Sunday, July 26, 2015

Senior Football: Kerry v Galway

Kerry 2-15 Galway 1-19

Galway did it again, and this time it took an injury time point from Kevin Cummins to keep the tribesmen in the pack for a top 6 place in the senior football championship.  In doing so Galway effectively knocked Kerry out of the running and the men from the Kingdom will ponder what might have been had they managed to hold on to their lead in a couple of the early season games.  Galway started off well and opened an early lead, however Kerry, who needed the win to stay in the championship hunt came back strong at the end of the first half.  It was tit for tat until Shane O’Callaghan netted for Kerry with 6 minutes left, but Galway drew level, and in injury time Kevin Cummins stole the points with a great pressure point.

Kerry's Emile Mullan under pressure.
Seamus Mattimo was the man on the mark for Galway in the early going of a high scoring first half.  The Kells native accounted for Galway’s first goal and five points.  Playing at wing forward, Mattimo pointed a handful of excellently taken scores, and goal was a bullet into the top corner from outside the 14.  Kerry struggled to get out of second gear, however points from Shane O’Callaghan, Emile Mullan, and Ronan Kennedy kept the Kingdom in touch. 
It was after Oisin Reilly pointed for Galway that Kerry started to motor.  Kennedy at corner forward was in great form and the Leitrim native netted 15 minutes into the game.  The score seemed to provide life for Kerry, for whom the two points were essential to keep an interest in the championship.  David Larkin, Kennedy, and O’Callaghan pointed and Kerry eventually pulled ahead, and it was their turn to motor with some great passing and support play.  Kerry by two at the break, 1-11 to 1-9.

Sean Marshall wins this kickout for Galway.
The sides could not separate from each other in the second half.  Galway had leveled matters within the first 10 minutes of the restart.  Two points from Cummins and one from Mattimo to a single point from O’Callaghan had the teams at 1-12 a piece.  The pace of the game was noticeably slower at this stage, the blistering speed that we saw from both teams was now at a premium.  Kerry had Stephen Enright to thank for two good saves, one from Enda Flanagan and the other from Mattimo as Galway engineered the better chances.

With six minutes left a turnover saw Kerry break downfield and take a one goal lead.  Emile Mullan latched on to an errant Galway pass on his own 45 and the field was open in front of him.  As Galway desperately tracked back a couple of exchanges between Mullan, Kennedy and O’Callaghan saw the ball nestle in the back of the Galway net.  It was far from over though.  With a minute to go Galway were back in the lead, and it was Mattimo with the critical finishes, while substitute Shane Regan put the go ahead point over.  Kerry answered with a good score from O’Callaghan and the game was tied going into injury time, but it was Cummins who put the winning point over the bar to capture the spoils.  Kerry are out of it now, and Christopher’s, Galway, and the Gaels are looking for the last 2 playoff spots.

Kerry:  S. Enright, M. Murphy, J. Barry, R. Driscoll, L. Healy, D. Larkin, D. Foley, E. Mullan, J. O’Shea, R. Croft, M. Mangan, R. Kennedy, S. O’Callaghan.  Galway:  J. Kelly, M. Collins, F. Reilly, D. Reddin, L. Laheeen, O. Reilly, S. Marshall, K. Mulvaney, J. Campion, K. Cummins, S. Mattimo, C. Kennedy, E. Flanagan

By Rory O'Donnell

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