Conor McKenna reports from Cusack Park, Mullingar
KERRY CLAIMED VICTORY away to Westmeath in their second game of the Joe McDonagh Cup, with Fintan O’Connor’s side full value for their two-point win on Saturday afternoon at Cusack Park.
Westmeath were flat on the day in complete contrast to their victory over Offaly last week, while Kerry were excellent on the other hand.
Kerry lost out to Antrim in their first game,but were a different animal on this occasion and were far hungrier and more organised than their Midland counterparts.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring, courtesy of a point from talisman Shane Conway — who scored 0-13 during an impressive performance — in the opening minute, which was quickly cancelled out by a free from Killian Doyle.
Doyle added another free to double his sides lead, as Kerry opted to play with Michael Boyle as an extra defender.
Kerry manager Fintan O’Connor pictured in March during a Division 2A meeting with Meath.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Westmeath held a 0-5 to 0-2 lead with 14 minutes on the clock, but Kerry came back into the game superbly and registered five successive scores to turn a three point deficit into a two point lead.
There lead could have been ever greater had Conor Lynch not produced an excellent save to deny Padraig Boyle, although Kerry were full value for their two point advantage.
The teams were tied at 0-8 points apiece at half time, with Killian Doyle responsible for seven of his sides eight scores.
Westmeath had a great start to the second half, after Killian Doyle’s effort was saved by John B O’Halloran and Allan Devine reacted quickest to the rebound, with the Castlepollard native finishing to the Kerry net with just 25 seconds elapsed in the second half.
Kerry responded superbly to the set-back however and the Kingdom had a three point lead heading into the last ten minutes of proceedings.
Killian Doyle levelled the game with a superb solo goal, but it was immediately cancelled out with a goal from Colum Harty, after he was picked out superbly by Michael Slattery.
Kerry’s Tomás O’Connor (left) led from midfield on Saturday in Mullingar.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Westmeath trailed by three at this juncture, but Kerry were dealt a major blow when Tomas O’Connor was shown a second yellow card in the 66th minute.
Westmeath added the next three scores to level the game and the teams were tied heading into four minutes additional time, before Shane Conway stepped up with a “65” to restore his sides advantage.
Both sides traded scores in stoppage time, before Patrick Murphy blew for full time, much to the delight of the Kerry contingent, who held on for a narrow two-point win.
Scorers for Westmeath: K Doyle 1-11 (8f), A Devine 1-0, D Clinton 0-2, R Greville, S Clavin and E Price 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: S Conway 0-13 (0-7f, 0-2 ’65), C Harty 1-1, J Conway 0-3, P Kelly, M O’Leary, J O’Connor and P Boyle 0-1 each.
1. Conor Lynch (St. Oliver Plunketts)
of the team
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2. Darragh Egerton (Clonkill)
3. Tommy Doyle (Lough Lene Gaels)
4. Gary Greville (Raharney)
5. Conor Shaw (Brownstown)
6. Aonghus Clarke (Castletown Geoghegan)
7. Paul Greville (Raharney)
8. Cormac Boyle (Raharney)
9. Shane Clavin (Castletown Geoghegan)
10. Joey Boyle (Raharney)
11. Killian Doyle (Raharney)
12. Robbie Greville (Raharney)
13. Niall Mitchell (Clonkill)
14. Derek McNicholas (Lough Lene Gaels)
15. Ciarán Doyle (Raharney)
26. Darragh Clinton (Delvin) for Mitchell (24)
17. Allan Devine (Castlepollard) for C Doyle (h-t)
25. Eoin Price (Clonkill) for McNicholas (h-t)
24. Shane Power (Clonkill) for Shaw (58)
23. John Gilligan (Fr. Dalton’s) for J Boyle (70 + 3)
1. John B O’Halloran (Kilmoyley)
2. James O’Connor (Abbeydorney)
3. Bryan Murphy (Causeway)
4. Seán Weir (Crotta O’Neill’s)
5. Evan Murphy (Causeway)
6. Patrick Kelly (Clarecastle)
7. Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)
8. Dan Goggin (Causeway)
9. Tomás O’Connor (Crotta O’Neill’s)
10. Michael O’Leary (Abbeydorney)
11. Shane Conway (Lixnaw)
12. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff)
13. Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff)
14. Michael Boyle (Ballyduff)
15. Colum Harty (Causeway)
19. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neill’s) for Kelly (40)
20. Michael Slattery (Abbeydorney) for Goggin (61)
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)
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