Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park
THE OUTLOOK FOR Kerry’s football future looks positive on the basis of their recent minor exploits with today’s performance in the All-Ireland semi-final against Kildare, offering further proof of the Kingdom’s collection of emerging talents.
Kerry steamrolled the Lilywhites in the second-half in Croke Park to run out victors by a 22-point margin and set up an All-Ireland final date with Galway on 18 September.
There they will hope to clinch a third successive crown for the county at this level and today’s display will ensure they will start as warm favourites when they face the Connacht champions.
It was an incredible display of scintillating attacking football by Kerry, particularly in the second-half as they outscored Kildare by 2-15 to 0-3 after the break. Kerry finished with a remarkable 2-23 from play and had 12 different players on the scoresheet by the final whistle.
Four of Kerry’s rearguard hit a point apiece and two of their substitutes also registered scores. But the stars were in attack. David Shaw caught the eye with 1-3, captain Sean O’Shea picked off 0-5 and once again David Clifford was outstanding. The Fossa youngster shot 0-8 and justifiably received the man-of-the-match award for his efforts.
At the break Kerry were in front 0-11 to 0-7 before they accelerated clear after half-time. In the first ten minutes of the second-half, Kerry struck 1-7 with the goal essentially killing off the contest. Clifford was the creator fielding a high ball and transferring to Shaw who surged clear before finishing cooly to the net.
Kerry’s second goal arrived in injury-time to round off a fine afternoon’s work. Diarmuid O’Connor gathered a high ball, swivelled before moving into space clear of the Kildare defence and finishing with aplomb.
It was another difficult day for Kildare football. Last year their senior side leaked seven goals to Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final. Today their minor team arrived as Leinster champions and on the back of a quarter-final success over Mayo but their ambitions were smashed by a fantastic Kerry outfit.
Kildare had began brightly, corner-forwards Ciaran Kelly and Jimmy Hyland looking menacing as they picked off some clever points. Kildare were 0-5 to 0-4 clear after the opening quarter but then Kerry took over in the second quarter and it was one-way traffic in the second-half.
Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-8 (0-2), David Shaw 1-3, Sean O’Shea 0-5 (0-1f), Diarmuid O’Connor 1-1, Dara Moynihan 0-2, Niall Collins, Graham O’Sullivan, Michael Potts, Mícheál Foley, Mike Breen, Ferdia O’Brien, Cormac Linnane 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare: Ciarán Kelly 0-3 (0-2f), Jimmy Hyland 0-2 (0-1f), Jack Robinson, Paddy Woodgate, Cian Costigan, Kevin Foley, Danny O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
1. Billy Courtney (Dr. Crokes)
2. David Naughton (Dr. Crokes)
3. Niall Collins (Listowel Emmets)
4. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)
5. Michael Potts (Dr. Crokes)
6. Daniel O’Brien (Glenflesk)
7. Mícheál Foley (Ballydonoghue)
8. Mike Breen (Beaufort)
9. Mark Ryan (Rathmore)
10. Dara Moynihan (Spa)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare – captain)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)
13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. David Shaw (Dr. Crokes)
17. Bryan Sweeney (Listowel Emmets)
24. Cormac Linnane (Beale) for Moynihan (inj) (44)
21. Caolim Teehan (Glenbeigh-Glencar) for Sweeney (50)
19. Ferdia O’Brien (Austin Stacks) for Shaw (55)
22. Stefan Okunbar (Na Gaeil) for Ryan (57)
18. Kieran Dwyer (St Pat’s Blennerville) for Collins (59)
16. Sean Ó Lúing (An Ghaeltacht) for Courtney (59)
1. Luke Mullins (Naas)
2. John O’Toole (Monasterevin)
3. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield)
18. Danny O’Sullivan (Maynooth)
5. Tony Archbold (Celbridge)
6. Jason Gibbons (Kilcock)
7. Sam Doran (Johnstownbridge/Balyna)
8. David Marnell (Sarsfields)
9. Aaron Masterson (Clogherinkoe/Balyna)
10. Jack Robinson (Clogherinkoe/Balyna)
11. Paddy Woodgate (Raheens)
12. Cian Costigan (Sarsfields)
13. Ciaran Kelly (Clane)
14. Brian McLoughlin (Clane – captain)
15. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague/Aylmer Gaels)
21. Kevin Foley (Sallins) for Woodgate (35)
19. Mark Barrett (Ballymore Eustace) for Archbold (35)
20. Sean Kavanagh (Monasterevan) for McLoughlin (41)
22. David Kelly (Carbury) for Costigan (41)
24. James Burke (Naas) for Marnell (46)
23. Niall Murphy (Ballymore Eustace) for Robinson (52)
Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan)
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