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Kerry end three-game losing streak with win that confirms Kildare's league relegation

A five-point win for the home side in Tralee tonight.

Kerry 0-19
Kildare 0-14

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park

KERRY TOOK A step closer to securing their Division One status for another season with a five-point win over Kildare under Austin Stack Park lights this evening, and in doing so sent Kildare down to the second tier after just one season in the top flight.

Paul Murphy under pressure from Paddy Brophy Kerry's Paul Murphy in action against Kildare's Paddy Brophy. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

It was a disappointing return to Kerry for Cian O’Neill, who gave up a position as a Kerry selector in late 2015 to manage his native Kildare, and he and the Lilywhites have plenty of work ahead of them between this and the Leinster Championship.

Kerry, too, have much to do before the summer but after three successive defeats they will be pleased to have arrested that run with a welcome win. Depending on how other results go in Round 6 Kerry might still need something out of next week’s trip to Omagh, but Kildare will definitely play second tier football next year.

After a very even first quarter, when the teams were level at 0-4 apiece after 17 minutes, Kerry did their best work in the second quarter when they reeled off seven unanswered points through Kevin McCarthy (2), David Clifford (two frees), Paul Geaney, Paul Murphy and Daithi Casey. Kildare did little to help themselves during that period with a lot of wayward shooting as the half finished 0-11 to 0-5 in Kerry’s favour.

A Paul Geaney point opened up a seven-point lead early in the second half but a brace from Daniel Flynn and another from Ben McCormack kept Kildare in touch. Barry John Keane and Flynn traded points as Kildare tried gamely to reel in the hosts, and at the three-quarter mark they had Kerry’s lead down to three, 0-13 to 0-10.

Micheal Burns kicks a point under pressure Austin Stack Park hosted tonight's clash. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

That was as good as it good, however, as another Clifford free and a David Moran score gave Kerry a little more breathing space, and further points from Casey, Clifford (2) and an additional time free from goalkeeper Shane Murphy ensured the win for Kerry.

Most pleasing for Kerry will be that they didn’t concede a goal for the first time in four games, although they have also failed to raise a green flag in four games.

That counts among the work in progress that Eamonn Fitzmaurice is undertaking this year, but the more immediate task in hand, possibly, will be to take something off their old nemesis, Tyrone, next week if required.

Kildare host the team promoted with them last year, Galway, with little more than pride to play for against one of this year’s League finalists.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-6 (0-4f), Paul Geaney 0-3 (0-1f), Kevin McCarthy, Daithi Casey, Barry John Keane 0-2 each, Paul Murphy, Micheal Burns, David Moran, Shane Murphy (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: Daniel Flynn 0-6, Niall Kelly, Peter Kelly, Mick O’Grady, Paddy Brophy, Ben McCormack, Kevin Feely, Tommy Moolick, Fionn Dowling 0-1 each.

Kerry

1. Shane Murphy (Dr. Crokes)

2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)

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5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
7. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes)

8. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle)

10. Micheál Burns (Dr. Crokes)
11. Dáithí Casey (Dr. Crokes)
12. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys)

Subs

18. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys) for B O’Sullivan (46)
21. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle) for Burns (52)
17. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for McCarthy (58)
23. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore) for Geaney (60)
24. Johnny Buckley (Dr. Crokes) for Keane (64)
22. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle) for Fitzgerald (67)

Kildare

1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

2. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House)
3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)

5. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas)
7. Kevin Flynn (Celbridge)

8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)

10. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
11. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)
12. Paddy Brophy (Celbridge)

13. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields)
14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge)
15. Niall Kelly (Athy)

Subs

18. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge) for K Feely (28)
17. David Slattery (Confey) for Cribbin (black card) (49)
22. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft) for Moolick (49)
23. Mark Sherry (Two Mile House) for Brophy (black card) (58)
21. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge) for McCormack (58)
20. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague) for Conway (61)

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)

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Paul Brennan

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