Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 0-22 Down 0-6

Kerry defeated Down by 0-22 to 0-6 in the Allianz Football League Division 1 on Sunday February 28th at Páirc Esler, Newry.

D1: Kerry’s class shines through in opening win

Allianz Football League Division 1: Down 0-6 Kerry 0-22

By Orla Bannon in Newry for

Kerry collected a first Allianz League win of the season with a comfortable stroll in Páirc Esler which plunged Down deeper into relegation trouble. It was an easy game for the Kingdom, who had Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper making their first appearances of 2016, Donaghy starting in place of the injured David Moran.

Bryan Sheehan top-scored with 0-6 in a game played with no intensity and Down went 30 minutes without scoring either side of half time. Kerry started brightly with Darran O’Sullivan chipping over the first of his three first-half points after 30 seconds. Full-forward Alan Fitzgerald landed a second Kerry point in the eighth minute and Bryan Sheehan put the visitors 0-3 ahead when he converted a free, having missed from an identical position moments earlier.

Down struggled to convert their shots at goal, hitting three first-half wides and dropping the same number short into Brendan Kealy’s hands. Connaire Harrison missed a simple free but made amends in the 14th minute to get Down on the scoreboard. It was the start of Down’s best spell in the game – they landed three points in four minutes to draw level with another Harrison free and a superb left-footed point from Barry O’Hagan. However Kerry reeled off six unanswered points before the break to go in 0-9 to 0-3 up.

O’Sullivan’s pace wreaked havoc in the Down defence and he landed two with Sheehan also scoring from a free and from play. Stephen O’Brien and Alan Fitzgerald (free) were the Kingdom’s other scorers and the damage could have been greater for Down, had Paul Murphy not fluffed an easy goal chance just before the interval. Sheehan nailed a 45 after the restart before Conor Maginn ended a 30-minute scoring drought for the Mournemen in the 45th minute.

Kerry brought on Colm Cooper for his first appearance of 2016 and within seconds he tapped over a close-range free to get his season up and running. O’Sullivan and O’Hagan traded points before the former almost found the net, his shot well blocked by goalkeeper Michael Cunningham with the rebound also cleared off the line.

Sheehan continued to punish Down indiscretions with frees, points and 45s while Kerry also had the luxury of giving relaxing runouts to Tommy Walsh and Barry John Keane, who scored 0-3. Brendan O’Sullivan also scored two late points after coming off the bench while ‘Gooch’ finished with a trademark curling left-footed shot in a pleasing afternoon for Kerry boss Éamonn Fitzmaurice.

Scorers for Down: B O’Hagan 0-2, C Harrison 0-2 (2f), C Maginn, R Mallon 0-1 each

Scorers for Kerry: B Sheehan 0-6 (2f, 2 ’45’s), D O’Sullivan 0-4, A Fitzgerald 0-3 (2f), C Cooper 0-3 (2f), BJ Keane 0-3 (1f), B O’Sullivan 0-2, S O’Brien 0-1.

DOWN: M Cunningham; L Howard, G McGovern, D O’Hagan; C McGovern, A Carr, D O’Hanlon; P Turley, M McKay; J Murphy, M Poland, K McKernan; C Maginn, C Harrison, B O’Hagan
Subs: J Flynn for Carr (27), R Mallon for Murphy (37), R Boyle for Howard (41), M Magee for O’Hagan (43), H Brown for Turley (53), D O’Hare for O’Hagan (57)

KERRY: B Kealy; M O Se, M Griffin, S Enright; P O’Connor, A O’Mahony, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy, B Sheehan; A Walsh, P Murphy, D Walsh; D O’Sullivan, A Fitzgerald, S O’Brien
Subs: C Cooper for Walsh (43), P Crowley for O’Connor (48), BJ Keane for A Fitzgerald (59), P Kilkenny for O Se (60), T Walsh for Donaghy (63), B O’Sullivan for D Walsh (64)

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)

Team News

The team, captained by Bryan Sheehan is as follows:
1. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin
2. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht
3. Mark Griffin St Michaels/Foilmore
4. Shane Enright Tarbert
5. Padraig O’Connor Killarney Legion
6. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore
7. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes
8. David Moran Kerins O’Rahillys
9. Bryan Sheehan (C) St Marys
10. Aidan Walsh St Marys
11. Paul Murphy Rathmore
12. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane
13. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh-Glencar
14. Alan Fitzgerald Castlegregory
15. Stephen O’Brien Kenmare
Fir Ionaid:
16. Brian Kelly Killarney Legion
17. Tommy Walsh Kerins O’Rahillys
18. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys
19. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes
20. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks
21. Brendan O’Sullivan Valentia
22. Pa Kilkenny Glenbeigh/Glencar
23. Paul O’Sullivan Valentia
24. Peter Crowley Laune Rangers
25. Philip O’Connor Cordal
26. Denis Daly St Marys
Bainisteóir: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Finuge)
Róghnóirí: Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle), Mikey Sheehy (Austin Stacks), Padraig Corcoran (Dingle), Liam Hassett (Laune Rangers).

Down team to play Kerry on Sunday in Pairc Esler: Michael Cunningham, Luke Howard, Gerard McGovern, Darren O’Hagan, Conaill McGovern, Aidan Carr, Darragh O’Hanlon, Peter Turley, Mark McKay, Joe Murphy, Mark Poland, Kevin McKernan, Conor Maginn, Connaire Harrison, Barry O’Hagan