Austin Stacks reach Kerry Club final as James O’Donoghue sees red

Dingle missed out on scoring difference, while the trap-door game to see who loses their senior status will feature Kilcummin and Templenoe
Austin Stacks reach Kerry Club final as James O’Donoghue sees red

Holders Austin Stacks will meet Kenmare Shamrocks in this year’s Kerry Senior Club final after a comprehensive 2-13 to 0-8 win over Killarney Legion. 

Dingle, despite beating Kilcummin, miss out on scoring difference while the trap-door game to see who loses their senior status will feature Kilcummin and Templenoe who battled bravely against Kerins O’Rahilly’s in Tralee before losing to the David Moran-powered Strand Road side.

But the big game was in Direen, where Killarney Legion kicked the opening three points, two from Conor Keane and one from Cian Gammell, but that was as good as it got as Stacks, with Joe O’Connor and Brendan O’Sullivan dominant at midfield, had Ferdia O’Brien kick three points from placed balls, Brendan O’Sullivan added one, and then Donagh McMahon tacked on a goal and a point. Stacks 1-5 to 0-3 ahead at the water break. 

Kerry keeper Brian Kelly then converted a long-range free but Legion were not to score again for the rest of the half as Stacks keeper Wayne Guthrie added two 45s while Ferdia O’Brien was deadly accurate from frees, leaving Stacks in pole position, 1-9 to 0-4 at half-time.

Legion introduced Kerry star James O’Donoghue for the second half but he was to make little impact as Stacks continued to add points from David Mannix and Joseph O’Connor. They were still well clear at the second-half water break, leading 1-11 to 0-6. 

In the 50th minute, O’Donoghue was shown a red card by referee Jonathan Griffin as Stacks, running their bench, continued to prosper, with Colin Griffin goaling late on, and will now face the championship with confidence.

Meanwhile, Dingle’s 0-18 to 1-12 victory over Kilcummin was not enough as they finished level with Stacks on points but didn’t match them on scoring difference. 

Conor Geaney, for the second week in a row, kicked 0-6 while Paul Geaney also notched six points, although the latter Geaney also saw his penalty being well saved by his former Kerry teammate Brendan Kealy in the Kilcummin goals.

It was a goal from Kevin McCarthy that ended Dingle’s hope of earning a wide margin of victory while Noel Duggan and Paul O’Shea kept the scoreboard ticking over for Kilcummin who had nothing to play for as even a win would have seen them lose out on the head-to-head with Legion.

In the battle to avoid losing their senior status, Kerins O’Rahilly’s eventually saw off the challenge of Templenoe on a 3-13 to 1-11 scoreline. 

O’Rahilly’s, who scored some excellent points in the opening quarter from Gearóid Savage and Conor Hayes, found themselves leading 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time as Templenoe staged a second-quarter fightback despite being 1-5 to no-score behind after twelve minutes. Conor Hayes got the O’Rahilly’s goal but Killian Spillane, with two points, and a point each from Cian Hallissey, Sean Sheehan, and Colin Crowley had Templenoe still in the game at the interval. 

The Crowley brothers, Brian, Gavin, and Colin, closed the gap to a point midway through the second half as Tadhg Morley made his long-awaited return from injury. Templenoe leveled in the 49th minute thanks to a Martin Riley point but O’Rahilly’s as if sensing danger took over with two Jack Savage points and then goals from Barry John Keane in the 56th minute and Danny O’Sullivan in added time to secure their senior status for another season.

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