The crowd, atmosphere and indeed the hour’s fare was far removed from what was witnessed on Sunday week last, but that will have been of little concern to St Brendan’s as they progressed to the county quarter-final, seeing off the challenge of Killarney Legion with consummate ease.
A strange one this when you consider that Legion held the scoreboard advantage, 1-6 to 0-7, four minutes into the second period. The winners had trailed by the minimum at the break and fell further into arrears following a double salvo from Conor Keane and Sean McCarthy.
Having struggled for large spells of the opening 30 minutes, momentum swung in Legion’s favour, but what ensued left many a spectator scratching their head.
In front by two, Legion appeared to self-destruct, failing to find the target for over 22 minutes while Brendan’s hit an unanswered 1-11 in a dazzling spell.
By the time Legion sub David McCarthy broke their scoring drought with a late goal, the contest had long since been decided. St Brendan’s had moved seven points clear and were rarely troubled coming down the home stretch.
The winners weren’t always comfortable however, and should have been a goal down less than a minute into proceedings when Legion corner forward Killian Treacy unleashed a thunderous strike that cannoned of the upright. Mind you, it wouldn’t be the last goal chance John Keane’s side would squander.
David O’Sullivan had the home outfit off the mark following a Jamie Moriarty pair of points at the other end, and when a second goal opening presented itself on seven minutes, O’Sullivan, set-up by Conor Keane, found the target.
The St Brendan’s rearguard was struggling under the pressure exerted by Legion’s front six and Keane should have nabbed his side’s second major when put through by centre-back Sean McCarthy but stroked his effort across the face of the goal and wide.
The divisional outfit sprung to life after that let-off and four white flags without reply courtesy of David O’Callaghan (0-2), Alan O’Donoghue and Moriarty saw a two-point deficit turned into a two-point lead.
Legion tallied four of their own either side of the break, but that, quite simply, was that.
The winners kicked on with a raft of points through Moriarty (free), Darragh Carmody (free), David O’Callaghan and John Dowling, but what sounded the death knell for Legion was the calamitous nature of the St Brendan’s goal, eventually punched to the net by David Culloty. It moved the winners four ahead and Legion could find no way back, slipping out the exit door without as much as a whimper.
Scorers for St Brendan’s: J Moriarty (0-4, 0-1f), D Culloty (1-1, 0-1f), D Carmody (0-4, 0-2f), D O’Callaghan (0-3), J Dowling (0-2), A O’Donoghue, M Brennan, D Wallace (0-1 each).
Scorers for Killarney Legion: D O’Sullivan (1-2, 0-1f), D McCarthy (1-1), C Keane (0-2), S Keane (0-1), S McCarthy (0-1).
ST BRENDAN’S: P O’Sullivan (Churchill); D Collins (Ardfert), L Bastible (John Mitchels), R Horgan (Ardfert); M Brennan (Churchill), J Barry (Na Gaeil), L Mulligan (St. Pats); B Costello (John Mitchels), J Dowling (Ardfert); D Wallace (Ardfert), A O’Donoghue (John Mitchels), M Griffin (Na Gaeil); D O’Callaghan (St. Pats), D Culloty (Na Gaeil), J Moriarty (John Mitchel).
Subs: J Egan (Ardfert) for Barry (HT); D Carmody (Na Gaeil) for Moriarty (35); B Poff (St. Pats) for Griffin (37); W Conway (John Mitchels) for Culloty (51); Darren Wallace (Ardfert) for O’Donoghue (58).
KILLARNEY LEGION: B Kelly; C Sheehan, P O’Connor, A O’Sullivan; K Slattery, S McCarthy, D Pyne; S Keane, K Breen; M O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, B Maguire; K Treacy, T Moriarty, C Keane.
Subs: J O’Neill for Treacy (45); D McCarthy for M O’Sullivan (55); D Twomey for Moriarty (57); A Slattery for Breen (58).
Referee: Sean Joy (Laune Rangers).