Conor Geaney gave an exhibition of point kicking that helped Dingle to a narrow two-point win 0-13 to 0-11 over a Killarney Legion side, who had to start without Kerry star James O’Donoghue.
Dingle dominated the opening half, with Barry and Darragh O’Sullivan winning lots of ball at midfield while Mikey Geaney was also mopping up breaking ball as was Mikey Boyle.
Kerry All-Star Tom O’Sullivan punched the opening point for Dingle but two Conor Keane points, one from a free and one from play had the Killarney side in front.
But Conor Geaney with two beauties from play and cousin Paul with a free, saw Dingle lead 0-4 to 0-3 at the water break, with Kerry keeper Brian Kelly floating over a '45 for Legion.
Matthew Flaherty and Conor Keane swapped points before Dingle hit a purple patch kicking five unanswered points from the 24th to 34th minutes from Conor Geaney, Dylan Geaney (2), P Geaney and Tom O’Sullivan to lead 0-10 to 0-4. But Conor Keane with a free gave Killarney Legion hope with a free on the stroke of half time, as Dingle retired 0-10 to 0-5 in front.
Legion with a gentle breeze re-jigged their side for the second half, with Darragh Lyne coming in at midfield and Cian Gammell pushing forward along with speedy wing back Peter O’Sullivan.
Dingle then lost Barry O’Sullivan for ten minutes to sin bin and suddenly Legion came alive. Conor Keane kicked and missed a free while Brian Kelly nailed a long free. But the Dingle defence was rock solid with Mikey Geaney playing a captains role along with Brendan Kelliher and Tom O’Sullivan who were tenacious in the tackle.
Legion introduced James O’Donoghue after the water break with his side trailing 0-11 to 0-7 but Conor Geaney kicked fifth point to push Dingle five clear.
But O’Donoghue then closed the gap with two frees and Brian Kelly with his third point from a placed ball, made it a two-point game with three minutes plus six added minutes left.
Legion overdid the high ball into James O’Donoghue in the closing minutes and turned over some crucial ball as Dingle thanks a sixth Conor Geaney point ( five from play) had the home side three in front and Jamie O’Sullivan’s late point from a mark was a mere consolation score.
Dingle now have three points with Kilcummin to play away while Legion will have Austin Stacks at home in their final round game next weekend.
In the same group, Austin Stacks had to rely on a late Shane O’Callaghan goal to beat a gutsy Kilcummin side 2-5 to 1-6.
Stacks raced 1-2 to 0-0 in front at the end of the opening quarter thanks to two David Mannix frees and a goal created by Kieran Donaghy and finished to the net by Darragh O’Brien.
But once Kerry senior Kevin McCarthy came on, Kilcummin took over against a strangely listless Stacks side and by half time the sides were level on 1-2 to 0-5 with Noel Duggan kicking three points and the O’Leary brothers Philip and Sean kicking one apiece for Kilcummin.
Kilcummin grabbed the initiative early in the second half when Noel Duggan was taken down for a penalty and former Kerry minor captain Paul O’Shea gave Wayne Guthrie no chance as Kilcummin moved 1-5 to 1-2 in front.
Shane Callaghan just like last weekend in Dingle came off the bench to kick a free but then Philip O’Leary struck the underside of the Stacks crossbar and the ball was cleared.
Joe O’Connor cut the gap to two after Duggan had converted another free for Kilcummin. But Stacks produced the killer blow in the 58th minute when Kieran Donaghy crossed for Shane Callaghan to fire the ball past Brendan Kealy and suddenly Stacks were a point clear.
Darragh O’Brien scored the insurance point but Kilcummin in added time should have snatched it but Shane McSweeney saw his shot come back off the crossbar and Stacks had a escaped to victory. Kilcummin will now be involved in the relegation game.
Dr Crokes will travel to Kenmare next weekend for a game that will decide who plays in the Club Final after a hard earned 1-10 to 0-11 win over Kerins O’Rahilly’s who will face Templenoe in the trapdoor game.
Crokes led 1-7 to 0-9 at half time with Chris Doncel getting their goal but it required late points from Tony Brosnan (his sixth) and a fine effort from veteran Kieran O’Leary saw Crokes through with keeper Shane Murphy make a superb late save to deny Gavin O’Brien and O’Rahilly’s.