They had matters virtually all their own way in the first half because of the poorness of the Kilcummin challenge and despite losing both Killian Young and Declan O’Sullivan with injuries, were still able to stay in control after the opposition lost three chances of goals in the third quarter.
Limited to a single outing in the championship (against Legion) early in the summer before getting a by, Kilcummin looked out of their depth from an early stage of the game.
It wasn’t so much the fact that they conceded a goal inside the opening minute and soon after were 1-3 in arrears, more a matter of them not being up to the challenge of being able to compete anywhere near to an equal standard with the divisional side.
As a consequence, they rarely got into scoring positions and were too often vulnerable in defence – where Bryan Sheehan was in top form at full-forward and Ronan Hussey was very impressive in the right corner. Kilcummin started Mike McCarthy at centre-back, where he wasn’t involved very much and he didn’t make much of an impact either when moved back to reduce the threat from Sheehan.
Meanwhile, their attacking options were more limited when they opted to pack their defence at times in a bid to try and get into their stride. In the circumstances it wasn’t a surprise to see them fail to score until the 31st minute, by which time South Kerry had 1-11 on the board.
To add to their woes, they failed to take advantage of a 33rd minute penalty and then had a goal disallowed. First, South Kerry goalkeeper Liam Sheehan saved from his opposite number Brendan Kealy. Eight minutes later Jamie O’Sullivan had the ball in the net following a good move only for the referee to award a free out.
In the 53rd minute O’Sullivan was denied again by the goalkeeper, who was quickly off his line to smother his shot after substitute Daniel O’Leary had made the opening.
On the credit side, Kilcummin had by then restored a level of pride, by limiting South Kerry to a single point and adding four more to their interval tally. Effectively they were going nowhere, with their lack of physique up front telling in the context of their young players not being able to penetrate. Among them Chris and Gary O’Leary, members of their county championship-winning minor team.
Scorers for South Kerry: B. Sheehan (0-5, one free); N. O’Shea (0-4); R. Hussey (0-4, two frees); A. O’Sullivan 1-0; P. O’Donoghue 0-1.
Scorers for Kilcummin: J. O’Sullivan (’45), S. McSweeney, P. Kelly, D.J. Fleming (free), G. O’Leary, E. O’Donoghue, J. Devane and D. O’Leary each.
SOUTH KERRY: L. Sheehan (St. Mary’s); K. Young (Renard), S. O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers), N. O’Driscoll (St. Mary’s); Denis O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), A. O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), C. O’Driscoll (Skellig Rangers); J. Sugrue (Renard), J. Golden (St. Mary’s); I. Galvin (Derrynane), Declan O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), A. O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers); R. Hussey (Sneem), B. Sheehan (St. Mary’s), N. O’Shea (Dromid Pearses).
Subs: Daniel O’Sullivan (St. Mary’s) for Young (inj, 23); P. O’Donoghue (St. Mary’s) for Declan O’Sullivan (ht); D. Breen (Sneem) for Galvin (33); W. O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers) for Denis O’Sullivan (55); B. O’Dwyer (Waterville) for A. O’Sullivan (57)
KILCUMMIN: B. Kealy; S. Brosnan, K. O’Donoghue, T. Brosnan; C. O’Leary, M. McCarthy, T. Cooper; K. Gorman, S. McSweeney (capt.); G. O’Leary, E. O’Donoghue, J. Devane; D. Brosnan, J. O’Sullivan, D.J. Fleming.
Subs: P. Kelly for Cooper (19); D. O’Riordan for S. Brosnan (21); J. McCarthy for Gorman and Daniel O’Leary for T. Brosnan (ht); Damien O’Leary for McCarthy (inj. 46).
Referee: A Mangan (Austin Stacks).