The damage was done in the second quarter, by the end of which St Kieran’s — backboned by Desmonds and Brosna players — were 2-7 to 0-3 ahead and had victory assured.
Forced to field without Paul Galvin (quad injury), Rangers had little to offer. Kerry midfielder Anthony Maher, Nigel O’Connor, Jack McGuire, Maurice and Pat Corridan battled hard for the losers but they simply had no cutting edge in attack to translate hard-won possession into scores. A damning statistic was the losers managed a meagre three points from play over the hour with Maher, Noel Kennelly and Conor Cox on target.
St Kieran’s dominated the opening half with their forward sextet forcing Feale Rangers on the back foot. It meant that Maurice Corridan was dropping back to play a sweeper role in an effort to protect his defence from the livewire Thomas Hickey, who proved a thorn in the Rangers defence all evening.
While Kerry star Maher won plenty of possession around midfield, St Kieran’s defended well and Feale Rangers were having no joy upfront. At the other end, Thomas Hickey, Philip O’Connor and Adam Barry were running amok and it was Hickey and Edmund Walsh who had St Kieran’s 0-2 to 0-0 ahead after 10 minutes.
Maher and Maurice Hickey exchanged points before Conor Cox’s 45 left just a score between the sides (0-3 to 0-2) and an exciting battle looked on the cards.
But then came the game- changing goal in the 18th minute. Eamon Kiely raced through the heart of the Rangers defence, who backed off, and he released club-mate Adam Barry, who buried the ball in the Rangers net.
All Rangers could muster in that second quarter was a Cox free as Barry, Thomas Hickey and Philip O’Connor cut loose before Maurice Hickey’s goal — after good work by brother Thomas — had St Kieran’s 10 points clear at the interval.
The second half was a dreadful spectacle, with the two sides unable to find any real inspiration.
Nevertheless St Kieran’s will retain plenty of hope and expectation as they head to the third round.
Plenty of soul searching awaits their North Kerry opponents who must now navigate the loser’s route.
A Barry 1-1, M Hickey 1-1, T Hickey 0-4, J Walsh, E Walsh, T Lynch and P O’Connor 0-1 each.
C Cox 0-6 (0-4 frees, 0-1 ’45), A Maher and N Kennelly 0-1 each.
S Óg Ó Ciardubhain (Cordal), B Lynch (Desmonds), D O’Sullivan (Currow), S Fitzmaurice (Brosna), F McAuliffe (Brosna), E Kiely (Brosna), M Hickey (Desmonds), S Scanlon (Currow), J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), A Breen (Ballymac), E Walsh (Knocknagoshel), T Lynch (Desmonds), P O’Connor (Cordal), T Hickey (Desmonds), A Barry (Brosna). D O’Shea (Ballymac) for E Walsh (37), M Finnegan (Brosna) for A Breen (44), M Walsh (Knocknagoshel) for F McAuliffe (55), T O’Leary (Currow) for B Lynch (58).
B Galvin (Emmets), S T Dillon (St Senan’s), J McGuire (Emmets), S Stack (Moyvane), S Weir (St Senans), P Corridan (Finuge), Paudie Galvin (Finuge), A Maher (Duagh), D Somers (St Senan’s), M Corridan (Finuge), D Foran (St Senans), N Kennelly (Emmets), P Quill (St Senans), N O’Connor (Duagh), C Cox (Emmets). A O Connor (Duagh) for P Galvin (h/t), T Noonan (Moyvane) for P Quill (52).
C O Dubhda (An Ghaeltacht)