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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

Clifford rescues Kerry's season with goal to force dramatic draw with Monaghan

A draw leaves it all to play for on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Monaghan 1-17
Kerry 1-17

Fintan O’Toole reports from Clones

A TALE OF goals at either end of a pulsating match in St Tiernach’s Park that leaves this Super 8s group heading to August Bank Holiday weekend to determine the outcome.

David Clifford celebrates scoring a late goal to equalise the game David Clifford celebrates his late goal for Kerry. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Deep in injury-time a long delivery flighted into the Kerry attack by James O’Donoghue was touched down by Kieran Donaghy, gathered by David Clifford and he smuggled the ball into the bottom corner.

Kerry’s season had been teetering on the brink but they are still alive and kicking with a home showdown with Kildare to come. Monaghan were desperately close to ending a 30-year wait for an All-Ireland semi-final spot but must now travel to Salthill to secure a passage to the last four.

Two minutes on the clock, the home fans had barely settled into their viewing positions and they were rising to acclaim a Monaghan goal.

It was their talisman who scored it, Conor McManus losing Mark Griffin to seize a long punt in from Kieran Duffy and the Clontibret man was so calm in rolling the ball to the net.

Conor Mc Manus scores a goal Conor McManus fired home to the net early on for Monaghan. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Both sides opted to shuffle their packs before throw-in. Kerry’s changes were the more intriguing, Kieran Donaghy parachuted in for his first start since defeat to Mayo last August while Brian Kelly stood between the posts from the off. Shane Murphy and James O’Donoghue began the game from the bench.

Monaghan moved to switch it up also, drafting in Colin Walshe and Dermot Malone while Dessie Mone and Owen Duffy were held in reserve.

For so long that McManus goal looked set to be the difference between the teams and apart from that the attacker was in exceptional form as he finished with 1-9 to his credit. Rory Beggan’s kicking was immaculate, the goalkeeper stepping forward for 0-4 from placed balls.

Kerry were reliant on Sean O’Shea’s markmanship – he finished with 0-8 – in the opening period while Clifford bagged 1-3 from play. But Monaghan dictated the terms of play for large chunks of the match and were in the ascendancy with a 1-11 to 0-10 advantage at the break.

Kerry emerged in a fiery mood in the second half, posting the opening three points to move within one. However Monaghan gained a grip on proceedings once more and when Karl O’Connell accelerated clear in the 60th minute to finish tidily for a score that pushed his team five clear, 1-16 to 0-14.

But Monaghan only added one more point as Kerry chipped away at their advantage. Scores from Clifford and Stephen O’Brien left three between them, McManus restored Monaghan’s four-point advantage and then Anthony Maher raised a white flag in the 69th minute.

There was only one further score but it ensured Kerry are still fighting and deprived Monaghan of a famous success.

Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 1-9 (0-5f), Rory Beggan 0-4 (0-4f), Karl O’Connell, Niall Kearns, Darren Hughes, Shane Carey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kerry: Seán O’Shea 0-8 (0-6f, 0-1 ’45), David Clifford 1-3, Tom O’Sullivan 0-2, Paul Murphy, David Moran, Stephen O’Brien (0-1f), Anthony Maher 0-1 each.


1. Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

4. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
6. Vinny Corey (Clontibret)
2. Kieran Duffy (Latton)

7. Karl O’Connell (Tyholland)
3. Drew Wylie (Ballybay)
19. Colin Walshe (Doohamlet – captain)

8. Niall Kearns (Sean McDermott’s)
9. Darren Hughes (Scotstown)

11. Shane Carey (Scotstown)
14. Fintan Kelly (Clones)
10. Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale)

13. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown)
15. Conor McManus (Clontibret)
23. Dermot Malone (Castleblayney)


21. Kieran Hughes (Scotstown) for McCarthy (43)
12. Owen Duffy (Latton) for Carey (62)
5. Dessie Mone (Clontibret) for Kelly (68)


16. Brian Kelly (Killarney Legion)

2. Ronan Shanahan (Austin Stacks)
3. Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
9. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)

10. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)
11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
17. Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)


19. Micheal Burns (Dr Crokes) for McCarthy (half-time)
15. James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion) for Geaney (43)
18. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht) for Griffin (50)
22. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh-Glencar) for O’Shea (55)
21. Anthony Maher (Duagh) for Barry (63)
14. Geaney for O’Sullivan (71)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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