Connemara Gaels 1-19 Kerry 1-14
After being neck and neck for most of the game the Gaels finished strong to pull away in the last 10 minutes and take their first points of the season. Tony Brosnan was the man on the mark for the Gaels with some fine scores in the last 15 minutes, and newcomer from Pomeroy, Kieran McGeary, made a fantastic debut at corner back for the Gaels.
|Matthew Murphy coming out of defence for Kerry.
Kerry held a slender two point lead at the break. Eoin Connolly will be having second thoughts about a short kickout attempt that Robbie Croft was alert to, and the Dubliner made a short pass to Shane O’Callaghan who buried the chance. The Gaels had just worked their way into the game before the goal came. Kerry started by attacking in waves from the half back line. David Larkin was particularly effective coming forward, and in the middle of the field Lawrence Healy saw plenty of ball. Early scores were converted by Sean Driscoll, Ronan Kennedy, and Phil O’Sullvian before the Gaels finally got off the mark. Martin Farragher, Tony Brosnan, and Noel Graham converted.
|Lawrence Healy looks for options.
With the teams level Croft pointed a free, and then the goal came. The Gaels gathered themselves and buckled down. Brosnan put a fine score over the bar, midfielder Frank Burns, and corner forward Farragher followed. Connolly redeemed himself before half time with a fine save when it looked like goal number two was on the cards for Kerry. 1-7 to 0-8 for Kerry at the half.
The second half was peppered with some well taken points and the sides could not separate from each other. The Gaels got a visible lift from a blistering Sean Conneely goal about 10 minutes into the half. Conneely hit the ball off the underside of the bar from 14 yards as he steamed in from the right side. The sides we now level and it was anybody’s game. Brosnan added two scores after the goal and it was tit for tat from that point on.
Phil O’Sullivan and Tony Brosnan provided an exhibition of point taking and traded some excellent scores. When Kerry tried to find dangerman O’Callaghan in the corner, however, McGeary was alert to the threat. Connolly more than made up for his first half gaffe with three superb saves to deny Kerry a second goal as the Gaels rearguard did their bit. Having weathered the Kerry storm, the Gaels pulled away in the final 10 minutes after Sean Driscoll had pointed to level the scores. A Robbie Croft 45 was all that Kerry had in answer to six Gaels points down the stretch. Sean Conneely put two points over the bar to underline a strong finish from the Gaels to get two points towards their playoff push.
Gaels: E. Connolly, C. Fahy, K. McGeary, D. Doolan, R. Caffrey, C. Mulkerrins, K. Murphy, F. Burns, S Conneeley, N. Graham, F. Cooney, M. Farragher, T. Brosnan. Kerry: S. Enright, J. Barry, M. Murphy, J. O’Shea, R. Driscoll, D. Larkin, L. Healy, E. Mullan, R. Kennedy, S. Driscoll, P. O’Sullivan, R. Croft, S. O’Callaghan.
By Rory O'Donnell