Injury-time equaliser secures second chance for Legion
Dramatic finale sends Kerry senior football final to replay after low-scoring encounter
Killarney Legion and South Kerry players get to grips with each others following the final whistle in the drawn Kerry County Senior Football Championship in Killarney yesterday. Photograph: Don MacMonagle
Killarney Legion 0-9 South Kerry 0-9
A game that did not spark to life until the final quarter saw South Kerry and Killarney Legion finish all square in the senior football final, thanks to an injury-time point from the boot of Legion’s Jamie O’Sullivan.
Both sides will have to meet again the weekend after next in the replay. The Munster council will meet this evening to confirm the match details.
There was almost four minutes of 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
However, 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 Séamus Mulvihill required a 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.
Legion were the more potent side and midfielders Jamie O’Sullivan and Shaun Keane kicked five points from play, with O’Sullivan notching 0-4.
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.
The boot of Bryan Sheehan kept 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 kick-outs meant 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 two 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 clinching the tie when Declan O’Sullivan broke through, but instead of parting 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.
Amazingly, no South Kerry forward scored from open play. Kerry star Bryan Sheehan scored 0-7 for South Kerry while Legion’s James O’Donoghue was well shackled by Killian Young and managed only one point from play. Following discussions between officers of the Munster Council and Kerry GAA, it has been decided to put the replay back a week to the weekend of November 22nd. The CCC will meet tomorrow evening to confirm match details for the replay.
Killarney Legion: B Kelly; P O’Connor, D Sheehan, C Davies; J Lyne, Damian O’Sullivan, D O’Doherty; S Keane (0-1), J O’Sullivan (0-4), B McGuire, J O’Donoghue (0-2, 0-1 free), K Breen; T Moriarty, D Lyne, C Keane (0-2 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 0-7, 0-5 frees), B O’Sullivan ( Valentia) (0-1), 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 0-1) for B O’Sullivan (56).
Referee Seamus Mulvihill (St Senan’s).