Talk about tight at the top! Three teams, Crokes, Stacks, and Dingle are deadlocked at the top of the table, with Spa just a point behind them and Kerins O’Rahillys with a game in hand (against Stacks which will be a cracker) that could propel them to join the leaders.
r Crokes travelled to leaders Spa and leapfrogged them to the table-top with a convincing 1-13 to -10 victory. Evan Cronin had two points on board for Spa before the outstanding Mark O’Shea opened Crokes’ tally. Cronin with two more and a Gary Vaughn ’45 for Spa and a Mikey Casey brace and points from Tom Doyle and Daithi Casey had the sides even at 0-5 apiece at half-time.
The sides were still matched at 0-7 apiece early in the second half before Crokes got the breakthrough goal. Points from Mikey (3) and Daithi Casey (2), Billy Courtney, Tom Doyle and Fionn Fitzgerald saw the visitors surge clear and late Spa points from Cronin, Cian Murphy, and Cian Tobin couldn’t turn the tide.
Meanwhile, Austin Stacks look most likely to join Dr Crokes in the League Final after slamming four goals past a hapless Ballymac. Seán Quilter got the proverbial rolling straightaway and Stacks led by 1-3 to 0-1 at half-time, the swirling wind making scoring difficult for both sides. Cian Purcell rattled in another goal for Stacks on the resumption and Gearóid Fitzgerald and Darragh o’Brien added two more late on to seal an emphatic 4-8 to 0-5 victory. Ballymac are hovering above relegation, but Kenmare and An Ghaeltacht both have games in hand!
Dingle are right up there in the hunt after a superb display against Gneeveguilla. Barry O’Sullivan and Tadhg Brown exchanged early points with Shane Crowley and Seán O’Keeffe (2). Conor Geaney struck for a goal. The sides exchanged points repeatedly with some great passages of play but Dylan Geaney at the end of the first half pulled Dingle ahead by 1-7 to 0-6. Points from Barry O’Sullivan, Cathal Bambury, and Conor Geaney stretched the lead. Gneeveguilla hit back through Connie O’Connor and Con Buckley (2) before a Shane O’Sullivan goal made it a one point game. Dingle finished strongly, however to win by a 1-16 to 1-9 margin.
Kerins O’Rahillys pushed themselves into real contention and consigned An Ghaeltacht deeper into the relegation mire with a 2-11 to 0-7 victory. An Ghaeltacht made the better start to lead by 0-4 to 0-1, Conor Hayes with O’Rahillys sole score. Cormac Coffey, Gavin o’Brien, and Barry John Keane kept them in touch, though, and at half-time they were back within a point, 0-6 to 0-5. A Gearóid Savage goal put them into a lead they would never relinquish as they hit 1-5 on the trot before Pádraig Neenan snuffed out any An Ghaeltacht hope with O’Rahilly’s second goal.
Killarney Legion served up one of the games of the day. James O’Donoghue and Jamie O’Sullivan (2) opened brightly for Legion but Chrissy Spiers soon restored parity. Legion took over with six points to three, O’Donoghue and Peter McCarthy with two each. 0-9 to 0-6 at half-time, and James O’Donoghue stretched the lead before Ryan O’Grady added a goal, with Finbarr Murphy quickly adding another.
Andrew Moynihan goaled for Rathmore but Legion went 2-12 to 1-6 ahead. Rathmore have steel in them though, and goals from Anthony Darmody and Chrissy Spiers (who also forced a great save) helped them back to level terms. Legion finished strongly though, with Peter McCarthy’s run setting up James O’Donoghue’s clinching goal.
Kenmare Shamrocks and St. Marys was effectively a relegation battle and the hosts could breathe a real sigh of relief afterwards. They had to fight all the way for it. A Tommy O’Sullivan penalty gave them a 1-2 to 0-3 lead and they hit a few wides in a tight first half but still led by 1-3 to 0-4 at half-time.
Tommy Cronin, Kevin O’Sullivan, and Michael McCarthy (free) put five between them. Paul O’Donoghue pointed for Marys on his introduction and then added a cracking goal. Daniel Daly added two frees. Kenmare picked off points themselves but a Daniel Daly goal left them trailing, 2-6 to 1-7.
Both sides exchanged points before Kevin O’Sullivan’s goal put Kenmare back in front by a point and in a very tight finish, they just about managed to keep their noses in front for a crucial win that could keep them in Division One – though Ballymacelligott and An Ghaeltacht will have a bit to say on that yet!