Kerry to meet Tyrone in All-Ireland semis

 

Kerry 1-21 Roscommon 3-10

Kerry have won through to an All-Ireland semi-final against Tyrone following a comfortable five point victory over Roscommon at Croke Park this afternoon.

The Munster champions overwhelmed their opponents so much so that they led by double scores at half-time but some sloppy defending in the second period gifted Roscommon three goals which made their scoreline more respectable.

Kerry flew out of the blocks and found the back of the Roscommon net after just two minutes. Declan O'Sullivan was brilliantly played through by Colm Cooper and he coolly slotted the ball low past the advancing Shane Curran.

Frankie Dolan, the lively Roscommon corner forward, spurned a goal opportunity of his own after 22 minutes. Karol Mannion played him in and when bearing down on goal his effort flew high and over the bar.

By that time, Kerry were sitting on a six point lead and they extended that further when Dara O'Cinniede pointed his third score 10 minutes from the break.

Having given Kerry too much respect in the opening exchanges, Roscommon started to take on their opponents man-for-man in the latter stages of the half.

Honest, physical challenges ruffled Kerry momentarily and Roscommon should have made their period of dominance count on 27 minutes but Mannion's scuffed kick on goal did not trouble Kerry 'keeper Declan O'Keeffe. Kerry led 1-11 to 0-7 at half-time.

The gulf in class widened early in the second half as Kerry killed off the contest with a succession of scores; Mike Frank Russell, Cooper, Sean O'Sullivan and Declan O'Sullivan all finding their range.

Roscommon, on the other hand, were flimsy in their attempts at the posts but gained some credit when Mannion blasted the ball home 12 minutes in for Roscommon's opening goal.

That score boosted Roscommon and by the time Gary Cox (55th minute) and Dolan (60 minute) netted their goals, the Connacht side had reduced what, at one stage, had been an 11 point margin to just six.

But Kerry, despite their obvious defensive frailties, had already inflicted the damage and held out comfortably in the end to set-up a semi-final showdown with Ulster's champions Tyrone.