Kildare minors no match for the majesty of Kerry at Croke Park

Outstanding Kerry team book their All-Ireland final place alongside Galway

Kerry’s Stefan Okunbar is tackled by Kildare’s Sam Doran in yesterday’s match. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kerry’s Stefan Okunbar is tackled by Kildare’s Sam Doran in yesterday’s match. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

 

Kerry 2-26 Kildare 0-10

It was a painful beating to receive at Croke Park, but Brendan Hackett reckons his Kildare minors were defeated by a Kerry side that will go down in history.

The Lilies were no match for the majesty of Kerry, and in particular forward duo David Clifford and David Shaw, who delivered tallies of 0-8 and 1-3 to secure their All-Ireland final place alongside Galway.

Kerry will challenge for three final wins on the trot when they return to Croke Park on September 18th, and on the evidence of their campaign so far, they will be firm favourites.

They have scorched all opposition, beating both Waterford and now Leinster champions Kildare by 22 points, while they overcame Derry by 11 in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Cork came closest to Peter Keane’s Kingdom in the Munster final, but still lost by six points.

There were just four points in it at half-time and Kildare were well in the game, but an awesome second-half display from Kerry saw them outscore their opponents by 2-15 to 0-3.

Asked if it’s the best minor team he’s seen, Hackett, whose term as Kildare boss is up, nodded. “Yeah, it’s the best minor team I’ve seen – and the two minor teams they’ve had the last couple of years were excellent as well,” said Hackett. “I knew this was a serious Kerry team. I didn’t make a big deal of that but we played them in June after the Leaving Cert and they did exactly that to us as well, so at the back of my mind I knew how good they were.

“You’d have to say that fundamentally they were just far better. There’s days you’re beaten by a team and it’s close. Today, they were just better.”

Clifford has been a revelation for Kerry all season. He was Man of the Match in the Munster final with 1-5, hit 0-5 against Derry and got the individual award again yesterday.

He fielded superbly before laying the ball off to Shaw too for Kerry’s first goal in the 40th minute, which finished Kildare off, opening up a 13-point gap.

Kerry led by just 0-11 to 0-7 at half-time having wasted a decent goal chance and blasted seven wides.

Dominated

Cian Costigan’s 28th minute point left just them one back, but Kerry finished the first-half with three points. And the Kingdom seized that momentum to outscore the Lilies 1-7 to 0-1 in the 10 minutes after the restart to all but put the game to bed.

KERRY: B Courtney; D Naughton, M Potts (0-1), G O’Sullivan (0-1); N Collins (0-1), D O’Brien, M Foley (0-1); M Breen (0-1), M Ryan; D O’Connor (1-1), S O’Shea (0-5, two frees), D Moynihan (0-2); B Sweeney, D Shaw (1-3), D Clifford (0-8, two frees). Subs: C Linnane (0-1) for Moynihan (44 mins), C Teahan for Sweeney (50 mins), F O’Brien (0-1) for Shaw (55 mins), S Okunbar for Ryan (58 mins), K Dwyer for Collins (59 mins), S O’Luing for Courtney (59 mins). KILDARE: L Mullins; J O’Toole, M Dempsey, D O’Sullivan (0-1); T Archbold, J Gibbons, S Doran; D Marnell, A Masterson; P Woodgate (0-1), B McLoughlin, C Costigan (0-1); C Kelly (0-3, two frees), J Robinson (0-1), J Hyland (0-2, one free). Subs: K Foley (0-1) for Woodgate (36 mins), M Barrett for Archbold (36 mins), S Kavanagh for McLoughlin (41 mins), D Kelly for Costigan (41 mins), J Burke for Marnell (46 mins), N Murphy for Robinson (52 mins). Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).

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