Darragh Long, who scored the only goal of a tightly-fought encounter midway through the first-half, stepped up to take the kick, but saw his effort came back off a post and Kenmare goalkeeper, Steve O’Sullivan safely smothered the rebound.
If Stacks had prevailed, it would have been rough justice on a determined home side, who were never headed once they took the lead through a Paul O’Connor seventh minute free.
Kerry panellist O’Connor was in inspirational form for Kenmare at left-corner forward, scoring eight points in all, five from placed balls. He
was ably assisted in the by his full forward partners, Donal O’Connor and Liam O’Shea, who contributed two points each over the hour.
Stacks started Kieran Donaghy at midfield, but his influence, and that of his centre-field partner Daniel Bohane, was largely curbed by a man-of-the-match performance by Kenmare’s Flor O’Sullivan.
The divisional side started the game in whirlwind fashion and were five points to the good with 12 minutes gone. Paul O’Connor scored three of Kenmare’s first five points, two from placed balls and one punched, while Donal O’Connor and the tireless Mike Tim O’Sullivan notched one each.
Austin Stacks’ first score of the game was a Darragh Long goal the ball slotted coolly into to the left-hand corner of the net.
At the break Kenmare led by a solitary point, 0-9 to 1-5. Paul O’Connor (2), Liam O’Shea and Mike Tim O’Sullivan got further scores for Kenmare, while Darragh Long (2), Graham O’Connell, Paul Hennebery and a spectacular Donaghy effort kept the Tralee side in touch.
The second half largely followed the same pattern as the first, with Kenmare always doing enough to stay in front.
Two quick-fire points immediately after the restart stretched Kenmare’s lead to three, before Darragh Long had a chance to level with a penalty. His miss proved decisive as Stacks could never quite reel Kenmare in.
Kenmare rattled over four more points before the end, with Paul O’Connor contributing two.
Scorers for Kenmare: P O’Connor, 0-8 (0-5f). MT O’Sullivan, D O’Connor, L O’Shea, 0-2 each; C Brosnan, 0-1.
Scorers for Austin Stacks: D Long 1-4 (0-1f); K Donaghy (0-1 sideline), G O’Connell (0-2f), 0-2 each; P Hennebery, B Mangan 0-1 each.
KENMARE: S O’Sullivan; E Crowley, S. Curran, P Dwyer; D Cahalane, C Brosnan, DJ Brennan; F O’Sullivan, A O’Sullivan; MT O’Sullivan, J Healy, M Crowley; D O’Connor, L O’Shea, P O’Connor.
Subs used: S O’Leary, Marcus McNally, Johnny O’Sullivan.
AUSTIN STACKS: M Moriarty; P McCarthy, TJ Horgan, G Kerins; B Shanahan, P Hennebery, D Costello; D Bohane, B Mangan; D Quinn, K Donaghy, F Mangan; G O’Connell, D Long, D McElligott.
Subs used: M Collins, S Carroll, A Creagh, W Kirby, W Gutherie.