The Jack Barrett Memorial Park was no place for the faint hearted as both sides slugged it out to the bitter end. Three St. Vincent’s players were yellow carded but a stricter referee would have taken sterner action for a number of unsavoury incidents.
After the sides were level at a point apiece, Kilbrittain, with a strong wind to their backs, looked like opening daylight between the sides when Alan Hayes, Edward Sheehy and Dan O’Connell powered the Carbery representatives into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
But sparked by the magnificent free-taking of midfielder Anthony Buckley, Saint’s hauled themselves back into contention. First Buckley hit a goal from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after full forward Jonathan Buckley was pulled down. He then added two points from frees to level the game in the 28th minute but a point from a free by Dan O’Connell in injury time left Kilbrittain leading 0-8 to 1-4 at half time.
With proceedings reaching feverish point after the resumption Kilbrittain stretched their lead to two points before corner-forward Cian Barry pounced to score St. Vincent’s second goal at the end of the third quarter to edge the city side in front.
Kilbrittain quickly regained the initiative with a goal from midfielder Damien Ferriter in the 47th minute but the outstanding O’Connell followed with two points in rapid succession to put Vincent’s back in control.
But a goal from Jonathan Buckley had the sides level for the third time with nine minutes remaining. Tempers now ran high on occasions as both sides ran themselves into the ground in pursuit of victory.
Man-of-the-Match O’Connell - he finished the game with seven points to his credit - looked like steering it Kilbrittain’s way when he pointed twice in-a-row five minutes from time. But never-say-die St. Vincent’s, with substitute David Rea doing some colossal work, came back to equalise again for the fourth occasion.
Impressive wing forward Ross Cashman looked to have clinched it for Kilbrittain when he hit over at the end of normal time but, in dramatic circumstances, wing forward Stephen Rea pulled it out of the fire for St. Vincent’s with his final equalising point a minute into injury time.
: St. Vincent’s: A. Buckley 1-4 (1-3 from frees); C. Barry 1-2; J. Buckley 1-0; D. Ray 0-2; S. Ray and D. Duggan 0-1 each. Kilbrittain; D. Ferriteur 1-0; D. O’Connell 0-7 (0-3 from frees); R. Cashman 0-3; A. Hayes 0-2; E. Sheehy 0-2 (0-2 from frees); V. O’Brien 0-2;
: A. Cotter; T. O’Connell, W. Murphy, B. Daly; F. Murphy, T. O’Mahony, D. Callaghan; A. Buckley, D. O’Brien; S. Rea, J. Daly, A. Fenton; D. O’Connor, J. Buckley, C. Barry. Subs. D. Rea for Callaghan; D. Duggan for O’Brien.
: O. Harrington; P. Ryan, J. Murphy, P. Hurley; D. Desmond, P. Sexton, J. O’Brien; E. Sheehy, D. Ferriteur; R. Cashman, A. Hayes, V. O’Brien; P. O’Mahony, D. O’Connell, D. Murphy. Sub. E. Sexton for O’Mahony.
: D. O’Leary (Watergrasshill).