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All-Ireland U21 favourites Kerry survive Banner test to advance in Munster

Jack O’Connor’s young guns had a rocky opening three quarters before sealing a five-point win.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kerry 1-17

Clare 2-8

Jason O’Connor reports from Austin Stack Park, Tralee

KERRY WERE GIVEN a stern examination by Clare in their opening EirGrid Munster U-21 football championship quarter-final encounter of 2017. The hosts needed a strong finish to see off a determined Banner outfit that found the back of the net twice in Tralee.

Matthew Flaherty and substitute Killian Spillane were key figures for Kerry in an interesting encounter. The Kingdom advance to next Wednesday night’s semi-final away to Waterford.

While it took six minutes for the game’s first score, Kerry looked in control at 0-7 to 0-3 in front after 20 minutes. Then Clare defender Conall Ó hAiniféin surged through their defence three minutes later for a goal that just left one point between the sides.

Kerry regrouped however with Flaherty finding his namesake Matthew O’Sullivan in the 25th minute for the Kerry goal as they led by 1-8 to 1-5 at half-time.

The game appeared to be in the melting pot approaching the three-quarter mark as Eimhin Courtney scored the visitors’ second goal from close range to make it a one point game again after 43 minutes at 1-10 to 2-6.

Jack O’Connor’s side responded positively however, both O’Flaherty and Spillane registering three points each on the night in ensuring a five point win.

2016 All-Ireland minor winning captain Sean O’Shea scored four points meanwhile as it took two great late saves from Clare goalkeeper Killian Roche to prevent Kerry’s winning margin being greater in the end.

Conor Finucane scored five points (four from frees) for the plucky losers who gave the victors plenty to think about going forward.

Scorers for Kerry: Matthew O’Sullivan (1-1), Sean O’Shea (0-4, 2f), Matthew Flaherty and Killian Spillane (0-3 each), Cathal Bambury and Conor Geaney (1f) (0-2 each), Tom O’Sullivan and Lee O’Donoghue (0-1 each)

Scorers for Clare: Conall Ó hAiniféin (1-1), Eimhin Courtney (1-0), Conor Finucane (0-5, 4f) Aidan Davidson and Keelan Sexton (f) (0-1)

Kerry

Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

Tom L O’Sullivan (Dingle)
Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

Brian Sugrue (Renard, Capt)
Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil)
Daniel O’Brien (Glenflesk)

Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)
Brian Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue)

Brandon Barrett (Ardfert)
Seán O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks)
Matthew Flaherty (Dingle)

Conor Geaney (Dingle)
Matthew O’Sullivan (St Michaels/Foilmore)
Cathal Bambury (Dingle)

Subs

Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Matthew O’Sullivan (34)
Jack Morgan (Austin Stacks) for O’Brien (41)
Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Sugrue (53)
Lee O’Donoghue (Glenflesk) for Geaney (54)
Roibeard Ó Sé (An Gaeltacht) for Barry O’Sullivan
Ivan Parker (Churchill) for Bambury (both 59)

Clare

Killian Roche (Cooraclare)

Einne O’Connor (Eire Óg Ennis)
Darren Nagle (Liscannor, Capt)
Colm Pyne (Kilimer)

Connall Ó hAiniféin (Ruan)
Rory McMahon (Kildysert)
Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)

Daragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)
Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora)

Aidan Davidson (St Breckans)
Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry/Ibrickane)
David Egan (Kilmihil)

Éimhin Courtney (Eire Óg, Ennis)
Alan Sweeney (St Breckans)
Conor Finucane (Lissycasey)

Subs

Rowan Danagher (St Breckans) for O’Connor (H/T)
Oisin Hanrahan (Lissycasey) for Egan (36)
Jonah Cullligan (Ballyvaughan) for Pyne (40)
Sean Donoghue (Cooraclare) for Bohannon (42)
Cathal Downes (O’Currys) for Sweeney (49)
David Foran (Kilimer) for Davidson (52)

Referee: Alan Kissane (Waterford)

‘We stood up, we fought, we stuck together and we came out the other side’ – Donal Óg on Cork strike

Working with a football hero in Kerry and preparing for a sellout clash in Tralee against Dublin

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About the author:

Jason O'Connor

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