The Senior Men earned a enthralling yet merited win over East Kerry rivals Rathmore in Round 9 of the Senior County League in front of a fine crowd at a blustery Direen. The home side made the faster start when James O Donoghue clipped over a point from play following a fine run by Peter O Sullivan. Jamie O Sullivan was next on the scoresheet with another from play and subsequently a free before Chrissie Spiers opened the Rathmore account and went on to kick the next two to bring the sides level at 0-3 each.
Alan Dineen stole forward to fist over a point before James O D from a free and Jamie O Sullivan from play made it 0-5 apiece to equalise after another Spiers free. It was notable at this stage that Legion were winning the midfield battle thanks to diligence of Shaun Keane and promptings of Jamie O Sullivan. This coincided with a purple patch where Thomas Moriarty, Peter Mc Carthy(2) and James O D all scored from play to make it a three point half time lead 0-9 to 0-6.
The second half started in the same vein with a James O D free and then thanks to the perseverance of Thomas Moriarty , who set up Ryan O’Grady for a vital goal. The next phase of play was dramatic to say the least as Finbarr Murphy positioned himself perfectly for a ball that came off the post but when it seemed easier to score he was denied by the Rathmore defence. But the same player made full amends when he profited from a turnover by James O Donoghue to slot home into the bottom corner. This put Legion firmly in the driving seat with a 2-10 to 0-6 lead but Rathmore rarely die without a fight.
They stole in for a goal but that storm was weathered by a great score from James O D and another from Luke O Donoghue. Brian Kelly then produced a fine save to deny Spiers as Owen Benson and Mark Heffernan were introduced for Finbarr Murphy and Peter McCarthy with the score at 2-12 to 2-8 . Incredibly Rathmore would add 1-1 to their tally and with five minutes left the sides were level, 2-12 to 3-9. Not for the first time James O D stepped up with a great point and then Ryan O’Grady kicked a point following on from some great team play.
With all hands on the pump in injury time Rathmore battled hard for a goal but stout defending led to a breakaway when Peter O Sullivan got on the ball deep in his own half. He was not to be caught and as he faced up the goalkeeper he slipped the ball to the supporting James O D who coolly slotted home his side’s third goal. There was still time for another Rathmore raid but there was to be no denting of the Legions rearguard. This latest victory moves Legion into mid-table on nine points with two rounds to go. Given the list of absentees due to injury, suspension and unavailability it was a crucial and fine win.Next up is a trip to Connolly Park on the weekend of June 25th/26th.
Team… Brian Kelly, Cathal Sheahan, Rob Leen, Peter O Sullivan, Jonathan O Sullivan, Danny Sheahan, Stephen Flattery, Shaun Keane, Jamie O Sullivan (0-3), Luke O Donoghue (0-1), Finbarr Murphy (1-0), Peter McCarthy (0-2), Thomas Moriarty (0-1), James O Donoghue (1-6), Ryan O Grady (1-1).
Subs… Darragh O Doherty for Stephen Flattery, Owen Benson for Finbarr Murphy, Mark Heffernan for Peter McCarthy, Finbarr Murphy for Shaun Keane.