Monday, July 11, 2011

July 10 - Senior Football: Connemara Gaels v Kerry

Kerry 3-7 Connemara Gaels 1-13

Kerry and the Gaels played a supremely exciting game Sunday afternoon. Three first half goals from Kerry had the Gaels on the ropes for much of the game but the Connemara men got it together to come back late in the first half, and again in the second after falling behind early after the restart to have a chance to win with the final kick of the game. Unfortunately for the Gaels, and to the relief of Kerry, the kick hit the post and the sides had to settle for a draw.

The Gael's Brian Connor on the move.
The Gaels opened the game with a flurry of points, Steve Monaghan, Tom McDonagh, Brian Carroll, and Brian Connor had the Gaels leading four points to no score after 10 minutes. Kerry settled into the game however, and after Stephen O’Brien and Peter Curry pointed, the Kingdom took advantage of a napping Gaels back line. O’Brien won a free and quickly took it to an unmarked Ian Whelan who blasted his shot into the far corner from inside the 14 yard line. Two more goals followed for Kerry, and O’Brien played a part in both. O’Brien himself put the second Kerry goal away after a ball over the top caught out the Gaels defence a second time. For the third goal O’Brien rounded his man and again passed to Whelan who palmed the ball into the back of the net. Kerry’s lead was six points. The stunned Gaels gathered themselves and mounted a comeback. Brian Connor was instrumental in the resurgence. A pointed 45 followed by a trademark goal from Connor brought the Gaels within two points. After Connor reduced the deficit to a point, Tom McDonagh restored the Gaels to level terms with their opponents with a well taken point. Kerry took the break ahead by one with another point from O’Brien. At the half it was 1-8 to 3-3 in Kerry’s favour.

Steve Monaghan on the ball.
Kerry opened the second half with a flourish. Three unanswered points from Doyle, Tom Dennehy, and O’Brien extended the lead to four. With 20 minutes left to play the Gaels lost Tommy Walsh to a sending off for dissent, however the westerners started to get their running game together. Fresh legs entered the fray in the form of several substitutions, and Brian Toner worked hard at center forward. Points came from Connor, Toner, and Gordon Kelly. Kerry leveled the scores through substitute Ian Galvin. Time was of the essence at this stage and each side had a chance to win it before the final whistle. With the game in injury time Ian Galvin beat the cover and motored towards goal, but his shot was blocked superbly by Sean Manley. A minute later it was the Gaels turn to try and secure the points with a free from about 30 yards out near the stand sideline. Brian Connor’s curling shot looked to be heading over the bar but hit the inside and went back into play. The final whistle sounded and the points were split.

Kerry: P. Bailey, M. Griffin, D. O’Sullivan, M. Godley, T. Dennehy (0-1), K. Moore, P. Curry (0-1), T. Doyle, P. Doyle (0-1), I. Whelan (2-0), M. Fallon, S. O’Brien (1-3), G. Cummings. Sub: I. Galvin (0-1). Gaels: G. Joyce, L. Wylie, S. Manley, P. McNicholas, T. Walsh, B. Carroll (0-1), G. Kelly, B. Connor (1-6), S. Connelly, B. Toner (0-2), T. McDonagh (0-2), S. Monaghan (0-1), N. Judge. Sub: G. Kelly (0-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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