O’Dempsey’s secured progression from Group A of the Kelly Cup with a hard-fought three point victory over a battling Arles-Killeen outfit in Killeen on Saturday afternoon.
Killeen started the game well with Jason Enright slotting over his first of the day after just a minute of play, before completing a superb passing move that saw the ball move from Conor Keightley to Donie Brennan to Beano McDonald, who in turn passed the ball across the square to the oncoming Enright to lift the green flag.
Eager to get their gameplan back on track, O’Dempsey’s stormed the field to claim two goals in as many minutes with Micheal Finlay and Matthew Finlay claiming the goals to bring them straight back into it. Points followed from Barry Kelly and Matthew Finlay to give O’Dempsey’s a four point cushion. Arles-Killeen replied with an Enright free and a Keightley point, but O’Dempsey’s continued to press forward and were rewarded with their third goal through Conor Meredith.
Killeen closed out the half on a high with 1-2 in the final minutes through frees from Keightley and Enright, with the goal coming from corner forward Hugh Naughton
O’Dempsey’s largely dominated the majority of the second half with six points across twenty minutes through Meredith (3), Brian Nugent (2) and substitute Bobby Sweeney to put them in the driving seat.
Killeen came to life in the final five minutes as substitute Podge Kelly darted through to rattle the O’Dempsey’s net four minutes from time, before Sean O’Shea pointed two minutes before the final whistle as O’Dempsey’s held out for the win.