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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
James Crombie/INPHO Clifford was in fine form for East Kerry tonight.
# shooting practice
David Clifford scores 1-6 as pinpoint East Kerry book semi-final spot at the expense of Dingle
The young Kerry star was in fine form on Saturday night in Tralee.

East Kerry 1-23

Dingle 1-11

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park

NOT FOR THE first time — nor the last — a little piece of magic from David Clifford was, in the main, the highlight of an otherwise disappointingly one-sided contest that saw East Kerry ease into the semi-finals of the Kerry county championship and Dingle go out.

Clifford found the net in the 16th minute with an audacious piece of skill to take the ball around Dingle goalkeeper Deividas Uosis and score to push the divisional side 1-5 to 0-2 as East Kerry bossed a slow-burning first quarter.

Dingle responded well to that goal with points from Conor Geaney and Tom O’Sullivan, and they’d have cancelled it out completely within 90 seconds if Barry O’Sullivan’s point, which was initially awarded, wasn’t cancelled after consultation between referee and umpires.

Truth is, though, East Kerry — who didn’t register a single wide on Saturday — bossed this game from start to finish, and were already well into the semi-finals by the time Paul Devane scored Dingle’s consolation goal in the 50th minute.

Last year’s semi-final replay between these two teams made national headlines for a major row that broke out as tempers flared, but in stark contrast, this game never caught fire and was benign to the point of being forgettable.

It says much about Dingle’s disappointing performance that Devane – a half time substitute – finished as his team’s top scorer with that goal and a point, while the Geaney cousins, Paul, Mikey and Conor, contributed 0-2 apiece for last year’s beaten county finalists.

If David Clifford provided that little moment of stardust to the game, his brother Paudie was no less influential, and ran the show from centre-forward, while full forward Darragh Roche kicked nine points for the divisional side, five from play.

East Kerry led 1-10 to 0-6 at half time and if Dingle were to have any chance of saving themselves they needed a really strong third quarter. Instead, East Kerry scored six of the first seven points of the half and it was elementary after that.

They were 1-19 to 0-19 clear when Devane’s neatly finished goal arrived for Dingle, and Clifford should have another at the other end but saw Brendan Kelliher stop his shot on the line after the Kerry player had done all the hard work but finish the move.

Scorers for East Kerry: Dara Roche 0-9 (4f), David Clifford 1-6, Ronan Buckley 0-2, Paudie Clifford 0-2, Jack Sherwood 0-1, Liam Kearney 0-1, Evan Cronin 0-1, David Spillane 0-1

Scorers for Dingle: Paul Devane 1-1, Barry O’Sullivan 0-2, Mikey Geaney 0-2, Paul Geaney 0-2, Conor Geaney 0-2 (1f), Tom O’Sullivan 0-1, George Durrant 0-1

Dingle

1. Deividas Uosis

2. Michael Boyle
3. Tomas Leo O’Sullivan
4. Tom O’Sullivan

5. Aidan O’Connor
6. Padraig O’Connor
7. Brendan Kelliher

30. Billy O’Connor
9. Barry O’Sullivan

10. Matthew Flaherty
11. Michael Geaney
12. George Durrant

13. Conor Geaney
14. Paul Geaney
15. Niall Geaney

Substitutes:

17. Paul Devane for N Geaney (ht)
23. Eoin Murphy for B O’Connor (44)
21. Michael Flannery for G Durrant (47)
18. Tomas Sheehy for B Kelliher (55)
19. Brian O’Connor for M Boyle (58)
22. Michael Boland for Conor Geaney (63)

East Kerry

1. James Devane (Spa)

2. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk)
17. Mike Foley (Spa)
4. Niall Donohue (Firies)

5. Dan O’Donoghue (Spa)
6. Jack Sherwood (Firies)
7. Pa Warren (Gneeveguilla)

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8. Liam Kearney (Spa)
9. Shane Cronin (Spa)

10. Ronan Buckley (Listry)
11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)
12. Brian O’Donoghue (Glenflesk)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Dara Roche (Glenflesk)
15. Evan Cronin (Spa)

Substitutes:

19. Darren Brosnan (Gneeveguilla) for N Donohue (54)
23. Padraig Doyle (Gneeveguilla) for B O’Donoghue (54)
24. David Spillane (Spa) for P Warren (56)
21. Mike McCarthy (Spa) for M Foley (61)
3. Shane Courtney (Glenflesk) for S Cronin (63)
22. Eoin Fitzgerald (Spa) for P Clifford (63)

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (St Senans)

Elsewhere in the first game in Tralee on Saturday, another divisional team — St Brendans — booked their place in the last four with a 1-12 to 1-10 win over Killarney Legion.

Kerry panelist Diarmuid O’Connor scored the winner’s goal, after Thomas Moriarty had bundled in a first half goal for Legion, with St Brendans goalkeeper, Eoghan O’Brien, scoring four points, two frees and two ’45′s.

The semi-final will see tonight’s two winners, St Brendans and East Kerry, play each other, with the other semi-final between the winners of South Kerry v St Kierans, and Dr Crokes v Kenmare Shamrocks, who play on Sunday.

Those semi-finals are scheduled for the weekend of 26/27 October.

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