West Kerry finally overcome Kilcummin
AFTER 160 minutes of football over two games, it took a Jason Hickson goal to finally separate both sides who left very little after them in their pursuit of a quarter-final place.
With a possible championship exit, facing them West Kerry rolled up the sleeves and called on their traditional spirit to haul back Kilcummin's biggest lead of the night to ensure that fans would get yet another bout of extra time.
In a contest that was very much a slow burner both sides never scaled beyond mediocre heights in opening period and went to the break level again 0-6 to 1-3. The stand out move of the half was Kevin McCarthy's exciting break that saw his shot at goal rebound to Kelvin Teahan who was brought down in the square on the 16th minute, which resulted in Kilcummin's Kieran Murphy converting from the spot.
The second period saw more bite as both sides began to play with a little more abandonment with the midfield battle hotting up as Eanna Ó Conchuir and Shane McSweeney (right) both drove on their perspective sides.
They remained tied together by the 45th minute before the home side made a bold bid to take the day. McSweeney received a defensive splitting opening pass from Kelvin Teahan and he took a straight route to goal but just as everyone expected a belter of a shot from 14 yards, a quick pass to the on rushing Jer Sheehan saw him flick to the West Kerry net.
Maher and McCarthy added points and with ten minutes, left on the clock Kilcummin had a healthy 2-8 to 0-10 lead.
West Kerry never panicked and reeled off five unanswered points from Ciaran O'Sullivan, Declan O'Sullivan, James Crean, Eanna Ó Conchuir and Alan Fitzgerald to actually take a late lead but Jamie O'Sullivan held his nerve in injury time to score a magnificent effort from 50 yards to level matters ahead of another series of extra time.
Then came the most decisive score of the whole drama. A high ball into the Kilcummin square in the first minute of extra time saw Brendan Kealy punch the ball off his goal line but his clearance re-bounded off one of his defenders and it was all that Hickson needed to poke home a shot. The home side were rattled and conceded a 21 yard from a minute later which Alan Fitzgerald converted, his third of the day.
Kilcummin had a number of chances to reduce the arrears but lacked the composure West Kerry had shown earlier. They could only muster one further white flag, which signalled their final surrender as their fingers finally slipped off this season's county championship.
Kilcummin: Brendan Kealy, Sean Brosnan, Tommy Cooper, Donal Maher 0-1, Eric O'Connor, Daniel O'Leary 0-1, Chris O'Leary, Kevin O'Gorman 0-1, Shane McSweeney, Kieran Murphy 1-0 (pen), Kevin McCarthy 0-3, Gary O'Leary, Noel Duggan, Jamie O'Sullivan 0-4 (3f), Kelvin Teahan. Subs: Jer Sheehan 1-0 for Murphy (Inj) (40), Damien Doolan for O'Connor (52), John McCarthy for Teahan (56), Damien O'Leary for Cooper (59)
West Kerry: Gearoid O'Shea, Caoimhgin O Beaglaoich, Marc O Se, Nollaig O hUigin, Padraig O Se, Eamon Hickson, Joe O'Connor, Eanna O Conchuir 0-1, Emmet Kennedy, Colm O'Mahony, James Crean 0-3, Shane Foley 0-2, Declan O Suilleabhain 0-4 (2f), Jason Hickson 1-1, Alan Fitzgerald 0-4f. Subs: Brian O Raoil for O'Mahony (H/T), Ciarain O Suilleabhain 0-1 for Foley (42), Gareth Noonan for Kennedy (48), James Scanlon for Jason Hickson (BC) (64)
Referee: Brendan Twiss (Milltown / Castlemaine)