Christy Ring Cup Senior Hurling Semi-Final – Kerry 1-14 Kildare 0-11

Howard: We have lots to work on

By Murt Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Kerry 1-14 Kildare 0-11

Wasteful Kerry advanced to their third Christy Ring Cup final in four years, when they beat a lacklustre Kildare at Austin Stack Park, Tralee on Saturday. In a poor game the winners shot 18 wides to the losers’ 14 and Kerry manager Tom Howard, while delighted to have steered Kerry into another final, agreed the performance was sub-standard. “I did not think that we played well at all,” he said. “We were three points up at half time. It was anybody’s game and we felt the most important period of the game would be the first 15 minutes of the second half and we needed to take control. “I suppose to that end we did, with an opportunist goal, and we took control then for 10 or 15 minutes. Then we kind of lost our way again, lost our shape, shooting from 70 and 80 yards out, looking for the hero scores, when we should have been landing the ball in the square and seeing what return we could get out of it. “I would not be happy with the performance. We have plenty to work on because that display would not be good enough to win a Christy Ring Cup final against a Down or a Meath for sure.”

After Paul Divilly’s penalty was saved inside the opening minute Kildare never recovered and Kerry’s defence, inspired by Darragh O’Connell and Darren Dineen, held firm as the Kingdom established a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the interval, with corner-forward Colm Harty firing over three points and Willie O’Dwyer two, all from play. Kerry got the start they needed early in the second half when Shane Nolan struck a goal after Aidan Boyle dispossessed Kildare keeper Paul Dermody as he tried to clear. The home side tacked on points from Daniel Collins, Darragh O’Connell, Brendan O’Leary and Aiden Boyle to go 1-11 to 0-6 clear by the 45th minute. Kildare were totally reliant on free-taker Paul Divilly and with few ideas in attack, the game fizzed out. The Kerry defence was the rock on which this win was built with O’Connell, Paud Costello, Liam Boyle, Darran Dineen and Tom Murnane outstanding throughout.

“I think it was maybe some of our fellas pressing the panic button a little, but our defence was excellent,” said Howard. “I thought [O’Connell] had a slow enough start for such a good hurler, but he had a storming last 10 minutes of the first half and hurled very well for the second half, but to a man, you would have to be very happy with our backs.” Kerry will face the winners of the Down/Meath replay in Saturday week’s final.

Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 1-4 (0-2 free), C Harty 0-3, W O’Dwyer, D Collins 0-2 each, D O’Connell, B O’Leary, A Boyle 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kildare: P Divilly 0-6 (4f, 1 65), M Purcell, M Moloney, G Keegan, R Kelly, M Delaney 0-1 each.

KERRY: B Rochford; R Horgan, L Boyle, P Costello; D O’Connell, T Murnane, D Dineen; J Griffin, D Collins; B O’Leary, G O’Brien, W O’Dwyer; C Harty, A Boyle, S Nolan.

Subs: J Egan for G O’Brien (ht), P Boyle for a Boyle (60), S Maunsell for W O’Dwyer (65).

KILDARE: P Dermody; J Doran, F Ó Muineacháin, P Curtin; N Ó Muineacháin, P Keegan, P Reidy; M Moloney, D Butler; P Divilly, M Purcell, P Divilly; B Deay, T Murphy, G Keegan.

Subs: P Downey for D Harney (47), K Divilly for D Butler (47), R Kelly for M Purcell (50), E O’Neill for P Curtin (51), M Delaney for T Murphy (55).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary)

Team News

The Kerry Senior Hurling Team to play Kildare in the Christy Ring Cup Semi final in Austin Stack Park Tralee on Saturday at 3pm shows 1 personnel change from the side that lined out against Derry in the last Round. Brendan O’Leary, exam tied for the previous round, returns to the half forward line to the exclusion of John Egan.

The team is as follows:

1.Bernard Rochford (Killeagh)(Cork)

2.Rory Horgan (St Brendans)

3.Liam Boyle (Ballyduff)

4.Paud Costello (Ballyduff)(Captain)

5.Darragh O’Connell (Abbeydorney)

6.Tom Murnane (Kilmoyley)

7.Darren Dineen (St Brendans)

8.John Griffin (Lixnaw)

9.Daniel Collins (Kilmoyley)

10.Brendan O’Leary (Abbeydorney)

11.Gary O’Brien (Ballyduff)

12.Willie O’Dywer (Mullinavat)(Kilkenny)

13.Colm Harty (Causeway)

14.Aidan Boyle (Ballyduff)

15.Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills)


16.P.J. Gorman (Ballyduff)

17.Patrick O’Keeffe (Glenflesk)

18.Brian Murphy (Causeway)

19.Brendan Brosnan (Lixnaw)

20.David Fitzell (Kilmoyley)

21.John Egan (St Brendans)

22.Sean Maunsell (Kilmoyley)

23.Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff)

24.Pa Joe Connolly (Ballyduff)

25.Stephen Page (Tommy Larkins), (Galway)

26.Mike Lynch (Crotta O’Neills)



Manager: Tom Howard

Trainer: Fergie O’Loughlin

Selectors:Padraig Regan,(Kilmoyley);Mike Burke(Causeway);Noel Browne (Ballyduff)


Additional Players on the Kerry Panel:

Ally O’Connor (Ballyduff)

Mike O’Halloran (Ballyheigue)

Jason Leahy (Causeway)

Cyril Lynch (Crotta O’Neills)



Tommy Barrett (Causeway)

Diarmuid Walsh (Ballyheigue)

•Kerry last reached the Christy Ring final in 2011 when they defeated Wicklow in the Final.

The Senior Kerry Hurling Team got a Home draw in the Christy Ring Semi Final. They play Kildare in Austin Stack Park on Saturday 25th May at 3.00pm. The final of the Christy Ring Cup takes place on the 8th June in Croke Park.

Please come out and support our Senior Hurling team on Saturday in this vital game. Ciarraí Abú

At Austin Stack Park in Tralee on Saturday, Kerry qualified for the semi-final of the Christy Ring Cup competition when they had 6 points to spare over Derry, 0 – 14 to 0 – 8.

Although Kerry had a very strong wind to their backs, Derry opened strongly and had 2 points on the board after 4 minutes. It took Kerry until the 8th minute to open their account with a pointed Shane Nolan free and he repeated the act in the 11th and 13th minutes. Darren Dineen from play and another Nolan free left Kerry ahead 0 – 5 to 0 – 3 by the 20th minute.

Derry points from Brendan Rogers and a Paddy Henry free kept them in touch but Kerry finished the half stronger with 4 further Nolan points, 3 from frees, and a Darragh O’Connell free from 20 metres when his shot for a goal was deflected over.

Bhí Ciarraí chun tosaigh 0 – 10 in aghaidh 0 – 4 ag leath am.

The expected fight back from wind assisted Derry never materialised.

Kerry played John Egan as a third midfielder to telling effect and together with John Griffin and Daniel Collins they dominated this sector and kept Derry at bay. Both sides hit 4 points apiece in the second half, with Kerry’s scores coming from Egan (2), Colm Harty and a further Nolan pointed free. Kerry never looked like being beaten and wound up very comfortable 6 points winners when Waterford referee Pat Casey sounded the final whistle.