Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park
KERRY MAY HAVE triumphed in last year’s league final but Dublin resumed their dominance of these spring fixtures between the pair in this afternoon’s latest instalment.
This was an emphatic success for Jim Gavin’s side, their fifth on the bounce in this league campaign and puts them on the cusp of a league final meeting with Galway on Sunday 1 April.
They will travel to Salthill next Sunday on the back of a 12-point victory today when they stamped their authority on the game in the second half to clinch a comfortable win.
In front 1-8 to 0-8 at the break, Dublin outscored Kerry 1-9 to 0-3 in the second half to kill off this contest.
Dublin’s breakthrough for their first goal came in the 20th minute. Niall Scully got the vital touch to flick the ball home after Shane Carthy’s shot looped up into the air.
Kerry rued a couple of chances that they missed to net at the other end in the opening period when Paul Geaney smacked an effort off the upright and Sean O’Shea blasted another shot wide.
Kerry started smartly to go 0-4 to 0-1 clear and then went in front 0-6 to 0-4 with David Clifford, Geaney and Micheál Burns all lively in attack. Yet the match turned after Scully’s goal and Kerry would endure a scoring drought from the 25th to the 54th minute, Burns raising white flags on both occasions.
In that time frame Dublin notched 1-8 without reply, including a tally of 1-6 unanswered after the interval. The second goal arrived courtesy of Ciaran Kilkenny in the 42nd minute, a scrambled finish after good approach work from Paddy Small and Colm Basquel.
Kerry could only muster 0-3 in the second half as their radar was off in front of goal and a Dublin rearguard spearheaded by the outstanding Jonny Cooper offered no easy routes for the Kingdom forwards.
The match petered out to an inevitable conclusion as Dublin marched forward in a powerful fashion.
Scorers for Dublin: Ciaran Kilkenny 1-3, Niall Scully 1-1, Dean Rock 0-4 (0-3f), Paddy Andrews 0-3, Colm Basquel 0-2, Jonny Cooper, Cormac Costello, Philly McMahon, Paddy Small 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-4 (0-2f), Kevin McCarthy, Micheál Burns 0-2 each, Sean O’Shea, Paul Geaney, Michael Geaney 0-1 each.
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)
3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
2. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
17. Shane Carthy (St Vincent’s)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
4. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
15. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
12. Brian Howard (Raheny)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
13. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)
26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Carthy (31)
21. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams) for John Small (black card) (half-time)
25. Ciaran Reddin (St Maur’s) for Paddy Small (blood) (53)
Paddy Small for Rock (58)
20. Andrew McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes) for Cian O’Sullivan (inj) (64)
18. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Kilkenny (68)
22. Emmet Ó Conghaile (Lucan Sarsfields) for Fenton (68)
1. Shane Murphy (Dr. Crokes)
5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
4. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)
3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
2. Shane Enright (Tarbert)
7. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
8. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)
10. Micheál Burns (Dr. Crokes)
11. Séan O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)
13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)
19. Eanna Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht) for O’Sullivan (black card) (33)
17. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Geaney (inj) (half-time)
22. Michael Geaney (Dingle) for O’Shea (inj) (half-time)
23. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes) for McCarthy (48)
26. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Spillane (50)
21. Dáithí Casey (Dr Crokes) for Burns (63)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)
Donie Smith hits 0-9 for Roscommon as Clare suffer just their third home league defeat in five seasons