Kingdom Kerry Gaels ensure Ballinderry earn their passage
Second-half collapse gives Ulster champions a fright at Ruislip
Kingdom Kerry Gaels’ Kyle Holland fires home a penalty against Balllinderry in the AIB All-Ireland club football quarter-final at Ruislip. Photo: Gerry McManus/Inpho
Kingdom Kerry Gaels2-7
Ballinderry boss Martin McKinless said his side are fortunate to still be in the All-Ireland series after a second-half collapse against 14-man Kingdom Kerry Gaels at Ruislip.
The Ulster champions were in total control by the midway point of the second period, leading by 11 points and playing with an extra man.
But Ballinderry were rocked as their gutsy hosts hit 2-3 in a frantic 11-minute period to leave a goal between the sides.
The visitors managed to hold on but McKinless admits they have a lot of work to do ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final date with St Vincent’s in February.
“We thought we were in cruise control at half-time,” he said. “We lost possession, carried the ball into the tackle instead of spreading it. We didn’t create the space we normally do but conditions out there were very poor.”
Kingdom Kerry Gaels were a shambles in that opening period, with London forward Lloyd Colfer fluffing three close-range frees, and that profligacy was punished in the ninth minute when Conor Devlin netted the first of his two goals to help the visitors into a 1-5 to 0-1 interval lead.
KKG were reduced to 14 men on 25 minutes when full-back Peadar Stack received a second yellow card, and the match looked over as a contest when Devlin teed up Daniel McKinless for a fisted goal early in the second half.
McKinless returned the favour on 42 minutes by passing across goal for Devlin to finish.
But KKG quickly breplied with a Stephen Browne goal.
The Kingdom then hit three points in as many minutes to cut the gap to six, and it was a one-score game when Kyle Holland slotted a 54th-minute penalty.
However, late points from Conor Nevin and Daniel McKinless secured a nervy victory for the Derry side.
“Today was just about getting over the line,” said Daniel’s father, Martin.
“We knew coming here that the facilities were poor. We were taken out of our comfort zone.”
BALLINDERRY: M Conlan; R Scott, C Nevin (0-1), M McInver; R Wilson, G McKinless, D Lawn; K McGuckin, J Conway; D McKinless (1-1), KM McGuckin, D McGuckin (0-1); C Devlin (2-1, one free), R Bell (0-2), C Gilligan (0-2, one free). Subs: C Wilkinson for Scott (17), D Conway for Wilson (ht), P Crozier for Lawn (36), F Bell (0-1) for Gilligan (45), A Devlin for KM McGuckin (57).
KINGDOM KERRY GAELS: S Howard; P Kelly, P Stack, C O’Neill; C Carty, P Horkan, D McGreevy; A Daly, S Browne (1-1); A Dillane (0-1), K Holland (1-1, 1-0 pen), C McCallion (0-1); N O’Connell, L Colfer (0-1, f), C Deely. Subs: K Waldron for Daly (25), C Hands for O’Connell (ht), T O’Sullivan (0-2,fs) for Colfer (38), A Kenny for Holland (59), C Griffin for Dillane (60).
Referee: C Lane (Cork)