Man of the match Sean O’Shea provided 1-6 (four frees) but Kenmare Shamrocks needed a point from Stephen O’Brien to force extra-time, before they advanced to Round 3 of the Kerry SFC at the expense of a dogged and determined Rathmore.
Rathmore had two well-taken goals from Cathal Murphy and Darragh Rahilly to keep them in proceedings and nearly punished the Shamrocks for some wastefulness on the day.
Chrissy Spiers registered the first point of the game for Rathmore from a free, with the Shamrocks responding quickly. A pass from Griffin Wharton put O’Shea through for a powerful finish past Shane Ryan in the fourth minute.
The game was scrappy in the first 15 minutes, but Stephen O’Brien added a point to make it 1-2 to 0-1 after 19 minutes.
The final 10 minutes of the first period were of far better quality, best illustrated by the Rathmore goal — Cathal Murphy went on a fine run from midfield and linked up with John Moynihan before firing home to put Rathmore back in front at 1-3 to 1-2 in the 23rd minute.
O’Shea had a great turn and finish for the Shamrocks leveller as Spiers and O’Shea exchanged points to make it 1-4 apiece at the break.
Brian Moynihan put Darragh Rahilly through for Rathmore’s second goal five minutes after the restart as the Shamrocks had numerous chances to make amends, but their finishing let them down.
Stephen O’Brien floated in a dangerous high ball in the 51st minute that Shane Ryan, in goal for the first time for his club this year, cleared from the advancing Fionán O’Sullivan. When Mark Reen went down the other end and made it 2-6 to 1-7 in Rathmore’s favour it felt like the momentum was with the East Kerry side.
Substitute Donal O’Connor brought the deficit back to one for Shamrocks before Stephen O’Brien found time to slot over the equaliser to leave it 2-6 to 1-9 at the end of normal time.
Kevin Price nearly gave Shamrocks the ideal start to extra-time as he forced a save from Ryan but a point for David Hallissey and a Mark Crowley effort put Kenmare 1-11 to 2-7 in front at the interval, Mark Reen getting Rathmore’s only point.
O’Shea’s final score from a free and a second point for Hallissey put Shamrocks in front.
And while Shane Ryan abandoned his goal in search of an equaliser late on, it failed to save the day.
Rathmore are now eliminated from the competition and await a relegation play-off with Kilcummin.
S O’Shea (1-6, 4 frees); D Hallissey (0-2), D McCarthy, S O’Brien, K O’Sullivan, M Crowley and D O’Connor (0-1 each)
D Rahilly (1-1), C Spiers (2 frees) and M Reen (1 free) (0-4 each); C Murphy (1-0)
R O’Shea; D Crowley, D O’Shea, T O’Sullivan; G Wharton, D McCarthy, J McCarthy; K O’Sullivan, D Hallissey; F O’Sullivan, S O’Shea, S O’Leary; T Murnane, P O’Connor, S O’Brien.
M Crowley for Murnane (30+1), D O’Connor for D McCarthy (45) and K Price for F O’Sullivan (59)
S Ryan; TJ Friel, MJ Kelliher, C Kelly; C O’Connor, A O’Mahony, B O’Keeffe; D O’Sullivan, C Murphy; B Moynihan, C Spiers, D Rahilly; M Reen, D Fitzgerald, J Moynihan.
C O’Sullivan for J Moynihan (H/T), A Darmody for B Moynihan (45), G O’Keeffe for Spiers (49), D Murphy for O’Mahony (56), C Spiers for D Murphy (E/T), D Dineen for Fitzgerald (H/T E/T) and A O’Mahony for D O’Sullivan (76)
P Hayes (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)