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Bryan Sheehan stars as 2015 champions South Kerry book county final spot

They edged past Kerins O’Rahilly’s in Killarney.

Bryan Sheehan (file pic).
Bryan Sheehan (file pic).
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

South Kerry 0-12

Kerins O’Rahilly’s 1-8

Paul Brennan reports from Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

SOUTH KERRY ARE one game away from regaining the Kerry SFC title they last held two years ago after using all their street smarts to edge past Kerins O’Rahilly’s by a point in the first of a semi-final double header in Killarney this afternoon.

It took quite some time for the contest to catch fire, but it ended in a blaze of scores and excitement as the divisional side engineered a come from behind win in the final quarter.

Jack Savage’s first half penalty looked for a long time as if it might be the difference between the sides at the end in O’Rahilly’s favour, but South Kerry – led by a man of the match display from Bryan Sheehan – scored five of the last seven points to turn it around.

A late Daniel Daly free and a fisted point from Kerry full back Mark Griffin put South Kerry 0-12 to 1-7 ahead on the 60th minute, and while Barry John Keane nailed a monster free to half the deficit, he sailed another high and wide with pretty much the game’s last kick.

Tempers flared a little toward the end but it was South Kerry’s cool heads that won the day, with Sheehan scoring three first half points from play on an afternoon when his place kicking let him down.

The first half was an error-ridden affair, redeemed only by some excellent play from Sheehan, who punched the opening point after seven minutes. South Kerry’s lead lasted just three minutes when Savage slotted a penalty to the corner of the South Kerry net after Padraig Griffin was fouled, but scores were a rare commodity as the errors, forced and unforced, dominated.

David Moran had a right old midfield tussle with Brendan O’Sullivan, with Tommy Walsh decamping to the O’Rahilly’s full forward line where he was involved plenty until a hamstring injury forced him off after 46 minutes. His loss and that of John Ferguson at half time through injury robbed O’Rahilly’s of the scoring threat they badly needed.

Leading 1-1 to 0-2 after 18 minutes, O’Rahilly’s got to the break 1-3 to 0-5 in front, with Walsh flicking over an injury-time point.

Savage (free) and Tommy Begley got early second half scores to put the Tralee club 1-5 to 0-5 ahead, but after Keane and Daly exchanged scores, South Kerry began to find their rhythm. Sub Niall O’Shea and Paul O’Donoghue (’45′) brought them to within a point, and then Daly and sub Ian Galvin (free) gave them the lead.

Over that last 26 minutes all O’Rahilly’s could muster was a Savage point and that late free from Keane, which was never going to be enough against the old dogs for the hard road.

Scorers for South Kerry: Bryan Sheehan 0-3, Daniel Daly 0-3 (1f), Mark Griffin 0-1, Paul O’Donoghue 0-1 ’45′, Ronan Hussey 0-1f, Matthew O’Sullivan 0-1, Niall O’Shea 0-1, Ian Galvin 0-1f.

Scorers for Kerins O’Rahilly’s: Jack Savage 1-2 (1-0, pen, 0-1f), Barry John Keane 0-3 (2f), Tommy Begley 0-1, Tommy Walsh 0-1, John Ferguson 0-1

South Kerry

1. Padraig O’Sullivan

2. Brian Sugrue
3. Mark Griffin
4. Fionan Clifford

5. Paul O’Sullivan
6. John Curran
7. Robert Wharton

8. Bryan Sheehan
9. Brendan O’Sullivan

10. Conor O’Shea
11. Paul O’Donoghue
12. Graham O’Sullivan

13. Ronan Hussey
14. Matthew O’Sullivan
15. Daniel Daly

Subs

17. Niall O’Shea for R Hussey (35)
19. Ian Galvin for M O’Sullivan (42)
18. Oran Clifford for P O’Donoghue (48)
22. Shane O’Connor for J Curran (58)

Kerins O’Rahilly’s

1. Gary Kissane

2. Danny O’Sullivan
3. Ross O’Callaghan
4. Tommy Begley

5. Ryan Carroll
6. Cormac Coffey
7. Karl Mullins

8. David Moran
9. Tommy Walsh

10. Padraig Griffin
11. Con Barrett
12. Gavin O’Brien

13. Barry John Keane
14. Jack Savage
15. John Ferguson

Subs

18. Gearoid Savage for J Ferguson (30+3, inj)
21. Cian Sayers for G O’Brien (30+3)
19. Tom Hoare for T Walsh (46)
17. Shane Brosnan for P Griffin (59)

Referee: Eddie Walsh (Rathmore)

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Paul Brennan

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