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Jack O'Connor's Kerry minor side off to great Munster start with 11-point win over Clare

Conor Geaney was Kerry’s top scorer in Tralee tonight with 0-4.

Jack O'Connor saw his Kerry minor team triumph tonight.
Jack O'Connor saw his Kerry minor team triumph tonight.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Kerry 0-14
Clare 0-3

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park, Tralee

KERRY MADE A comfortable start to the defence of their Munster and All-Ireland titles when they accounted for Clare with minimum fuss at Austin Stack Park, Tralee last night.

Manager Jack O’Connor will pleased that his team, of which Mark O’Connor was the only starter from the side that started against Donegal in last year’s All-Ireland final, negotiated this first round match with plenty to spare, but he will doubtless be disappointed with what was a patchy and flat performance.

Kerry took just 14 of 27 scoring chances and barely threatened the Clare goal, and O’Connor will know that much improvement is needed ahead of what is a knockout Munster semi-final with Cork,

It took seven minutes before Kerry got their first score, but once the excellent Conor Geaney opened the Kingdom’s account the scores came with regularity from there to the end of what was never really a meaningful contest.

By half time Kerry led by 0-10 to 0-1, Geaney posting four points from play, with Stephen O’Sullivan, in the other corner, raising two flags.

Kerry’s first nine points came from play, an indication of Clare’s inability to marshal any sort of defence against the champions, with Cormac Linnane’s 31st minute converted free making it a round 10 points for Kerry at the break.

Clare’s sole score was a 16th minute Keelan Sexton free; the only one of four scoring chances the Banner took in the opening half.

Stephen McBrearty with Mark O'Connor Mark O'Connor (right - file photo) captained Kerry tonight. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Clare got the first score of the second half, a Sexton free, and while remaining dominant Kerry managed just four points in a lacklustre second half. Gavin White clipped a score in the 41st minute and Evan Cronin added another in the 17th minute.

The final quarter was notable only for two frees converted by the respective goalkeepers, Billy Courtney for Kerry in the 20th minute and Killian Roche pointed Clare’s third and final score in the 58th minute.

Scorers for Kerry: Conor Geaney 0-4, Stephen O’Sullivan, Cormac Linnane (0-1f) 0-2 each, Mark O’Connor, Bryan Sweeney, Gavin White, Evan Cronin, Billy Courtney, Michael Foley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Keelan Sexton 0-2 (0-2f), Killian Roche 0-1 (0-1f).

Kerry

1 Billy Courtney (Dr Crokes)

2 Darren Brosnan (Gneeveguilla)
3 Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4 Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5 Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
6 Mike Breen (Beaufort)
7 Daniel O’Brien (Glenflesk)

8 Mark O’Connor (Dingle)
9 John Mark Foley (Kilgarvan)

10 Brian O Seanachain (Ballydonoghue)
11 Bryan Sweeney (Listowel Emmets)
12 Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)

13 Stephen O’Sullivan (Templenoe)
14 Cormac Linnane (Beale)
15 Conor Geaney (Dingle)

Subs 
18 Evan Cronin (Spa) for Linnane (44)
17 Dara O’Shea (Kenmare) for T O’Sullivan (52)
19 Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) for White (52)
21 Brandon Barrett (Ardfert) for O’Shea (54)
23 Michael Foley (Spa) for S O’Sullivan (54)
20 Ronan Buckley (Listry) for JM Foley (57)

Clare

1 Killian Roche (Cooraclare)

2 Kieran Killeen (Kilmurry Ibrickane)
4 Niall McCarthy (Lissycasey)
21 Colm Pyne (Killimer)

3 Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
6 Conor Downes (Naomh Eoin)
17 Colin Hehir (MIlltown Malbay)

5 Killian Burke (Cooraclare)
9 Sean O’Donoghue (Cooraclare)

12 Conor O’Halloran (Eire Og)
13 Cormac Murray (Milltown Malbay)
10 Paraic McNamara (Kilmaley)

22 Eogan Tubridy (Doonbeg)
15 Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)
11 Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry Ibrickane)

Subs
8 Cillian Brennan (Clondegad) for K Burke (ht)
14 Nigel Murray (O’Currys) for P McNamara (ht)
19 Jack Morrissey (Cooraclare) for E Tubridy (41)
20 Rory McMahon (Kildysart) for C Pyne (54)
24 David Foran (KIllimer) for A Sweeney (54)

Referee: John Ryan (Cork)

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Paul Brennan

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