O'Shea masterclass and late Kerry surge breaks Cavan hearts as Keane makes it two from two

The Kenmare youngster starred with a remarkable 0-12 tally at Breffni Park.

Star of the show: Sean O'Shea.
Star of the show: Sean O'Shea.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kerry 0-16
Cavan 0-13

SEAN O’SHEA DELIVERED a masterclass as Kerry recovered from a slow start to make it two from two after a full-blooded encounter at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan.

The Kenmare youngster booted over a whopping 0-12 (9f, 45) in a virtuoso individual performance. O’Shea kept Kerry in the game in the first half when Cavan were very much on top and, in the second, showed tremendous leadership to inspire an impressive comeback.

Cavan played brilliantly to go in leading by 0-11 to 0-7 at the interval, with just one point of Kerry’s total having arrived from play, a beauty from Paul Geaney.

Mickey Graham’s side eased into a 0-2 to 0-0 lead through an excellent Conor Madden strike and a 45 from Raymond Galligan but Kerry responded with O’Shea’s first free.
The Munster men were employing a very defensive style, with all 15 players helping out at the back at times, but Cavan — with the likes of Dara McVeety breaking the line — were punching holes in that rearguard shell.

Cian Mackey played Madden in for a mark which he converted to make it 0-3 to 0-1. The peerless O’Shea replied but two points from the excellent Ciaran Brady made it 0-5 to 0-2 on the 12-minute mark.

And better was to follow for the hosts when Niall Murray linked up with clubmate Paul Graham – brother of the manager – to curl over another quality point via the upright.

Kerry, though, refused to panic and two O’Shea frees and a 45 made it a one-point game again.

Martin Reilly and that man O’Shea (from all of 43 metres) traded frees before Kerry levelled in the 26th minute when O’Shea picked out Paul Geaney, who swung in a spectacular point, their first from play.

But Cavan finished the half in style with four unanswered points of their own, McVeety driving over a wonder-score from the right wing, Conor Rehill adding the next and Conor Madden and Jack Brady (mark) also registering to put four between them at the break.

Kerry got off the mark with a seventh point from O’Shea — another free after a foul on lively sub Dara Moynihan — on the restart and Cavan’s cause wasn’t helped when McVeety went off with what looked like a shoulder injury.

The visitors, with the wind at their backs, were slowly turning the screw. After O’Shea and Reilly each landed frees, Kerry struck. A majestic O’Shea point from play, one for Stephen O’Brien and another awesome score from the in-form O’Shea levelled the match again on 62 minutes.

And when the game was in the melting pot in the final quarter, Peter Keane’s side — who had been very defensive early on — managed it expertly, with David Moran influential off the bench.

Kerry didn’t look back, Mark Griffin, O’Shea (free) and Paul Geaney adding late points before, fittingly, the last score fell to O’Shea to round off a magnificent individual performance.

Scorers for Cavan: Martin Reilly (2f) and Conor Madden (one mark) (both 0-3), Ciaran Brady (0-2), Raymond Galligan (45), Niall Murray, Conor Rehill, Dara McVeety and Jack Brady (mark) (all 0-1).

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea (0-12, 9f, 45), Paul Geaney (0-2), Stephen O’Brien (0-1).


1. Raymond Galligan (Lacken)

2. Jason McLoughlin (Shannon Gaels)
3. Padraig Faulkner (Kingscourt Stars)
25. Cian Mackey (Castlerahan)

5. Niall Murray (Cavan Gaels)
6. Ciaran Brady (Arva)
7. Conor Rehill (Crosserlough)

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19. Paul Graham (Cavan Gaels)
9. Killian Clarke (Shercock)

10. Pierce Smith (Crosserlouygh)
11. Dara McVeety (Crosserlough)
12. Martin Reilly (Killygarry)

13. Jack Brady (Ramor United)
14. Thomas Galligan (Lacken)
15. Conor Madden (Gowna).


21. Luke Fortune (Cavan Gaels) for McVeety (39 mins)
20. Stephen Smith (Crosserlough) for J Brady (50)
18. Stephen Murray (Cavan Gaels) for C Brady (60)
8. Michael Argue (Bailieborough) for Graham (67)
26. Kevin Tierney (Ballyhaise) for Mackey (70).


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
3. Jack Sherwood (Firies)
4. Brian Ó Beaglaíoch (An Gaeltacht)

5. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
6. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
7. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

8. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)

10. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)

13. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare).


17. Dara Moynihan (Spa) for K Spillane (32)
21. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Lyne (HT)
22. Mark Griffin (St Michael’s Foilmore, 0-1) for O’Connor (63)
18. Michael Geaney (Dingle) for Crowley (66, temp.)
23. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys) for O’Brien (68).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).

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