level at 1-9 each in 60 minutes and 1-10 each after extra-time.

Kieran Donaghy struck the decisive penalty past Kerry goalkeeper Shane Ryan as Stacks won 4-3.

It was only decided that the game would be decided on penalties following extra-time.

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"I went over to [Rathmore manager] Liam [Hassett] afterwards and said, 'The season's been long enough. Let's go for the penalties'," Stacks manager Wayne Quillinan told Radio Kerry.

In fairness to the county board, once we agreed, they agreed.

Not to mind summing it up, I can't even get my breath after that. It was a pure battle out here in Rathbeg. Rathmore are pure battlers, they never say die. It was two good sides going head-to-head for 80 minutes.

The biggest leader (Kieran Donaghy) stepped up today with the fifth penalty - what can you say about him?

Though they suffered a heavy defeat to Nemo Rangers in the Munster Championship last month, the year had been hugely successful for Austin Stacks. They won the Kerry Club Championship and the Town Championship in addition to claiming the league title on Sunday.

Rathmore's Donal Murphy, father of Kerry football Paul Murphy, said he believes games like Sunday's should not be taking place in December

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"My honest opinion is that it's total lunacy to be playing a final, dragging players out in the middle of December," he told Radio Kerry.

"They'll be starting again in January to be ready for club championships in April - I don't know what we're at. This competition started last March. It's madness be playing club football in cold, wet days in December like this. Players deserve better.

"It was a cruel way to lose on penalties but both teams agreed to it."

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