Tús maith leath na hoibre – a good start is half the battle and this was certainly the case in Killarney tonight when we lost our unbeaten run in the county league, going down by the minimum to Legion.
We were off the pace in the first half and despite a fine comeback in the second half, the concession of 1-08 in the opening period proved too much in the end.
Legion,with the aid of a stiff breeze were first to score but Gazza Savage soon had us on level terms when he found the range from 35 yards out; Legion continued to force the pace and despite shooting 3 wides they were 0-06 to 0-02 ahead after 20 minutes, Tommy Walsh adding a point from a free on 12 minutes.
Worse was to follow when we conceded a goal in the 24th minute but we negated this score when Gavin O’Brien ( immense in this period in the air), found space to run at the defence and when he parted to Con Barrett, Con found the net with a fine drive.
Legion tacked on two points to leave the half time score, 1-08 to 1-02 in their favour.
Jack Savage had entered the fray just before half time and he was to play a major part in our second half revival, shooting 6 points, five from frees. Though Legion were first to score in the second half, Jack pulled one back and we can count ourselves unlucky when first Jack struck the crossbar with a great drive and when the ball broke, John Ferguson was upended in the square in the act of shooting – the penalty was awarded but Jack drove his low shot to the left and wide and Legion must have been grateful at the let off. We continued to dominate around the middle with Con Barrett winning good possession and our forwards in turn creating openings – Legion’s defence was often stretched and frees were forthcoming with Jack profiting and hitting some fine scores – we were 3 in arrears entering the final 10 minutes ( 1-11 to 1-08) when in a great move, Ross O’Callaghan got inside the cover and fired to the net – it was now level and the momentum seemed to be with us but Legion rallied and went ahead once more – again, we found the equaliser but though we had opportunities we could not get the lead point. The game was in its dying moments when Legion converted and in a final attack an opportunity to level was spurned and that was to be our last chance.
This was a disappointing result given the display in the second half but the game was lost in the first half when, for whatever reason, we looked slow and ponderous and failed to raise our game to the levels required.
Our next game sees us welcome John Mitchels to Strand Road on weekend of 26th May.