Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 0-20 Laois 1-13

Kerry 0-20 Laois 1-13

Kerry produced a classy performance to overcome Laois in Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday, assuring themselves of a place in the Allianz Football League Division I semi-finals in the process. The Kingdom made light of the early dismissal of Tomás Ó Sé to win by four points in the end, although they didn’t have it all their own way as Colm Begley’s second half goal for Laois looked like it might spark the O’Moore County towards a remarkable upset. However, Kerry showed courage and quality in the final 15 minutes to ease home, making it five wins out of six in the top tier so far.

Kerry had started well, getting the first two points of the game through Darran O’Sullivan and the impressive Patrick Curtin. However, the sending off of Ó Sé after just a couple of minutes upset their progress for a while and Laois went 0-3 to 0-2 ahead. After 22 minutes, Jack O’Connor’s side were back in front at 0-7 to 0-5, but Laois were battling gamely and Gary Walsh, Ross Munnelly, John O’Loughlin and Begley were all on the scoresheet as they kept things close.

Curtin fired over his third of the day from play to put three between them, and when Barry John Keane and Declan O’Sullivan slotted over points before the interval to make it 0-11 to 0-7, it meant that all six of the Kerry forwards had scored. Declan O’Sullivan extended the lead shortly after the restart but Begley’s goal soon afterwards, alongside points from Munnelly and Walsh, edged Laois in front. However, getting the goal seemed to slow Laois down rather than inspire them, and Kerry went on a run of five unanswered points which ultimately won them the game.

Bryan Sheehan did a lot of the scoring once again for the Kingdom, his eminence from placed balls giving him a tally for the day of 0-6, while Anthony Maher also pumped one over for Kerry in their decisive purple patch. Laois never gave up and battled to the finish, but Kerry were good value for their four-point win in the end. Laois entertain Down in their final game in two weeks time, knowing that only a win will give them a chance of beating the drop. Kerry can now relax in the knowledge that they are the first team into the last four.