Shannon Blues provided Kerry with a golden opportunity to pull off a big win, but the Kingdom failed to take it. With the scores tied early in the second half, Blues center back, Dennis McElligott, was tagged with a second yellow card. As the game wore on however, it was the Kerrymen who seemed to tire, while the Blues used the ball well to make the most of their opportunities, and outscore their arch rivals by 4 points to win the game.
|Shane Briggs and Kerry Matched the Blues in the first half.|
Kerry put it up to their opponents in the opening period. The Blues introduced a face from last year, Darragh Treacy lined out in the middle of the field alongside James Walsh, forming a formidable midfield partnership. The Blues got on the board first with a couple of points, but Kerry got a lift with a well taken Graham Glenn goal. The Clareman fisted into the right spot from just outside the small square. Croft popped over a couple of dead balls and Kerry were looking good. A goal was on the cards for the Blues however. The Kerry defence was opened up on a couple of occasions, and eventually a foul in the penalty area drew the signal. Paul O'Connor fired home low to Lee Stacey's left. It was O'Connor for the Blues and Croft for Kerry matching each other for scores up the final whistle. It was a 1-6 each game at the break.
|But Paul O'Connor and Blues pulled away in the second.|
The second half saw the Blues go down a man after McElligott was shown a second yellow card, and Kerry fail to capitalize. There was a golden opportunity for a goal that fell to Croft after the ball was poked across the face of goal. The Dubliner tried to place it, but mishit the shot and the chance went a begging. Kerry had a decent handful of chances to score after working the ball within range, but it looked as though a bit of anxiety crept in and the end product did not have the desired effect from a Kerry viewpoint.
The Blues on the other hand made good use of the ball, and also almost had the ball in the net but the post denied Niall Murphy. One score exemplified the precision with which the Blues were playing. With Kerry having the extra man in the full back line, Sean O'Connor played a beautiful ball into Paul O'Connor who was between two Kerry defenders, and O'Connor put it over the bar. As time went on Kerry were the side that looked to tire more quickly. The O'Connor point put the Blues 3 up, and Kerry pulled within one following two Croft free kicks with minutes left. The Blues, however, finished the stronger side with three unanswered points to go top of the table. Kerry still in the playoff picture, but this was one that will leave the Kingdom wondering what they need to do to come out on the right side of the result.
Kerry: L. Stacey, M. Godley, A. Fitzgerald, P. Devane, S. Briggs, C. Moriarty, D. Foley, M. Condron, O. McGreevey, G. Glynn, J. Fitzpatrick, R. Croft, N. Sheehy. Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott,
S. Moriarty, J. Walsh, D. Treacy, M. Brosnan, D.
Clifford, S. O'Connor, P. O'Connor, N. Murphy.
By Rory O'Donnell