Although they failed to score in the opening 24 minutes, and conceded 2-4 in that spell, Kenmare Shamrocks completed an impressive turnaround to defeat West Kerry by three points in Fitzgerald Stadium.
Sean O’Shea was the driving force for the winners but it wasn’t until Paul O’Connor scored his second goal in the 52nd minute that they took the lead for the first time.
West Kerry’s ability to run well with the ball was a major factor in Kenmare’s poor first period. Brian Ó Beaglaoich made the burst for PJ Mac Laimh to get West Kerry’s first goal, the first score of the game in the fourth minute.
Ó Beaglaoich then started a run from inside his own half of the pitch that culminated in a superb individual finish in the ninth minute for a lead of 2-2 to 0-0.
Points from Dara and Pádraig Ó Sé made it a 10-point advantage for West Kerry after 22 minutes before Sean O’Shea shrugged off some frustrating misses at the other end to get Shamrocks on the board two minutes later.
They were back in the game in the 26th minute when impressive centre-back Dan McCarthy passed to Paul O’Connor, who cut inside for a low finish to the net, making it 2-5 to 1-3 at the break.
O’Connor levelled the scores on the three-quarter mark at 2-5 to 1-8 before Roibeárd Ó Sé got West Kerry’s first second-half score in the 50th minute followed by Dara Ó See’s third point as the district outfit appeared to have settled once more.
But then came that O’Connor goal - a rebound after a Stephen O’Brien shot was saved by Tomas Mac an tSaoir - and Shamrocks were in front at 2-9 to 2-7.
Griffin Wharton and Sean O’Shea’s fifth point stretched that advantage and Eanna Ó Conchúir’s late point was only a consolation.
West Kerry lost Cian Ó Murchú to a second yellow in the 55th minute but it mattered little.
Shamrocks now go into the quarter-final draw for the second time in their three years in the Kerry SFC.
P O’Connor (2-2); S O’Shea (0-5, 4 frees); S O’Brien, D McCarthy, S O’Leary and D McCarthy (0-1 each)
PJ Mac Laimh and B Ó Beaglaoich (1-0 each); D Ó Sé (0-3, 2 frees); P Ó Sé, É Ó Conchúir, R Ó Sé, C Ferriter and J O’Grady (0-1 each)
T Mac an tSaoir (An Ghaeltacht); A Mac Amhlaoibh (do), B Ó Beaglaoich (do), C Ó Lúing (do); P Ó Sé (do), C Ó Murchú (do), PJ Mac Láimh (do); É Ó Conchúir (do), R Ó Sé (do); K Falvey (Annascaul), D Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), J Crean (Annascaul); T Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), C Ferriter (Annascaul), J O’Grady (Castlegregory) Subs: J Hickson (Annascaul) for Falvey (40), R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht) for Crean (47) and A Fitzgerald (Castlegregory) for Ferriter (56)
R O’Shea; D Crowley, D O’Shea, T O’Sullivan; G Wharton, D McCarthy, J McCarthy; K O’Sullivan, D Hallissey; M Crowley, S O’Shea, S O’Leary; F O’Sullivan, P O’Connor, S O’Brien Subs: T Murnane for F O’Sullivan (53), D O’Connor for Crowley (60 +1) and K Price for O’Connor (60 +2) Referee: D Sayers (Austin Stacks)
The remaining Kerry SFC Round 3 fixture between St Kieran’s and Kilcummin was postponed earlier in the week due to bereavement. It is refixed for this coming Sunday in Fitzgerald Stadium, throw-in time TBC.
The quarter-final draw will take place following the completion of next Sunday’s encounter.