It finished in a weirdly exciting frenzy of action as an injury time ‘45 from Tom McGoldrick gave the hosts victory, but even the St Kieran’s celebrations were tellingly muted. Castleisland bookie Kieran Bourke won’t be losing any sleep on a local payout come the climax to the Championship in the autumn. St Kieran’s – an amalgamation of seven clubs around Castleisland – should be angry with themselves for the collapse that saw them blow a seemingly impregnable 1-7 to 0-4 lead with only 10 minutes remaining.
Perhaps that does a disservice to Kenmare who lost their best player, Mark Crowley, to a dislocated shoulder and then had full-back Patrick Dwyer sent off before a Flor O’Sullivan goal in the 51st minute gave them an unlikely lifeline at 1-7 to 1-4.
However the truth is that St Kieran’s should have been well out of sight by that stage, but they were conspicuously short of leaders when it was put up to them by the visitors. McGoldrick set up Philip O’Connor for a first-half goal which gave St Kieran’s a 1-4 to 0-4 half time advantage.
Kerry defender Padraig Reidy raided effectively from centre-back but once Kenmare put Mark Crowley on the 40 after half-time, Reidy’s influence waned. It was then left to wing-back James Walsh and midfielder Mike Coakley to carry the offensive threat for St Kieran’s, an indictment in itself. Full-forward Pat Fitzgerald was a game target man in the first-half but ran out of steam – like many of his colleagues in the final quarter.
Therefore, once Kenmare had grabbed a 51st minute goal, they drove on unimpeded with points from Dara Crowley, a ‘45 from Paul O’Connor and, amazingly, a 58th minute equaliser from Mike Tim O’Sullivan.
You wouldn’t have wagered much on St Kieran’s stopping the rot, but an injection of pace up from sub Paudie McCarthy helped trigger late pressure that created a chance for over-lapping full-back Daniel O’Sullivan. His dropping shot was clawed away from the goal by keeper Steven O’Sullivan but the reprieve though was short- lived as McGoldrick aced the resulting ‘45’ to claim victory.
Scorers for St Kieran’s: P O’Connor (1-0), M Coakley (0-2), T McGoldrick (0-2, 45’s), J. Walsh, E Sugrue, P. Fitzgerald, J. Buckley (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kenmare: F O’Sullivan (1-0), P. O’Connor (0-2, 45’s), D. Crowley, M. Crowley, DJ Brennan, A. O’Leary, M.T O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
ST KIERAN’S: S Og O Ciardubhain (Cordal); M Brosnan (Knocknagoshel), D. O’Sullivan (Currow), K O’Shea (Ballymacelligott); F McAuliffe (Brosna), P Reidy (Scartaglin), J. Walsh (Knocknagoshel); EJ O’Donoghue (Cordal), M Coakley (Scartaglin); E Sugrue (Ballymacelligott), S Curtin (Brosna), T. McGoldrick (Brosna), P. O’Connor (Cordal), P. Fitzgerald (Desmonds), J Buckley (Currow).
Subs: P Dignam (Cordal) for Curtin (ht); A. Breen (Ballymacelligott) for Fitzgerald (38); P McCarthy (Ballymac) for Sugrue (45).
KENMARE: S. O’Sullivan (Tuosist), A O’Callaghan (Kenmare), P. O’Dwyer (Kenmare), D. Crowley (Kenmare); S. O’Leary (Kenmare), C. Brosnan (Tuosist), M. Crowley (Kenmare); S. Cremin (Templenoe), F. O’Sullivan (Tuosist); P. O’Shea (Tuosist), DJ Brennan (Kenmare), S Sheehan (Templenoe); A O’Leary (Kenmare), MT O’Sullivan (Tuosist), P. O’Connor (Kenmare).
Subs: L. O’Shea (Tuosist) for P O’Shea (half time); M. Hallisey (Templenoe) for Crowley (inj, 41); P. Palmer (Templenoe) for Sheehan (47); P O’Shea (returned for MT O’Sullivan (58).
Referee: S Mulvihill (St Senan’s).