Drama in Killarney where Legion’s Jamie O’Sullivan forced a replay with a point in the fourth minute of injury-time after referee Seamus Mulvihill had signalled at least two minutes of additional time.
South Kerry were furious with the time-keeping and at the final whistle some ugly scenes developed between several players. Greg Gibson looked to have won South Kerry their first senior title since 2009 with an earlier injury-time point only for O’Sullivan to fire over his fourth point.
South Kerry also have grievances with the legitimacy of a Conor Keane free earlier in the second half, just one of three points for Legion after the break as South Kerry rallied led by an excellent Bryan Sheehan.
With the wind favouring into the Lewis Road, the coin toss was always going to be significant and it favoured Legion who needed only 27 seconds to get up and running on the scoreboard thanks to midfielder O’Sullivan who was masterful in the first half.
By the 19th minute, he had kicked three long-range points, two off his right and the last from his left. His midfield partner Shaun Keane also registered a punting effort in the 18th minute and by the time James O’Donoghue kicked a beauty six minutes later the Killarney men were four points up, 0-7 to 0-3.
Bryan Sheehan’s fourth free made it 0-7 to 0-4 just before half-time but their lack of enterprise from play was symptomatic of just how sharp the Legion defence were in their efforts. The wind was of assistance to them, of course, but South Kerry regularly had to recycle the ball and turn back faced by the bank of defenders in front of them.
Robert Wharton’s black card in the seventh minute for a third man tackle on Conor Keane didn’t help South Kerry and the corner forward dusted himself off to point the resultant free after Donal Lyne’s shot was saved in the advantage time played by the referee.
: J O’Sullivan (0-4); J O’Donoghue (1 free); C Keane (frees) (0-2 each); S Keane (0-1).
: B Sheehan (0-7, 5 frees); B O’Sullivan, G Gibson (0-1 each).
: P Lucey for B McGuire, D Sheahan for K Breen (both 47); David O’Sullivan for T Moriarty (inj, 51); J O’Neill for S Keane (56); B Griffin for D Lyne (60+1).
: C Farley for R Wharton (black, 7); D O’Sullivan for C Farley (39); D O’Donoghue for I Galvin (55); G Gibson for B O’Sullivan (56).
: B Kelly; C Davies, D Sheahan, P O’Connor; D O’Doherty, Damien O’Sullivan, J Lyne; S Keane, J O’Sullivan; B McGuire, K Breen, D Lyne; T Moriarty, J O’Donoghue, C Keane.
: B O’Connor; B Sugrue, K Young, P O’Sullivan; C O’Shea, B Walsh, D Daly; B Sheehan, B O’Sullivan; A Walsh, P O’Connor, R Wharton; P O’Sullivan, I Galvin, P O’Donoghue.
Referee: S Mulvihill (St Senans)