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Garda escort for referee as Legion and South Kerry finish level in Kingdom final

There was a dramatic end to this afternoon’s Kerry county senior football final.

Tempers flare at full-time as Kerry teammates Bryan Sheehan and James O'Donoghue (11) exchange pleasantries.
Tempers flare at full-time as Kerry teammates Bryan Sheehan and James O'Donoghue (11) exchange pleasantries.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kerry County SFC Final 

Killarney Legion 0-9

South Kerry 0-9

Paul Brennan reports from Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

HIGH DRAMA TO the very last second – and beyond – in the Kerry County SFC Final in Killarney as Legion midfielder Jamie O’Sullivan thumped over a 64th minute equaliser to keep alive his club’s hope of a first county in 69 years.

Opponents South Kerry surely believed they had regained the title they last won in 2009 when substitute Greg Gibson fired them into a 0-9 to 0-8 lead in the 61st minute, and when Cathal Sheahan kicked wide for Legion a minute later that looked that.

Play continued, O’Sullivan raked over his fourth point from play from distance, and pandemonium ensued. As players from both teams got embroiled in a running melee in the middle of the field a final whistle sounded and referee Seamus Mulvihill made his exit under a Garda escort as players continued their arguments.

Greg Gibson Sub Greg Gibson thought he'd won it for South Kerry. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

They get a chance to renew acquaintances (or hostilities) next Saturday back in Killarney, with Legion, if they win, to face Nemo Rangers the following day in the Munster Club Championship semi-final.

If Jamie O’Sullivan had not found that late equaliser then Dingle, the Senior Club champions, would now be preparing for Nemo next weekend.

Had South Kerry held out they’d be thanking Bryan Sheehan for his contribution of seven points – two outrageous points from distance tied on to five frees in a tour de force from the Kerry footballer.

Their other scores came from Sheehan’s midfield partner, Brendan O’Sullivan, and substitute Greg Gibson, a defender. That no South Kerry forward raised a flag must be a huge worry for the divisional side ahead of the replay.

Legion fared little better. Jamie O’Sullivan scored four from midfield; his midfield partner Shaun Keane added another. Conor Keane (2) and James O’Donoghue converted frees, leaving O’Donoghue’s superb 23rd minute point as their only score from play from their forward line.

Bryan Sheehan and Paul O’Sullivan with Chris Davies Tempers flare after the final whistle. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

By the 15th minute it was level, 0-3 each, before Legion converted their dominance into a 0-7 to 0-3 lead by the 23rd minute and a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at half time.

Two Sheehan scores and one from Brendan O’Sullivan had it all square by 40 minutes before Conor Keane’s questionable free kick was deemed a point after much consultation between referee and linesman.

Declan O’Sulllivan wasted a great goal chance before Sheehan levelled the game again with another huge free kick in the 51st minute.

It took another 11 minutes for the next score, Gibson’s cool point looking an improbable winner for South Kerry before Jamie O’Sullivan stepped up for an even more improbable equaliser.

Scorers for Killarney Legion: Jamie O’Sullivan (0-4), James O’Donoghue (0-2, 1f), Conor Keane (0-2f), Shaun Keane (0-1)

Scorers for South Kerry: Bryan Sheehan (0-7, 5f), Brendan O’Sullivan (0-1), Greg Gibson (0-1)

Killarney Legion

Brian Kelly

Padraig O’Connor
Danny Sheehan
Chris Davies

Jonathan Lyne
Damien O’Sullivan
Darragh O’Doherty

Shaun Keane
Jamie O’Sullivan

Billy McGuire
James O’Donoghue
Kevin Breen

Tom Moriarty
Donal Lyne
Conor Keane

Subs: Padraig Lucey for B McGuire (47 mins); Denis Sheahan for K Breen (47 mins); David O’Sullivan for T Moriarty (inj, 52 mins); Jack O’Neill for S Keane (56 mins); Cathal Sheahan for D Lyne (62 mins)

South Kerry

Brian O’Connor (Valentia)

Brian Sugrue (Renard)
Killian Young (Renard)
Paul O’SDullivan (Valentia)

Padraig O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)
Bernard Walsh (Skellig Rangers)
Robert Wharton (Renard)

Bryan Sheehan (St Marys)
Brendan O’Sullivan (Valentia)

Paul O’Connor (Valentia)
Denis Daly (St Marys)
Aidan Walsh (St Marys)

Ian Galvin (Sneem/Derrynane)
Paul O’Donoghue (St Marys)
Conor O’Shea (St Marys)

Subs: Chris Farley (Dromid Pearses) for R Wharton (black card, 4 mins); Declan O’Sullivan (Dromod Pearses) for C Farley (41 mins); Dylan O’Donoghue (Dromid Pearses) for I Galvin (55 mins); Greg Gibson (Waterville) for B O’Sullivan (56 mins)

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (St Senans)

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About the author:

Paul Brennan

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