ALTHOUGH they needed an extra 20 minutes to get it done, Kenmare advanced to the Junior Championship semi-finals, surviving two comebacks by Ballymacelligott before eventually pulling through in what was a thoroughly entertaining and pulsating contest last Sunday afternoon.
There was little to separate the sides for the most part save for the performances of Stephen O'brien and Mark Crowley for the visitors with Ballymac probably a bit too reliant on Padraig Mccarthy on the day.
The dry and sunny conditions in Ballymac saw a swirling crosswind give Kenmare a 0-6 to 0-3 advantage at the interval, the home side only scoring one point from play from Aiden Breen in the 28th minute.
The game really came to life, however, around the three-quarter mark as after reducing the margin to 0-7 to 0-6, Gene Griffin put Ballymac in front for the first time, finishing off a good move involving Cian Counihan and Mccarthy into the net in the 44th minute. Kenmare would regain the initiative however outscoring Ballymac by 0-6 to 0-1 as the game came towards the sixty minute mark, Crowley really catching the eye in the 54th minute with an effort from the outside of the boot.
The home side didn't give up the ghost, however, Mccarthy converting a free in the 61st minute before in the 64th minute following on from an earlier attempt by Breen that had been blocked down on the line by Kenmare's Sean O'leary, Mccarthy somehow found his way through a wall of bodies driving a free low into the net as the game entered extra-time, 014 to 2-8 the full-time score.
Mccarthy's sixth and final point put the home side in front in extra-time but it would be the last time Ballymac led as a Paul O'connor brace from frees and a fisted effort from Stephen O'brien (which brought both player's personal tallies to five points apiece) gave the visitors a 0-17 to 2-9 lead after the first period of extra-time. Colin Mcswiney brought Ballymac within one but Shane Duncan grabbed the insurance score for Kenmare in a two point victory. BALLYMACELLIGOTT: Padraig Laide, Kevin O'shea, TJ Casey, Michael Leen, Cian Counihan, Phillip Galvin, Matthew Galvin, Shane Dowling, Cathal De Lacy, Aiden Breen (0-1), Padraig Mccarthy (1-6, 4f), Dermot Leen, Eoin Sugrue, Gene Griffin (1-0), Shane O'reilly Subs: Bobby Howard (0-1) for Counihan, Con Reynolds for De Lacy, Robert Fitzgerald (0-1) for Sugrue, Counihan for O'reilly, Johnny O'connor for Casey, Colin Mcswiney (0-1, 1f) for O'shea and O'reilly for Howard KENMARE: Kieran Fitzgibbon, Colm O'sullivan, Tommy O'sullivan, Dara Crowley, Aidan Crowley (0-1), Sean O'leary (0-1), Aaron O'callaghan, Shane Dalton, Jimmy Wharton, Alan O'leary (01), Mark Crowley (0-4), Kevin O'sullivan, DJ Brennan, Paul O'connor (0-5, 4f, 1 '45') Stephen O'brien (0-5) Subs: Shane Duncan (0-1) for Aiden Crowley and Richard O'sullivan for Brennan REFEREE: Sean Joy (Laune Rangers)