Ultimately, they needed a bit of luck to survive after Dara O’Cinnéide blew the ball over the bar in the 56th minute and then keeper Cha Doherty denied him a goal in the last minute. Overall, however, it was a superb team effort over both halves from the Sean Counihan-managed side which put out holders Gaeltacht. Gaeltacht were only effective for periods of the game, most often when the ball was worked successfuly downfield to Aodan MacGearailt, who kicked some good scores, but also missed a few chances. Kerry captain Darragh O Se wasn’t very much involved, resorting at times to breaking the ball around midfield where Kilcummin were invariably quicker to react. Up front, Kilcummin’s forwards were livelier and achieved much more as a unit, with Paul McCarthy at centre-forward distributing the ball very cleverly and Ronan O’Connor a tireless worker, along with Ben Brosnan and D.J. Fleming.
By the 26th minute, Kilcummin were two points in front, which was testament to their greater ability to put some good moves together, whereas Gaeltacht struggled to find a rhythm. At the break, it was 0-6 to 0-5 for the challengers. Four minutes into the second half Kilcummin had a six-point lead, thanks to McCarthy’s goal, as impressively taken as it had been created. Predictably, it sparked a speedy response from Gaeltacht with good scores from Dara O Cinneide and Aodhan MacGearailt and a well-kicked O Cinneide 45 yards free, but, once more they started to struggle, because of the strength of Kilcummin’s confident challenge.
Tomas and Fergal O Se were seen at their best, Mick O Conchuir was to do good work in the left corner and once Dara O Se found his form and O Cinneide began to threaten at full-forward, it meant that Gaeltacht produced their best form of the contest Substitute Sean B. Doherty gained a vital score for Kilcummin immediately after his introduction and they were still six points clear before Gaeltacht stormed back. Just a goal separated the sides when O Cinneide made a great opening only to shoot over the bar and then followed Doherty’s crucial save which ensured a famous win.
*The refereeing of Pat Sheehy was impressive all through.
Scorers: Kilcummin: D.J. Fleming 0-4 frees; M. McCarthy 1-0; M. O’Connor 0-2; N. Mangan, R. O’Connor, S.B. Doherty, B. Brosnan and E. O’Donoghue 0-1 each.
Gaeltacht: D. O’Cinnéide 0-6 (0-3 frees, 0-1 fifty); A. MacGearailt 0-3; C. O’Cruadhlaioch, D. O’Sé and R. MacGearailt 0-1 each.
KILCUMMIN: C. Doherty; T. Brosnan, K. O’Donoghue, K. Bruton; T.J. Fleming, N. Mangan, T. Cooper; M. McCarthy, E. O’Donoghue; S. O’Leary, P. McCarthy, R. O’Connor; D.J. Fleming, M. O’Connor. Sub: S.B. Doherty for Cooper (43rd minute).
AN GHAELTACHT: P. Ruiseal; M. O Conchuir, M. O Se, D. MacGearailt; M. MacGearailt, T. O Se, F. O Se; D. O Se, R. MacGearailt; T. O Conchuir, D. O Cinneide, J.J. Corduff; D. O Flatharta, A. MacGearailt, C. O Dubhda. Subs: B. Breathnach for D. O Flatharta (23rd minute); R. O Flatharta for D. MacGearailt (36th); C. O Cruadhlaoich for O Dubhda (41st); C. MacGearailt for Breathnach (50th); S. MacSithigh for Corduff (57th).
Referee: Pat Sheehy (Clounmacon).