Junior Football Final: Fossa (Kerry) 0-19 – 1-13 Stewartstown Harps (Tyrone)
Intermediate Football Final: Rathmore (Kerry) 1-11 – 0-11 Galbally (Tyrone)
Senior Football Final: Kilmacud Crokes (Dublin) 1-11 – 1-9 Watty Graham’s Glen (Derry)
January saw the culmination of the 2022 football season, with the club football finals of all grades taking place at Croke Park. Fossa were the headline grabbers of the year, with the Clifford brothers hoping to complete a perfect year after winning intercounty Munster and All Ireland honours, an All Star each, a County Senior medal with East Kerry and Junior Kerry and Munster medals with their native Parish Fossa. In the end, they’d each also collect a red card to add to their impressive tally.
David Clifford was absolutely essential to Fossa’s attack all year and he once again delivered, scoring 11 of Fossa’s 19 points. Even though faced with tough odds, the men from Stewartstown, a team which lacks any intercounty players, put up a good fight, with Trojan efforts from Gareth Delvin and Anton Coyle putting them ahead at the half time whistle. Gareth Delvin had particular cause to give it his all, as he was the only member of the 2005 Stewartstown team that reached, but lost, an All Ireland Final.
Stewartstown lead by 1-7 to 0-7 at half time, but a red card for Darren Delvin effectively ended the underdog’s chances. From then on Fossa would dominate the game, except for Tyrone revival in the last ten minutes spurred on by black card shown to Kerryman Cian Ó Sé. The revival would be ended by Anton Coyle getting himself sent off for elbowing Paudie Clifford in the face.
This match also put the ‘injury’ into injury time, with four more red cards being shown during a last minute shoving contest, with all credit going to referee Thomas Murphy for showing composure in the final minutes.
On the same day at HQ, Rathmore took to the field and beat Tyrone’s Galbally, with Shane Ryan’s first half goal being of critical importance. Ryan, who plays in goals for Kerry, also scooped the man of the match award; however his club goalie Kenneth O’ Keefe was just as important to Rathmore’s efforts. Galbally’s Daniel Kerr’s one-on-one shot was saved in the 55th minute, at a time when Rathmore’s hold on the match seemed to be waning.
In the end, Rathmore held on, bringing an All Ireland title back to their corner of Kerry for the first time.
Senior Final Drama
The Senior final, played a week later, was a tight affair. Watty Graham’s Glen got off to a flying start, with Danny Talon scoring a goal early on to put his side ahead by 1-3 to no score.
Kilmacud managed to settle down, but 8 wides, as well as a flurry of attempts that didn’t even make it to the goal-line, harmed their cause.
A penalty in the first half gave impetus to the Crokes side, with Kilmacud managing to put distance between themselves and the Derry contingent as the match wore on.
In injury time, and with two points between the sides, Glen were awarded a 45. 16 Kilmacud players crowded the box, which has since provided every GAA journalist with 350+ words a day.
So far, Glen has appealed the match after inaction by the CCCC. In response, Kilmacud have lodged a counter-appeal, with reports stating that there is little mood in the club to stage a replay.