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David Clifford wonder goal helps East Kerry retain Kingdom title in comfortable fashion

Clifford bagged 1-4 while fellow attacker Darragh Roche shot 1-3 for the victors.

East Kerry’s David Clifford score his side's first goal.
East Kerry’s David Clifford score his side's first goal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated Sep 26th 2020, 9:01 PM

East Kerry 2-15

Mid Kerry 0-9

THIS KERRY SFC county final looked finely poised at half-time, before East Kerry clicked through the gears in a devastating third quarter that put the game beyond Mid Kerry. 

A two-point interval lead became a 10-point margin by the second-half water break as goals from David Clifford and Darragh Roche broke the Mid Kerry resistance. From the moment the Kerry great struck the back of the net with a wonder goal, the floodgates burst open.

Clifford, after missing the semi-final through suspension, finished with 1-4 from play and man-of-the-match honours. He heads into the inter-county campaign in fine fettle and Peter Keane must have left Austin Stack Park tonight purring after that display. He’s also likely to remain as Kingdom captain for the 2021 season.

The two-time All-Star’s stunning goal off his ‘weaker’ right foot within six minutes of the restart was the catalyst for East Kerry power for home. 

Darragh Roche was excellent too with a tally of 1-3, while Dara Moynihan grabbed a brace and worked his socks off at wing-forward.

They outscored the underdogs by 2-6 to 0-2 in an utterly dominant second period.

On this form and given the age profile of their young team, East Kerry look primed to win plenty more Bishop Moynihan Cups over the next decade. Such was their strength in depth, they could introduce forwards of the quality of Mike Foley and Jeff O’Donoghue off the bench in the final quarter.

Mid Kerry, also beaten in the 2011 and 2014 finals, performed heroics in a 3-20 to 3-19 win over Dr Crokes in the semi-final but were unable to replicate that form tonight. Their tally of 12 wides summed up their struggles in front of goal.

Former All-Ireland winning captain Darran O’Sullivan played a withdrawn role as Mid Kerry left Liam Carey and Gavan O’Grady in the full-forward line. 

Carey arrived into the game carrying a knock that prevented him from training all week and while he started the game well, he faded after the supply line dried up in the second period.  

David Clifford opened his account inside two minutes with a fine score, but East Kerry didn’t have it all their own way early on.

Mid Kerry were causing problems and would have been closer had they not kicked eight wides inside the opening half and left a couple of goal chances behind them.

Still, East Kerry led by 0-6 to 0-3 at the first-half water break with the inside trio of Clifford, Roche and Evan Cronin all looking dangerous when the ball went inside.

paul-murphy-and-brendan-okeefe-with-jack-brosnan East Kerry’s Paul Murphy and Brendan O'Keefe with Jack Brosnan of Mid Kerry. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mid Kerry defended well initially and were aggressive in the tackle, with Kerry panellist Mike Breen tracking Clifford and another county man Pa Kilkenny marking Paudie Clifford. 

David Clifford was booked for an off-the-ball clash with Pa Kilkenny after the latter put in a heavy hit on brother Paudie.

Mid Kerry’ sharpshooter Liam Carey kept them in touch with six first-half scores as they trailed by 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval. 

Within a flash, East Kerry were eight clear thanks to a decisive impact by the Clifford brothers.

Dara Moynihan played a neat pass inside to David Clifford and the Kingdom star thundered a sublime right-footed effort into the top corner from outside the 14m line. 

Then a long ball found Paudie Clifford, who put through Roche for the second goal in as many minutes. Points followed from Cronin, Roche, Moynihan and David Clifford as East Kerry moved 2-13 to 0-7 clear after 50 minutes.

Mid Kerry’s first score arrived from a Carey free in the 56th minute and O’Grady tagged on another consolation. Late efforts arrived from Brian O’Donoghue and Ronan Buckley as East Kerry cruised to victory. 

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Scorers for East Kerry: David Clifford 1-4, Darragh Roche 1-3 (0-1f), Evan Cronin 0-3 (0-1m) Ronan Buckley and Dara Moynihan 0-2 each, Brian O’Donoghue 0-1.

Scorers for Mid Kerry: Liam Carey 0-7 (0-3f), Ciaran Kennedy (0-1f) and Gavan O’Grady 0-1 each.

East Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenfesk)
3. Jack Sherwood (Firies)
4. Niall Donohue (Firies) 

5. Shane Cronin (Spa)
6. Dan O’Donoghue (Spa)
7. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)

8. Mark Ryan (Rahtmore)
9. Ronan Buckley (Listry)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa)
11. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)
12. Brendan O’Keeffe (Rathmore)

13. David Clifford (Fossa)
14. Darragh Roche (Glenfesk)
15. Evan Cronin (Spa)

Subs

19. Dan O’Brien (Glenfesk) for O’Donoghue (45)
17. Mike Foley (Spa) for O’Keeffe (49)
18. Brian O’Donoghue (Glenfesk) for Cronin (55)
24. Jeff O’Donoghue (Glenfesk) for Cronin (56)
21. Padraig Doyle (Gneeveguilla) for Moynihan (58)

Mid Kerry

1. Stephen Cahillane (Keel)

2. Pa Kilkenny (Glenbeigh-Glencar)
3. Pa Wrenn (Miltown-Castlemaine)
4. David Mangan (Laune Rangers)

5. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
6. Mike Breen (Beaufort)
7. Jack Brosnan  (Glenbeigh-Glencar)

8. Colin McGillicuddy (Glenbeigh-Glencar)
9. Ronan Murphy (Beaufort)

10. David Roche (Miltown-Castlemaine)
11. Fiachra Clifford (Laune Rangers)
12. Ciaran Kennedy (Beaufort) 

13. Gavin O’Grady  (Glenbeigh-Glencar)
14. Liam Carey (Beaufort)
15. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh-Glencar)

Subs 

20. Caolim Teahan (Glenbeigh-Glencar) for Clifford (39)
24. Jack O’Connor (Beaufort) for Kennedy (44)
23. Cathal Moriarty (Milltown-Castlemaine) for O’Sullivan (49)
26. Gavan Horan (Milltown-Castlemaine) for Brosnan (50)
19. Sean O’Brien (Beaufort) for Roche (51) 

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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