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Two Weeks Of Craic On Cards As Oughterard Upset Star Studded Kerry Champions

Two Weeks Of Craic On Cards As Oughterard Upset Star Studded Kerry Champions

Oughterard progressed to the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship final with victory over a fancied Templenoe side in Kilmallock on Saturday.

In Killian and Adrian Spillane along with Gavin Crowley and Tadhg Morley, Kerry intermediate champions Templenoe had four members of the Kingdom senior panel in their starting team.

Templenoe led by two points at the break but it was Galway champions Oughterard who edged it in the second half. Former Galway minor Paul Walsh struck a goal which proved to be the difference between the sides as it finished, 1-12 to 0-12.

"This wasn't a one-off," Oughterard manager Tommy Finnerty told Galway Bay FM.

It was a hard fought performance from Oughterard. In our two county finals with Mícheál Breathnachs, it was the same. Our fitness levels are high and we are playing much better in second halves.

You can be fit and break all the records on GPS systems but it comes down to heart. When that dirty ball breaks on the ground, it's between you and the guy beside you, and you have to win it.

Finnerty said he gave players a calendar at the beginning of the club campaign last year with the All-Ireland semi-final as its last date. He added keeping players grounded ahead of the final will not be a problem.

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"These guys managed themselves during the Christmas and the New Year celebrations," said Finnerty.

"They're easy to handle. We've turned a corner with this team. I said before that the culture was a problem - it's no problem now. These guys are men now."

Centre-back Ronan Molloy said he and teammates knew the battle into which they were heading on Saturday. Keeping it tight at the back was the plan.

"We knew their forward line, Stephen O'Sullivan, the Spillanes, they were all there - big names," said Molloy.

"We knew if we put in the hard work, it would come through in the end. We really believed that we were going to come through for us to go to Croker. We're a small town out in Connemara and it's going to be an exciting couple of weeks ahead for us.

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"To best honest, they had four or five goal chances and we only had the one. A bit of luck is what you need.

"We all roared when we got the goal, 'the big squeeze'. The next score is the most important score of the game. That gave us a bit of breathing space.

"It's a dream come through for any lad who never played at county level. It's an exciting two weeks that we're looking for to as a village. It's going to be some craic in Oughterard over the next two weeks."

Oughterard will play Monaghan and Ulster champions Magheracloone Mitchels in the final on January 25th.

Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

See Also: Ann Downey Appointed Manager Of Kilkenny Intermediate Hurling Club

PJ Browne
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