A brilliant 19-minute spell at the start of the second half — when they scored 11 points without reply — propelled St Kieran’s to victory over Kilcummin and booked their place in the Kerry SFC quarter-finals.
The first-half was an even affair with the sides level six times including at the interval (0-8 to 0-8), but few in Fitzgerald Stadium could have foreseen what was about to unfold as the divisional side put on the afterburners and blew away the Kilcummin challenge with a devasting display
Kilcummin started the brighter, racing into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after six minutes with points from Noel Duggan (free), Sean O’ Leary and Shane McSweeney. Adam Barry was the sole man on target for St Kieran’s. They then began to get into their stride and the very impressive Philip O’Connor slotted over his first score of the game before Edmund Walsh (free) levelled matters in the ninth minute.
Kilcummin regained the lead with Shane McSweeney’s second point but Adam Barry had St Kieran’s level once more in the 14th minute.
The sides traded scores again before St Kieran’s had three unanswered points to nudge 0-8 to 0-6 ahead with half time approaching. Two Duggan frees saw the sides level once again (0-8 apiece) at the interval.
Then came the stunning St Kieran’s run of scorers as points from Philip O’Connor (3), Adam Barry (3), and Edmund Walsh saw them race 0-15 to 0-8 ahead. By the 50th minute, they led 0-19 to 0-8.
To their credit, Kilcummin didn’t give up the ghost. Kevin McCarthy made a welcome return to action after a number of months on the sidelines through injury, and the Kerry star made an immediate impact.
His brilliant pass found Enda O’Sullivan who shot low past Sean Ó Ciardubháin for a goal, and straight afterwards Seán O’Leary and Noel Duggan (free) added points to bring the score to 0-19 to 1-9 but it was too little too late. Kilcummin must now face Rathmore with the loser dropping down to the intermediate ranks.
A Barry (0-5, 0-2 f), P O’Connor (0-5), P Walsh (0-3, 0-1 f), S Horan (0-3), E Walsh (0-3, 0-2 f), Aidan Breen and Pa McCarthy (0-1 f) (0-1 each).
N Duggan (0-6, 0-1 f), E O’Sullivan (1-0), S McSweeney, S O’Leary, K McCarthy (0-2 each), Gary O’Leary (0-1).
S Óg Ó Ciardubháin; J O’Connor, L Lyons, M Reidy; L Brosnan, B Leonard, M Hickey; S Scanlon, A Donoghue; P O’Connor, A Breen, S Horan; P Walsh, E Walsh , A Barry.
M Walsh for J O’Connor (20), T Lynch for S Horan (50), V Horan for A Barry (50), S Brosnan for B Leonard (b/c, 54), P McCarthy for E Walsh (55), P O’Connor for L Brosnan (62).
B Kealy; S O’Leary, D Maher, O O’Connor; J Nagle, K McSweeney, D O’Leary; K Gorman, K Murphy; M Keane, G O’Leary, S McSweeney; E O’Sullivan, N Duggan, P O’Shea.
J O’Donoghue for O O’Connor (h-t), K McCarthy for P O’Shea (41), S Moynihan for K Gorman (50), M O’Shea for M Keane (55), S Brosnan for J Nagle (55), P Casey for D O’Leary (60).
Jonathan Griffin (Glenbeigh/Glencar).