And, with full-back Padraig Reidy excelling in defence, their victory was guaranteed long before the final whistle.
Played in mixed weather conditions but on a good surface, the game never really came to life. It was mainly a case of both sides struggling through the course of the first half to establish a decent advantage.
They went at half-time on level terms (0-4 each) and while they also finished with the same number of wides (six each), St Kieran’s would have been more unhappy about this situation because they had looked the better combination for longer stages.
That was largely explained by the dominance they forged at midfield, mainly through the strong play of Seamus Scanlon, but with strong support from his Currow team-mate Eamonn John O’Donoghue. Scores were level in the fifth and 12th minutes before St Kieran’s took the lead for the fist time six minutes later through local star John Buckley.
By then, they had accumulated four wides and it was noteworthy that East Kerry were also beginning to waste chances.
East Kerry centre-forward Niall O’Mahony and full-forward Michael O’Donoghue were on the ball quite a lot. Shane Donnelly, too, in the right corner was prominent, but as a unit, their play lacked cohesion and suffered from poor finishing overall.
Late points from Donnelly and O’Mahony, both from difficult angles, had East Kerry on level terms going into the second half, but scores were much harder to come by after that.
Initially, they fell behind by two points from Kieran Brennan and the hard-working Tom McGoldrick, with strong play from team captain Mossy Lyons at centre-back, Martin Horgan, Scanlon and Ruairi O’Rahilly boosting the St Kieran’s challenge.
After drawing level in the 39th minute, the outlook seemed brighter for the East Kerry combination after Moynihan went to midfield, but they didn’t add to their total.
St Kieran’s increased the pressure, their mid-fielders came into the game and Reidy made some important tackles at the heart of the defence. Additionally, goalkeeper Sean Óg Ó Ciardubhain’s alertness saved a possible goal by Shane Donnelly in the 50th minute. After that, it was just a matter of waiting for the final whistle from Peter Lyons, whose refereeing was first-class.
: St. Kieran’s: J. Buckley 0-3; T. McGoldrick 0-3 (0-1 free); D. Buckley 0-2; M. Horgan, E. O’Donoghue and K. Brennan 0-1 each. East Kerry: N. O’Mahony and S. Donnelly 0-2 each; R. O’Donovan (‘45) and M. O’Donoghue 0-1 each.
: S. Og O Ciardubhain (Cordal); S. Walsh (Desmonds), P. Reidy (Scartaglin), K. O’Shea (Ballymacelligott); K. O’Sullivan (Desmonds), M. Lyons (do, capt.), M. Horgan (do); E.J. O’Donoghue (Currow), S. Scanlon (do); R. O’Rahilly (Ballymacelligott), M. O’Connell (Desmonds), K. Brennan (do); J. Buckley (Currow), D. Buckley (Desmonds), T. McGoldrick (Brosna). Subs: T. O’Mahony (Cordal) for O’Connell (43rd minute); J. Brennan (Desmonds) for D. Buckley (52nd); J. O’Callaghan (Brosna) for O’Rahilly (59th).
: C. Myers (Fossa); P. Favier (Glenflesk), E. Lawlor (Gneeveguilla), B. Gleeson (Spa); F. McAuliffe (Gneeveguilla), S. Moynihan (Glenflesk), D. O’Connell (Gneeveguilla); I. Flynn (Spa), F. Coffey (Spa); R. O’Donovan (Spa), N. O’Mahony (do), M. Murphy (Gneeveguilla); S. Donnelly (Glenflesk), M. O’Donoghue (Spa), D. O’Connor (Spa). Subs: L. Daly (Fossa) for Gleeson (40th minute); A. Gannett (Spa) for O’Connor (42nd); D. O’Sullivan (Gneeveguilla) for Murphy (44th).
: P. Lyons.