By Murt Mortimer
Killarney Legion 0-09 South Kerry 0-09
A game that did not spark to life until the final quarter saw South Kerry and Killarney Legion finish all square in the Garvey’s Supervalu Kerry SFC final thanks to an injury time point from the boot of Jamie O’Sullivan.
Both sides will have to meet on Saturday next in the replay, but St Mary’s who formed part of the South Kerry District, are also due to face Corfofin in the Munster Intermediate semi-final.
There was almost four minutes injury time played and it looked as if South Kerry had staged a dramatic comeback when Greg Gibson gave them the lead for the first time in the 62nd minute, but the referee allowed another two minutes despite the announcement of just two minutes’ injury time and this allowed Legion to score a dramatic equaliser.
There was a major fracas at the final whistle with both sets of players being involved and referee Seamus Mulvihill required Garda escort as he left the field.
Killarney Legion controlled the opening half of this contest with their midfield pairing of Shaun Keane and Jamie O’Sullivan dominant against Bryan Sheehan and Brendan O’Sullivan.
Both sides dropped a sweeper back and both sets of attackers found scores hard to come by. However, the Legion were the more potent side and their midfielders Jamie O’Sullivan and Shaun Keane kicked four points from play with O’Sullivan notching 0-03.
James O’Donoghue was winning possession and kicked a fine point from play in the 24th minute after a pass from Shaun Keane but overall, Killian Young was doing a good marking job on him. South Kerry suffered an early setback when wing-back Robert Wharton received a black card for a body check on Conor Keane and South Kerry were labouring up front.
It was left to the boot of Bryan Sheehan to keep South Kerry in the game as he was responsible for their first half total of four points all from placed balls.
Paul O’Donoghue did look a threat to the Legion but the fact that South Kerry were not contesting the Legion’s short kickouts meant that Chris Davies and Padraic O’Connor were getting easy possessions and attacking at every opportunity.
However, Legion did have the wind to their backs in the opening half and a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the interval was a tenuous one.
South Kerry were a different side in the second half as they took over with Bryan Sheehan becoming a central figure and the introduction of Declan O’Sullivan also paying dividends.
Sheehan kicked an opening free and then added three superb points from play to level the scoring with Legion’s only second half point coming from a Conor Keane free.
South Kerry spurned a golden chance of possibly clinching the tie when Declan O’Sullivan broke through but instead of passing to Ian Galvin who was free he went for goal and Brian Kelly brought off a superb save.
The game was up for grabs as time ran out and two minutes into injury time Greg Gibson appeared to have given South Kerry a dramatic win but in the extra time added on by the match official Jamie O’Sullivan kicked his fourth and the equalising point and so both sides will have to meet again next Saturday.
Amazingly, no South Kerry forward scored from open play and Kerry star Bryan Sheehan scored 0-07 for South Kerry while James O’Donoghue was well shackled by Killian Young and managed only one point from play.
Killarney Legion: B Kelly; P O’Connor, D Sheehan, C Davies; J Lyne, Damian O’Sullivan, D O’Doherty; S Keane (0-01), J O’Sullivan (0-04), B McGuire, J O’Donoghue (0-02, 1 free), K Breen; T Moriarty, D Lyne, C Keane (0-02 frees).
Subs: P Lucey for B McGuire (46); D Sheehan for K Breen (46); David O’Sullivan for T Moriarty (51); J O’Neill for S Keane (56); C Sheehan for D Lyne (61).
South Kerry: Brian O’Connor ( Valentia), B Sugrue ( Renard), K Young ( Renard), P O’Sullivan ( Valentia), Padraig O’Sullivan ( Dromid Pearses), B Walsh ( Skellig Rangers), Robert Wharton ( Renard), Bryan Sheehan St Mary’s 0-07, 0-05 frees), B O’Sullivan ( Valentia) (0-01), P O’Connor ( Valentia), Denis Daly ( St Marys), Aidan Walsh ( St Marys), Ian Galvin ( Sneem/Derrynane ), P O Donoghue ( St Marys).
Subs: C Farley (Piarsaigh na Dromoda) for R Wharton (B/C 6 ); D O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromoda) for C Farley (39); D O’Donoghue (Piarsaigh na Dromoda) for I Galvin (54); G Gibson (Waterville 0-01) for B O’Sullivan (56)
Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (St Senan’s).