Dylan O’Donoghue’s point in injury time was enough for South Kerry to take a point from their opening group game against Templenoe in Killarney.
But Templenoe will be kicking themselves for leaving a six point lead slip and a final quarter fightback by the Sean O’Sullivan managed South Kerry will have stung the club finalists.
Level at half-time on 0-5 apiece, Templenoe grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the third quarter and thanks to an Aidan Crowley goal they were soon six points clear.
Their game management, however, fell to pieces in the final quarter and South Kerry’s firepower ensured an honourable draw.
Templenoe were wasteful early on as Darragh O’Sullivan kicked a 45 at the other end for an early South Kerry lead, but Killian Spillane brought his side back level after eleven minutes.
In a low scoring opening quarter Templenoe grabbed the initiative with well taken points by Killian Spillane and Colin Crowley for a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
Daniel Daly and O’Sullivan brought South Kerry level after 21 minutes, with South Kerry keeper Pádraig O’Sullivan earning the plaudits when he pulled off a stunning one handed save to deny Sean Sheehan a certain goal and this save may well have kept South Kerry in the game.
Spillane was the main shooter for Templenoe, kicking a further two scores to end the half. Graham O’Sullivan’s injury time effort left it tied 0-5 a piece at the break.
Crowley’s magnificent strike rippled the net after 41 minutes and saw Templenoe lead 1-8 to 0-7, Spillane and Morley stretched the lead further with well taken scores.
But South Kerry were not throwing in the towel and Dylan O’Donoghue was in inspired form in the final quarter, kicking three points including the one to level in injury time. Matthew O’Sullivan’s majestic score had them only a point behind but Aidan Crowley then sent over a long range free from the ground for Templenoe.
The two point lead was not enough as Anthony Cournane with a point and as already mentioned Dylan O’Donoghue popping over that late South Kerry equaliser.
K Spillane 0-5 (0-3f’s), A Crowley 1-1 (0-1f), T Morley 0-2, C Crowley, P Casey and S O’Sullivan 0-1.
D O’Donoghue 0-5, D O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1f, 1 45’) D Daly 0-2 (0-1f), G O’Sullivan 0-2, M O’Sullivan, J Daly and A Cournane 0-1 each.
M Looney; M Hallissey, K O’Neill, B Crowley; P Clifford, T Morley, G Crowley; S Sheehan, A Spillane; M Casey, J Moriarty, C Crowley; S O’Sullivan, A Crowley, K Spillane.
T Spillane for M Hallissey (8), D Cahalane for J Moriarty (HT), C Hallissey for S Sheehan (43), J Sheehan for A Spillane (50).
P O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers); C O’Donoghue (St Mary’s), F Clifford (Waterville), S O’Connor (Dromid Pearses); M O’Leary (Reenard), R O’Shea (Skellig Rangers), D Casey (St Mary’s); J Daly (St Mary’s), G O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses); C O’Shea (St Mary’s), D Daly (St Mary’s), K Sheehan (Dromid Pearses); D O’Donoghue (Dromid Pearses), M O’Sullivan (St Michael’s Foilmore), D O’Sullivan (Skellig Rangers).
A Cournane (St Mary’s) for D O’Sullivan (46), I Galvin (Sneem/Derrynane) for K Sheehan (49), S Teehan (Reenard) for D Daly (51), J Lynch (Dromid Pearses) for J Daly (54).
D Casey (Scartaglen).