Armagh-Notre Dame 1-7 Kerry 3-13
Kerry brushed aside the Armagh-Notre Dame challenge with little fuss to recover from last week’s loss to the Gaels. Armagh-Notre Dame’s keeper, Ollie Murphy pulled off a string of fine saves to keep the Kerry goals tally at a minimum, while Kevin Marrow, Paul McGoran, and Alan O’Donovan battled hard out the field. Kerry played quite well throughout, but took 15minutes to get going. Wing back Paul Coffey, Paul O’Neill in midfield, and Conor O’Brien carried game for the Kingdom.
|The Kerry Senior Footballers|
It took a while for the scores to start to flow in the game. After wing back James Coffey pointed to open Kerry’s account a string of missed chances ensued for the Kingdom. Kerry kept up the pressure on their opponents without killing themselves, but the scoring touch was not there. Eventually, center forward Mark Schutte added a second, and the third came from his Cuala cohort, Conor O’Brien at corner forward. The northerners enjoyed a spell of pressure and got two points out of it. The key was getting the ball in to Kevin Marron, the Antrim native looked capable when in possession. Marron and Conor McGoran converted points to bring the gap to one, but then Kerry pulled away. Three points on the trot between Donnacha Fenton and O’Brien stretched Kerry’s lead, while the Armagh men tallied just the one one from Conor Magee. Marron almost pulled his side back into the game on the stroke of half time, but while working to create the opening for a shot at goal lost his direction a little and hot wide. At the half it was Kerry by four.
Kerry opened things up a little more in the second half. Early in the period the Cuala men combined for goal. Schutte broke the defence and shot low across the face of goal for O’Brien to finish at the far post. The sides traded scores, and Kerry threatened the Armagh goal time and again. A second goal came in the form of a penalty for a foot block in the area after keeper Ollie Murphy had pulled off a couple of fine saves. Midfielder, Paul O’Neill stepped up to take it and his shot was true and into the roof of the net. Armagh-Notre Dame kept up the fight and were rewarded with a goal. Fintan Kerins was moved to the opposite end of the field from which he started, corner back to corner forward, and the St. Vincent’s clubman got on the end of a ball from Marron to slot into the far corner of the net. The Orchard County men followed with a point and though the Kerry lead was still seven points, there were calls from the line and on the field for the Kingdom to pick it up, and pick it up they did. Whelan, Ian Somers, and Schutte were involved in the move for Kerry’s third goal, Schutte was the finisher. Another tough game for the Armagh man and considering the result from Ireland, not a good day for the Orchard County.
Referee: Nobby Walsh (Co. Meath)
Man of the Match: James Coffey (Kerry)
Armagh-ND: O. Murphy, S. Mageee, F. Kerins, S. McKenna, D. Kelly, A. Donovan, K. Sheerin, C. Magee, F. Meehan, M. Davidson, L. O’Connor, K. Marron, C. McGoran. Kerry: S. O’Leary, M. Godley, J. O’Mahoney, L. Mulligan, K. O’Connor, J. Coffey, I. Whelan, P. O’Neill, I. Somers, M. Schutte, D. Fenton, S. O’Neill, C. O’Brien.
By Rory O'Donnell