Kerry 3-18 Christopher's 2-13
Kerry came out on top in a game where the pressure was on them to deliver badly needed a win. Kerry who could be accused of underperforming in recent games delivered in style and showed that they will be a dangerous team to meet in the remainder of the championship. Leading by a goal at the break, Kerry weathered an early second half storm from Christopher's to run out 9 point winners.
|Midfielder Aaron Hickey on a first half the attack for Kerry.|
At the end of a fast paced, well contested, first half it was Kerry ahead by the single goal. The Kingdom set out their stall early with a goal from center forward Shane O'Callaghan inside the first 5 minutes. The inrushing O'Callaghan was found bearing down on goal and the Austin Stacks man buried the ball into the far corner. The goal was preceded by well taken points from Niall Sheehy, Darragh O'Brien, and Aaron Hickey as Kerry moved the ball well and at speed. Within 10 minutes Christopher's had cancelled Kerry's fast start and the game was level. Starting in midfield, David Culhane had pointed and a goal came for Christopher's. Jason Lonergan's effort at a point shot came high off the post, and Gary O'Leary was there to win the rebound and was pulled back in the area. Chris Brady put the ball away low to the keeper's left, and two points later, one from Padraig Lucey and another from Brady, the game was tied. Kerry to their credit kept up the tempo and did not let the setback change their mindset. The Kingdom men's persistence was rewarded with 2 goals. One was a spectacular shot off the underside of the crossbar from O'Brien following a well worked move, and the second was from a penalty after O'Callaghan was held in the area while contesting a high ball. O'Brien finished the shot and the pressure was on Christopher's. Christopher's ended the half with points from Michael Quinlivan and Shane Power frees and at the break it was 3-6 to 1-9 in favour of the green and gold.
|Niall Sheehy tries to stop Chris Davies from |
coming out with the ball.
Christopher's reduced the deficit to a point early in the second half going on a 4 points to 2 run after the restart, then Kerry missed 2 golden chances to pull ahead further. First David Clifford had his shot saved by Paudie Kenneally, and a minute later O'Brien hit the inside of the post with his placed shot as Christopher's goal lived a charmed life. Kerry eventually broke down their opponents and went on a scoring spree that out them eight points to the good. The back line had their act together and broke up several Christopher's attacks, building well for their own assaults on the Christopher's goal. There were well taken points from Joe Fitzpatrick, Aaron Hickey, O'Brien, and O'Callaghan. As the Kerry lead stretched with the clock ticking away Christopher's were thrown a lifeline. A penalty was awarded by referee Jimmy Trimble for holding in the penalty box. Brady put the shot away, but Kerry underlined their dominance by answering with a Sheehy point. It was a morale boosting win for Kerry heading into the final 2 games of the championsip, but consistency is an issue that needs to be addressed if the Kerry men are to make a fist of it for the playoff stages.
Kerry: P. Bailey, S. Driscoll, D. Larkin, E, Mullan, S. Cunningham, D. Clifford, A. Hickey, I. Whelan, D. Clabby, S. O'Callaghan, J. Fitzpatrick, D. O'Brien, N. Sheehy. Christopher's: P. Kenneally, C. Lordan, C. Davies, C. Murphy, E. O'Neill, G. O'Leary, D. Culhane, P. Lucey, J. Lonergan, M. Quinlivan, S. Power, C. Brady, M. Mennis.
By Rory O'Donnell