The two points that separated the sides at the end of the game did not really reflect the difference between the teams. The Blues dominated most of the game and comfortably led through most of the second half. Goals bookended Kerry’s day, one right from the get go and one right at the end. Removing those scores from the equation and the Blues dominance is more accurately reflected.
The early exchanges were committed and it looked as if we could be in for a good game of football. Each side fielded strong looking teams. Kerry got off to a golden start. Kevin Breen palmed the ball into the net as the Blues defence failed to deal with a high ball in the small square. John Cuddy disrupted things and Breen was on hand for the loose ball. The Blues settled however, and pointed from corner forward Justin Burke. Cathal O’Sullivan responded with a point for Kerry, but from then on it was all Blues.
Thomas Maloney started the move and Justin Burke finished with a goal for the Blues.
The Blues chipped away at Kerry’s lead mainly through Burke, who looks like an impressive scorer. After the Blues leveled affairs with three unanswered points, Burke finished a move that started with Thomas Maloney put the Blues a goal to the good. A serious lift would be required for the kingdom to get back on track, but it was the Blues who got the final score of the half from Pat Murray to lead by four at the break, 1-5 to 1-1.
Kerry had a golden chance to get back into the game after a penalty was awarded, however, Declan Hawes got down well to save and add to Kerry’s woes. At the other end, Bernard O’Connor saved well from Burke to keep Kerry in touching distance. The Blues, however, added to their lead with points from Murray and Maloney as Kerry struggled to come to grips with the game and frustration was evident in the ranks. Kerry managed to get something going for the last ten minutes of the half and try to salvage something from the game. Robbie Croft pointed three times and Steven Hogan once, but the Blues were able to match their opponents and maintain the lead. Kerry pressed for a goal as the Blues dropped deeper into their own half. Croft blazed wide after he picked up the rebound from a great save by Declan Hawes but the much needed goal that came from te boot of Steven Hogan proved too little too late for Kerry.
Kerry: B. O’Connor, M. Godley, S. Hogan (1-1), J. Molloy, S. O’Leary, R. Foley, T. Dennehy, M. Moffatt, C. O’Sullivan (0-1), K. Breen (1-0), R. Croft (0-3), D. Brosnan, J. Cuddy. Blues: D. Hawes, T. Wallace, M. McDonagh, S. Lennon, D. McElligott, S. Sinnott, P. Magee, P. Murray (0-1) ,K. McBride, C. Fitzgerald, E. Mullarkey (0-1), J. Burke (1-7), T. Maloney (0-1).