Daragh Small reports from Cusack Park
PETER KEANE’S FIRST championship game in charge of Kerry ended in a six-point win over Clare as they moved into another provincial decider.
The reigning Munster champions haven’t lost a game in the province since 2012 and they were too strong once again, despite losing Mark Griffin to a red card at a wet Cusack Park in Ennis.
James O’Donoghue scored the Kerry goal and they took a 1-9 to 0-3 lead into half-time but the former Footballer of the Year went off injured and Kerry had to hold on afterblack cards for David Moran and Tommy Walsh.
It was a sloppy opening from both sides but Clare had the better of the early exchanges after their captain Gary Brennan won the toss.
Brennan drove a long-range free wide, as did Eoin Cleary, and Kerry goalkeeper Shane Ryan was called into action to bat away a speculative goal-bound effort from Brennan in the sixth minute.
But it was Kerry who took the lead when David Moran sold a dummy and scored an easy point. Sean O’Shea saw his shot stopped on the line by Conall Ó hAiniféin before Paul Geaney doubled Kerry’s lead.
Young fans watch from the terrace.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Clare missed their third scoring opportunity before O’Shea got through and hit the post on this occasion, David Clifford gathered the rebound for a 0-3 to 0-0 advantage after 11 minutes.
Kerry weren’t their usual efficient selves either and Geaney drove another chance wide, when he had evaded the goalkeeper and looked set to score a goal.
Clare received a big boost in the 17th minute when Moran was shown a black card for a trip, and David Tubridy popped over the home side’s first point from a free in the 19th minute.
Clifford cancelled that out though and O’Shea struck a beautiful effort off the ground as Kerry moved four points clear with nine minutes of normal time remaining in the first half.
Moments later O’Shea doubled his tally and Diarmuid O’Connor added the point of the game with O’Donoghue and Clifford both involved.
Clifford added his third and Cleary fired a point in reply for Clare, but the goal a minute from the break was a killer blow. Clifford raided in along the end-line and laid on the pass for O’Donoghue who blasted low past Stephen Ryan to help Kerry to a nine-point lead at the interval.
2014 Footballer of the Year James O’Donoghue fired 1-1 for the visitors.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
A couple of O’Shea frees eased any potential woes for Kerry at the start of the second half. And Clare’s chances faded when Ó hAiniféin was shown a black card after he brought down Stephen O’Brien.
Adrian Spillane scored a fine point and Kerry were in charge when O’Donoghue hobbled off in the 52nd minute.
Clare came with a late fight back and Griffin was sent-off for a second yellow card, but it wasn’t enough as Kerry advanced to another decider after 11 minutes of added-time following an injury to Clare’s Kevin Hartnett.
Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea 0-5 (0-5f), James O’Donoghue 1-1, David Clifford 0-3 (0-1f), Paul Geaney 0-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Adrian Spillane 0-1, David Moran 0-1, Micheál Burns 0-1, Jason Foley 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 0-5 (0-3f), David Tubridy 0-3 (0-1f), Jamie Malone 0-3, Cathal O’Connor 0-1.
of the team
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1 Shane Ryan (Rathmore)
2 Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
3 Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
4 Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)
7 Shane Enright (Tarbert)
6 Jack Sherwood (Firies)
5 Gavin Crowley (Templenoe)
8 David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
10 Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)
9 Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)
11 Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12 Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)
13 David Clifford (Fossa)
14 Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15 James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion)
17 Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore) for Moran (18, black card)
26 Gavin White (Dr Crokes) for Sherwood (half-time)
23 Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for O’Brien (45)
24 Robert Wharton (Renard) for Crowley (49)
21 Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) for O’Donoghue (53)
22 Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion) for O’Shea (72).
1 Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)
2 Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay)
3 Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)
4 Kevin Hartnett (Meelick)
5 Sean Collins (Cratloe)
6 Aaron Fitzgerald (Éire Óg Ennis)
23 Conall Ó hAiniféin (Ruan)
8 Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9 Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)
22 Sean O Donoghue (Cooraclare)
11 Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay)
12 Jamie Malone (Corofin)
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13 Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)
26 David Tubridy (Doonbeg)
17 Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)
15 Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg Ennis) for Bohannon (half-time)
7 Dean Ryan (Na Fianna, Dublin) for Ó hAiniféin (42, black card)
10 Kieran Malone (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay) for O Donoghue (49)
18 Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis, Mayo) for S Collins (53)
14 Cormac Murray (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay) for C Brennan (61)
25 Alan Sweeney (St Breckan’s) for Hartnett (82)
Referee: James Molloy (Galway).
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