O'Donoghue swings it for Legion as Kenmare rue late missed chances
County SFC Round 1 (replay): Kenmare 1-15 Legion 2-13
Regardless of which side of the result they came out on, it will come as a blessed relief to both teams that they won't have to face each other for the fourth weekend on-the-trot.
It must all have been feeling a little bit claustrophobic at this stage. Indeed, it looked like we were set for further stalemate last Sunday afternoon, but a ninth point for James O'Donoghue coupled with two late frees missed by Seán O'Shea were the eventual factors in the contest being settled in the Killarney side's favour.
The hosts made the early running on home turf, scoring the first four points of a contest that was a lot more free-flowing than the dour, defensive struggle in Direen the previous week.
Conor Keane eventually got the visitors on the board in the eight minute forcing Shamrocks goalkeeper Kieran Fitzgibbon to force the ball over the bar at the concession of a point.
Billy Maguire was central to Legion getting a decent foothold in the game with two points, but his midfield counterparts for Kenmare, Kevin O'Sullivan and David Hallissey also registered scores as Legion needed two frees from O'Donoghue to go in level at half-time at 0-7 apiece.
Although O'Donoghue hit the first point of the second period, the first goal would go to the hosts two minutes after the restart and it would involve their entire full-forward line as Dean Cassidy and Paul O'Connor combined for Brian O'Sullivan to tap the ball in from close range and go ahead by 1-7 to 0-8.
Legion's response was swift however as Rob Leen managed to find Jamie O'Sullivan for a finish that restored their lead. Conor Keane had a potential second ruled out for square ball soon after but a point for Paul O'Connor in the 40th minute put Kenmare 1-10 to 1-9 ahead with the game still very much there for the taking.
Legion's advantage was restored with O'Sullivan's second goal two minutes later, substitute Seán McCarthy the provider on this occasion as O'Sullivan fisted his high effort into the net.
Kenmare responded with three consecutive points, a great run and finish by full-back Dara O'Shea the pick of them as Brian O'Sullivan put Kenmare in front for the final time at 1-13 to 2-9 after 47 minutes.
All bar one of Legion's remaining points came from O'Donoghue as the other score from substitute Finbarr Murphy in the 58th minute was a moment of good composure on reflection when a goal might have been worth considering initially.
Shaun Keane also made a good defensive interception late on for the victors as five of O'Donoghue's nine points came from frees. The last of these proved to be an insurance one as although O'Shea left only one between the sides, he missed two late efforts to keep what has been a bit of saga between the two sides over recent weeks going. Overall Legion's victory was just about deserved with another notable win away from home to go with the Club Championship success away to Dingle recently.
They will be on the road again this Friday night travelling to Connolly Park to face Austin Stacks but a lot of eyes will be on Templenoe for a historic meeting between the Shamrocks and their native district on the same evening.
They will enter on a small bit of a downer, but the local rivalry won't be long getting it out of their system when battle commences to stay in the competition proper.
Kenmare: Kieran Fitzgibbon, Denis Cronin, Dara O'Shea (0-1), Dara Crowley, Gavin O'Shea, Shane O'Sullivan, Sean O'Leary, Kevin O'Sullivan (0-1), David Hallissey (0-1), Micheál McCarthy (0-2), Donal O'Connor, Sean O'Shea (0-6, 4f), Dean Cassidy, Paul O'Connor (0-3), Brian O'Sullivan (1-0) Subs: Brian Clifford for Gavin O'Shea, Tommy O'Sullivan for O'Leary, Sean O'Leary for Cassidy and Joseph Doyle for McCarthy
Legion: Brian Kelly, Cathal Sheahan, Danny Sheahan, Chris Davies, Darragh O'Doherty, Denis Sheahan, Jonathan Lyne, Shaun Keane, Billy McGuire (0-2), Rob Leen, Jamie O'Sullivan (2-0), Cian Gammell, James O'Donoghue (0-9, 5f), Conor Keane (0-1), Thomas Moriarty Subs: Sean McCarthy for O'Doherty, Finbarr Murphy (0-1) for Moriarty and Conor Culloty for Conor Keane
Referee: Billy O'Shea (Keel).
The game in 60 seconds
For the second week-in-a-row we are awarding it Legion's Billy Maguire as his ability to create and take scores is becoming a noticeable part of the Killarney side's efforts going forward. Seán O'Shea wasn't far off consideration either for the hosts.
Probably the way Legion reacted so quickly to the concession of the game's first goal with the scoring of the first of their own through Jamie O'Sullivan. Had Kenmare tacked another couple of points after their goal it would have been hard to see the visitors finding a way back.
Even though both sides have probably built up good continuity with the run of games over recent weeks, it's a very tight turnaround for both to head into encounters only five days after last Sunday. Legion face a side in a similar position to be fair, but logistics might play a big part on Friday night!