Two Aidan Breen goals, one in each half, both the result of mistakes, were crucial, but O’Rahilly’s will also rue the 40th minute dismissal of wing forward John O’Connor for an unnecessary trip on James Walsh. It came at a time when the Tralee side were in control, and even with a man down, they pushed St Kieran’s all the way.
It was entertaining fare. The Galvin twins, Philip and Matthew, man marked O’Rahilly’s danger men Barry John Keane and Barry John Walsh, while the battle of the big men at midfield, Micheal Quirke and Seamus Scanlon, broke even. However, St Kieran’s had, in James Walsh, the most influential player on the pitch, as he attacked from right half back. When O’Rahillys had St Kieran’s under the cosh, invariably it was Walsh who lifted the siege.
The visitors got off to a dream start, firing over four points without reply, Keane and Walsh causing havoc, with Keane scoring all four, three from frees for fouls on Walsh.
St Kieran’s rallied, with James Walsh being fouled and brother Edmund converting the free. They added two more points and Aidan Breen chipped over the equaliser in the 12th minute, before two Tom McGoldrick frees had St Kieran’s in front. Two more Keane frees and a Mike Quirke gem from the sideline levelled the contest by the 23rd minute, but two minutes later, Philip O’Connor sent in a high centre that was misjudged by two O’Rahillys defenders and up popped Aidan Breen to finish to the net.
St Kieran’s four point half time lead (1-8 to 0-7) was short lived however, as points from Kieran O’Mahony, Barry John Keane (2) and a Barry John Walsh free levelled the game by the 39th minute.
At that juncture O’Rahillys looked the more likely winners but the dismissal of John O’Connor a minute later changed the tempo of the game and St Kieran’s took a decisive grip in the 50th minute when Breen again netted from a Scanlon delivery.
Scorers for St Kieran’s: A Breen 2-1, E Walsh 0-3 (0-2 frees), T McGoldrick 0-2 frees, J Walsh and E J O’Donoghue 0-2 each, T Hickey 0-1
Kerins O’Rahillys: B Keane 0-9 (0-6 frees), B J Walsh 0-3 frees, M Quirke and K O’Mahony 0-1 each
ST KIERAN’S: Sean Óg O Ciardubhain (Cordal); D O’Sullivan (Currow), F McAuliffe (Brosna), M Galvin (Ballymac); J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), P Galvin (Ballymac), E Kiely (Brosna); S Scanlon (Currow), E J O’Donoghue (Cordal); M Hickey (Desmonds), E Walsh (Knocknagoshel), A Breen (Ballymac); T Hickey (Desmonds), T McGoldrick (Brosna), P O’Connor (Cordal).
Sub: D Murphy (Scartaglin) for P O’Connor (54)
KERINS O’RAHILLYS: G Kissane; A Thompson, D O’Sullivan, M Tierney; G O’Grady, S Brosnan, D Flaherty; J C O’Connor, M Quirke; B Moran, B J Keane, John O’Connor; J Savage, B J Walsh, K O’Mahony.
Subs: R O’Callaghan for B Moran (h/t), C O’Connor for D Flaherty (h/t), R Molly for J Savage (41)
Referee: C O Dubhda (Gaeltacht)