St Mary’s’ bid to complete the six-in-a-row of Jack Murphy Cups will have to wait until the middle of January at the earliest, as Dromid Pearses secured a late draw with two Niall Ó Sé frees during six minutes of added time in the Kerry SFC final at a bitterly cold Portmagee yesterday.
St Mary’s failed to score for the final 28 minutes of a hard-hitting affair that nearly boiled over after the final whistle, and that was only carrying on the niggly nature of a game that forced referee Brendan Griffin to issue 11 yellow cards.
The opportunity for a St Stephen’s Day replay was scuppered as Dromid’s Graham O’Sullivan is travelling with the Kerry senior team on a holiday to Thailand.
So it could be at least the weekend of January 12 before the replay can take place.
Dromid Pearses made a blistering start with the aid of the elements, going 0-5 to 0-0 ahead inside the opening 13 minutes.
Three of those scores were frees from Ó Sé as Graham O’Sullivan had kicked a fine point to open proceedings with Dilan Donohoe the other point scorer.
St Mary’s had to wait until the 17th minute for their first score through Denis Daly, but they were the happier side at half-time, only trailing 0-6 to 0-4 considering the tough conditions.
Paul O’Donoghue, Daniel Daly, and a Bryan Sheehan free were their scorers in a late first-half flourish.
Niall Ó Sé extended Dromid’s lead back to three after the restart but Dromid needed a big defensive interception from Kevin Sheehan on Anthony Cournane to deny St Mary’s a goal.
But they could do nothing in the 35th minute when another chance presented itself for Cournane, as he finished with aplomb.
A Darren Casey point then put the Cahersiveen side 1-6 to 0-7 in front after 38 minutes. But they failed to score for the remainder of the half as Dromid fought hard not to be beaten for a third consecutive year.
When they squandered two goal chances, first when Tomás Curran blasted wide in the 39th minute and then when St Mary’s goalkeeper Mike Daly saved brilliantly from Donohoe, it looked like it wouldn’t be their day once again.
They dug in though as affairs got edgy and St Mary’s could not find a further score against a strong wind.
Dromid’s perseverance was rewarded in the first of six additional minutes when Ó Sé put over a free to make it a one-point game.
Then in the final minute St Mary’s were punished by referee Brendan Griffin, and Ó Sé’s seventh point — and fifth from a free — was a simple tap over equaliser as South Kerry will have its first senior replay since 2014.
That was the year St Mary’s started their run of victories after beating Waterville the second time out.
A Cournane (1-0), Daniel Daly (0-2, 1f), Denis Daly, B Sheehan (f), P O’Donoghue and D Casey (0-1 each)
N Ó Sé (0-7, 5f), Graham O’Sullivan and D Donohoe (0-1 each)
M Daly; K Nolan, B Curran, O Moran; C O’Shea, D O’Sullivan, P Cournane; B Sheehan, Denis Daly; J Daly, A Quirke, D Casey; A Cournane, Daniel Daly, P O’Donoghue.
A Walsh for Nolan (48)
Donal J O’Sullivan; C Ó Sé, S O’Connor, K Sheehan; K Farley, Graham O’Sullivan, P O’Sullivan; K O’Leary, N O’Connor; Gearóid O’Sullivan, T Curran, M Sheehan; D Donohoe, N Ó Sé, Dominic O’Sullivan
A O’Sullivan for M Sheehan (37), Denis O’Sullivan for K O’Leary (54), C Farley for Curran (56) and K O’Leary for K Farley (60 +3)
B Griffin (Clounmacon)