Cometh the hour cometh Sean O’Shea, as a big performance by the star forward helped Kenmare Shamrocks record their second win in an enthralling second round group 1 tie with St Kieran’s.
They are now guaranteed a quarter-final spot and will play Dr Crokes to decide who tops the group while Shannon Rangers will play St Kierans in a dead rubber.
Seanie O’Shea punished the district side when they allowed him opportunities at the posts, and though he did miss a few, kicking eight frees and two from play was a huge contribution to the win.
In reality both teams would have felt they had squandered victory if the game finished deadlocked, but Kenmare finished well and displayed strong game management. Mickey Ned O’Sullivan was a vocal presence on the sideline and three late points from Seanie O’Shea, Kevin O’Sullivan and Shane O’Sullivan sealed the win.
Kenmare trailed 1-6 to 0-8 at half time and it was Kieran’s who certainly controlled the first period. Paul Walsh was superb inside and he pounced on a poor kick-out to hit the net after four minutes.
Eddie Horan kept the scoreboard ticking with two well taken frees after Walsh pointed a mark. However, Horan would get sent off in a crazy 30 seconds around the twenty minute mark. It was a sideline scuffle which brought the first yellow before a high tackle warranted the second.
This proved a major turning point as Kenmare had two defenders keeping an eye on Horan so his premature departure was a major boost to Kenmare Shamrocks chances.
St Kieran led by two but Kenmare battled back to make it a one point game at the interval with O’Shea the catalyst with two further frees but St Kierans led at half 1-6 to 0-8.
Then straight from the throw in, midfielder David Hallissey hit the back of the St Kierans net to give his side the lead 1-8 to 1-6.
St Kieran’s fought back and had Kenmare Shamrocks on the back foot as James Walsh kicked two frees before two Philip O’Connor points gave them a two point margin, 1-10 to 1-8 after 40 minutes.
O’Shea added two further points to level the tie by the end of the third quarter. Walsh pointed his fourth of the game as Kieran’s looked likely winners with the sides deadlocked in the 50th minute as Jimmy Lehane leveled at 1-11 each..
However, it was the club side that finished the stronger with three late points from O’Shea and the two O’Sullivan’s, Kevin and Shane as Kenmare Shamrocks secured their place in the last eight.
Scorers for Kenmare Shamrocks: S O’Shea 0-10 (8fs), D Hallissey 1-0, S O’Sullivan, K O’Sullivan, D McCarthy, J Lehane 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Kieran’s: P Walsh 1-4 (2fs, 1m), P O’Connor 0-2, E Horan and J Walsh 0-2 (both frees), D O’Shea 0-1.
KENMARE SHAMROCKS: K Fitzgibbon; D Crowley, T O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; D O’Shea, J McCarthy, S O’Sullivan; D Hallissey, K O’Sullivan; T Cronin, S O’Shea, D McCarthy, S O’Brien, P O’Connor, P O’Brien.
Subs: J Lehane for P O’Brien (HT).
ST KIERAN’S: S Óg O Ciardubháin; M Reidy, S Fitzmaurice, B Leonard; C Counihan, J Walsh, D O’Shea; A Donoghue, L Brosnan; M Hickey, T Lynch, A Breen; P Walsh, P O’Connor, E Horan.
Subs: S Horan for A Breen (HT), C Brosnan for D O’Shea (49).
Referee: S Joy (Laune Rangers).