Champions Dingle held to draw by Milltown/Castlemaine while Dr Crokes, Legion, Rathmore and Desmonds win

County Senior Football League Division 1 Round 1

David Moran, Kerins O'Rahillys, and Adam O'Donoghue, Castleisland Desmonds, in action during the County Senior Football League Division 1 game at Strand Road, Tralee. Photo by Domnick Walsh

Paul BrennanKerryman

County league champions, Dingle, who are seeking a third consecutive title, started their defence with a come from behind draw against newly promoted Milltown/Castlemaine in Dingle.

The home side took an early lead through Cathal Bambury’s point, but the Mid Kerry club showed no signs of early nerves in the top flight as they moved into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead, with Cathal Moriarty and Jonathan O’Sullivan (2) on the mark.

Further scores from Moriarty, Eanna O’Connor, Anthony Kelliher and Jerome Flynn saw the visitors enjoy a four-point lead before Tomás Sheehy struck for a Dingle goal in the 28th minute to leave it 1-3 to 0-8 at half time.

Dingle had second half scores from Bambury and two frees from Sheehy, while the O’Connor brothers, Eanna and Cian, along with Sean Hogan replied for Milltown/Castlemaine who led 0-11 to 1-6 after 51 minutes.

Dylan Geaney converted two late frees to level the scores, 1-8 to 0-11, and see the teams share the points.

At Strand Road, Tralee early on St Patrick’s Day, John O’Connor got his managerial career off on a disappointing note as Kerins O’Rahillys lost out to Castleisland Desmonds by 2-8 to 1-9.

The home side had David Moran and Tommy Walsh starting for them, but they were missing a number of familiar names, including Barry John Keane and those who are living abroad.

Tommy Walsh opened the scoring for O’Rahillys but Desmonds responded with a goal from Thomas Conway in the fifth minute. A second goal for the visitors, from Thomas Lynch in the 15th minute, helped them to a 2-2 to 0-2 lead, which they extended to 2-6 to 0-4 at half time.

O’Rahillys were much better in the second half, driven on by Moran and Tom Hoare at midfield, and helped by the aid of a stiff wind, while Desmonds only managed to score two points after the turnaround.

O’Rahillys chipped away at that eight-point deficit at the interval, but were still six behind when Conor Hayes struck for a goal in the 61st minute to make it 2-8 to 1-8, while Diarmuid O’Sullivan converted a late ‘45’ but that was as close as O’Rahillys could get.

Elsewhere, Dr Crokes welcomes Kilcummin to Lewis Road, a week after beating them in the East Kerry Super League final, and the outcome was the same with Dr Crokes winning a tight game 1-12 to 0-12. Micheal Burns’ penalty goal, scored 10 minutes in to the second half after Brian Fitzgerald was fouled in the square, was the decisive score.

Kilcummin - who were missing the injured Paul O’Shea - were the better team in the first half, and the visitors led 0-6 to 0-4 at half time. Evan Looney, Brian Looney and Michael Burns carried the fight for the home side in the second half.

Dr Crokes were still trailing by two points after 40 minutes when they were awarded that penalty, with Kerry panellist dispatching the spot kick past Keith O’Leary in the Kilcummin goal. The home side went on to grind out a tight contest and get the victory by three points.

Killarney Legion, enjoyed a 1-14 to 1-5 win away to Ballymacelligott to give manager Peter Keane an early win on his return to the club.

Legion dominated the game from the start, racing into a 0-5 to no score lead after a quarter of an hour, and then looking very comfortable at half time, leading 1-11 to 0-1.

Ballymac had a goal from the penalty from early in the second half from Aidan Breen, but they still trailled by nine points at the three-quarter mark, the same margin Legion won by, despite seeing James O’Donoghue go off at half time.

Rathmore were 0-12 to 0-7 winners over Gneeveguilla in their East Kerry derby. Rathmore led 0-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes and were 0-8 to 0-5 ahead at half time, with John Moynihan, Chrissy Spiers and Mark Ryan among the scores. Connie O’Connor scored four points from Gneeveguilla.

The other fixtures between Austin Stacks and Spa was deferred by mutual agreement and will be played in Connolly Park, Tralee this Saturday at 4pm.