Killarney Legion have been relegated from senior level in Kerry after losing a relegation playoff to local rivals Dr Crokes on Sunday.
The defeat means that Legion will play in the intermediate championship next year, and that the likes of James O'Donoghue, Jonathan Lyne and Brian Kelly can line out with divisional side East Kerry in the Kerry Senior Football Championship.
Dr Crokes were easy winners - 2-18 to 1-8 - by the final whistle at Fitzgerald Stadium. It had been a much closer game in the first half with a Conor Keane goal giving Legion an early advantage. However, Crokes fought back to lead by three points at the break.
Killarney Legion lose Kerry senior relegation battle
to Dr Crokes
Relegation Play-Off game between Dr. Crokes GAA and Killarney Legion
Full time: @DrCrokesGAA 2:18@LegionGAA 1:08 pic.twitter.com/IimZoF2jmf
— Fitzgerald Stadium (@fitzgeraldstad) December 5, 2021
Legion's chances took two major blows in the second half as both Jonathan Lyne, for a second yellow card in the 34th minute, and James O'Doughue, who got a straight red card in the 42nd minute, were both sent-off.
By the time O'Donoghue was sent off, Crokes already held a seven-point advantage. Brian Looney had scored their first goal just minutes earlier. Tom Doyle added a second goal for Crokes in the 58th minute.
Both sides ended up in the playoff after they finished bottom of their respective groups in the Kerry Senior Club Championship - a separate competition to the Kerry SFC - which concluded in early October.
However, had one of them reached the Kerry SFC final - contested this year by Austin Stacks and Kerins O'Rahillys - the other would have been relegated. That very nearly happened. Crokes lost by a point to Kerins O'Rahillys in the semi-final a fortnight ago. Legion had lost to St Brendans in the quarter-finals.
Legion will be replaced at senior level by Tralee side Na Gaeil who defeated Beaufort in Saturday's intermediate final.
Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile