Kerry move on to bigger fish


Kerry 2-22 Clare 1-6:KERRY PUT a very below par Clare outfit to the sword on Saturday with a clinical display of football, that never required them to move into top gear. The only ripple of excitement was provided by Paul Galvin, who picked up a second yellow card in the 49th minute, but it mattered little, as Kerry will have him for next weekend’s game against Donegal.

The game saw two Kerry players reach personal milestones, Tomás Ó Sé made his 82nd championship appearance, breaking brother Darragh’s record, and Colm Cooper surpassed Mikey Sheehy’s all time championship scoring record of 29 goals and 205 points, with Cooper’s 1-4, bringing his own tally to 19-240 to surpass that 25-year landmark.

Marc Ó Sé opened Kerry’s account in the first minute but Clare’s midfield pairing of Garry Brennan and Ger Quinlan, who were the only bright spot on a dark day for Clare, won good ball in the opening 20 minutes.

Kerry led 0-4 to 0-3 at this stage, with Bryan Sheehan adding two frees and Declan O’Sullivan a point from play, but Clare’s starting six attackers were unable to breach the Kerry defence, and failed to score from play during the entire game. Quinlan kicked two points while David Tubridy converted a free but that was as good as it got for Clare, as Kerry upped their game before half-time to add eight unanswered points.

Kerry’s half-time lead of nine points (0-12 to 0-3) soon became 18 as they added 1-6 without reply in the opening 10 minutes of the half. Colm Cooper set up James O’Donoghue for the Kerry goal in the 41st minute and by the time Paul Galvin had picked up two yellows in the space of three minutes, after reigniting his 2008 feud with John Hayes, Kerry were 1-18 to 0-3 clear.

Kerry still outscored Clare in the final 20 minutes even with 14 men as record breaker Cooper added a goal and a point late on. Clare’s free man David Russell also notched a goal and point in the 59th and 60th minute.

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor was pleased with the win. “We are delighted to get back to Croke Park. It was pleasing to get a good score because the likes of Donaghy got three good scores and that is good for the confidence. I suppose Clare will be disappointed and to be honest I thought that they would make it a bigger fight. Our fellows were very determined this evening and were trying to keep the momentum from last week going. I think that they did that very professionally.”

On next weekend’s clash with Donegal, O’Connor revealed that he had an inkling that it might happen. “Funny enough, I had a sneaking feeling that we would get Donegal for some reason. I said it a week ago that we would get them and I don’t know why. It will be a great challenge for us and McGuinness has a fantastic system going there with them.”

“It was in our thoughts to substitute Paul Galvin and I thought that both yellow cards were harmless enough . . . He is playing great stuff at the moment and we just wanted him to keep the momentum going.”

KERRY:B Kealy; M Ó Sé (0-1), A O’Mahony, S Enright; T Ó Sé, E Brosnan, K Young; A Maher (0-1), B Sheehan (0-4, 0-3 frees, 0-1 45); P Galvin (0-1), Declan O’Sullivan (0-2), D Walsh (0-1); J ODonoghue (1-3), C Cooper (1-4), K Donaghy (0-3). Subs: Darran O’Sullivan for Walsh (46 mins), K O’Leary (0-2) for Declan O’Sullivan (46 mins), J Buckley for Maher (52 mins), BJ Keane for O’Donoghue (52 mins), J Lyne for Young (58 mins).

CLARE:J Hayes; K Harnett, B Duggan, L Healy; E Coughlan, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan (0-2); S Brennan, S McGrath, A Clohessy; R Donnelly, D Tubridy (0-3, all frees), M O’Shea. Subs: G Kelly for S McGrath (33 mins), N Browne for O’Shea (half-time), D Russell (1-1) for Clohessy (50 mins), C Talty for Kelly (51 mins).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

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