Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round Robin – Kerry 0-20 Westmeath 2-12

Kerry defeated Westmeath by 0-20 to 2-12 in the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round Robin on Sunday April 30th at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Leinster SHC: Kerry edge out Westmeath


Report by Kevin Egan for GAA.ie

The final day of the Leinster round robin series in a fortnight looks set to be a tense afternoon of action with all four counties still very much in contention for a place in the quarter finals of the Leinster SHC in advance of crucial fixtures in Mullingar and Tralee.

A narrow win for Kerry at TEG Cusack Park today will give Fintan O’Connor’s charges some momentum as they prepare to host Laois, however the small margin of defeat means that Westmeath’s scoring difference may yet be the trump card that gives them the edge in the race for knockout hurling.

After this afternoon’s defeat, Westmeath manager Michael Ryan spoke of the importance of the basics of hurling, including discipline. That was certainly a key factor in their defeat as the midlanders were reduced to fourteen men within a quarter of an hour of the start, following Niall O’Brien’s dismissal for a second bookable offence.

Already Ryan had set his team up with just two men in the inside forward line and with Darragh Egerton operating as a third midfielder, and once they lost one of their most dangerous forwards, they looked really toothless up front.

In contrast, Kerry were very sharp in the opening stages, rattling off seven points in the opening ten minutes. The Ballyduff due of Mikey and Pádraig Boyle caused the Westmeath full back line plenty of problems, while Jack Goulding and Paudie O’Connor hoovered up breaks at midfield and showed real intelligence in their deliveries into the attack, angling good diagonal balls away from the Westmeath defenders and setting up a series of chances.

An 0-12 to 0-5 interval lead was a fair reflection of Kerry’s dominance in the opening half but once Westmeath turned around with the wind at their backs, they were much improved. They remained highly dependent on placed balls, scoring just 1-3 from play all afternoon, but once Niall Mitchell rattled the net with an excellent low finish across the body of Kerry goalkeeper Martin Stackpoole, the stage was set for a late surge from the home side, who won all three games at the same stage of this competition last year.

Instead Kerry settled again with points from Goulding and Mikey Boyle, though the nervousness in their play was evident from the way in which they dropped back and invited Westmeath onto the attack.

Another fine catch from Mitchell resulted in a goal chance for Killian Doyle after 67 minutes and while the young Raharney hurler failed to find the target, he was being held back while striking and so was handed another chance from a penalty. His strike was inch perfect, low into the bottom corner of the Kerry net, and set up the chance for a late smash and grab win for Westmeath.

It wasn’t to happen however, even after Goulding was also sent off for a second yellow card infringement, as Kerry conceded just one more point and held on to record their first ever Leinster championship victory away from home.

Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 0-7 (0-4f, 0-1 ’65), M Boyle 0-4, P Boyle 0-3, J Conway 0-2, J O’Connor, P O’Connor, M O’Leary & J Goulding 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: A Devine 0-8 (0-6f, 0-1 ’65), K Doyle 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f, 0-1 ’65), N Mitchell 1-0, R Greville 0-2.

WESTMEATH: P Maloney; C Shaw, T Doyle, T Gallagher; G Greville, P Greville, A Clarke; C Boyle, J Boyle; A Devine, K Doyle, R Greville; N O’Brien, N Mitchell, D Egerton
Subs: J Galvin for J Boyle (HT), D McNicholas for Egerton (HT), A Cox for G Greville (43)

KERRY: M Stackpoole; J Buckley, R Horgan, S Weir; J O’Connor, D Dineen, T Murnane; J Goulding, P O’Connor; J Conway, M O’Leary, B O’Leary; P Boyle, M Boyle, S Nolan
Subs: J Griffin for M O’Leary (64), M O’Connor for P Boyle (67), K Carmody for B O’Leary (70+3)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

Team News

The Kerry Senior Hurling Team to play Westmeath in the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship – Round Robin – 2nd Round game in Cusack Pk Mullingar on Sunday next shows 6 changes in personnel from the side that did duty against Meath in the opening game of the series on Sunday last.

Martin Stackpoole replaces team captain Aiden McCabe in goal; James O’Connor comes into the defence in place of Bryan Murphy; Jack Goulding comes into midfield instead of Tommy Casey to partner Paudie O’Connor, and up front, the two O’Leary brothers Brendan and Michael come into the half forward line replacing the injured Patrick Kelly and Keith Carmody while in the full forward line, Padraig Boyle, a late withdrawl last weekend, starts in place of the man who substituted for him against Meath, Philip Lucid.

The team captained by Tom Murnane of Kilmoyley is as follows:

1 Martin Stackpoole Lixnaw

2 James O’Connor Abbeydorney

3 Rory Horgan St Brendans

4 Sean Weir Crotta O’Neills

5 John Buckley Lixnaw

6 Darren Dineen St Brendans

7 Tom Murnane (C) Kilmoyley

8 Jack Goulding Ballyduff

9 Paudie O’Connor Kilmoyley

10 Brendan O’Leary Abbeydorney

11 Michael O’Leary Abbeydorney

12 Jordan Conway Crotta O’Neills

13 Padraig Boyle Ballyduff

14 Mikey Boyle Ballyduff

15 Shane Nolan Crotta O’Neills

Fir Ionaid:

16 Aiden McCabe Kilmoyley

17 Bryan Murphy Causeway

18 Paud Costelloe Ballyduff

19 James Godley Kilmoyley

20 Keith Carmody Causeway

21 John Griffin Lixnaw

22 Maurice O’Connor Kilmoyley

23 Tomás O’Connor Crotta O’Neills

24 Philp Lucid Ballyheigue

25 Tommy Casey Causeway

26 Stephen Murphy Causeway


Bainisteoir: Fintan O’Connor
Coach: Brendan Cummins
Treanálaí: Damien Ryall (Abbeydorney)
Róghnóir: Ian Brick (Kilmoyley)

Extended Panel for Sunday’s Game

Daniel O’Carroll Ballyduff

Liam Mullins Lixnaw

Fionán Horgan Ardfert

Jason Wallace Lixnaw

Darragh Shanahan Lixnaw

Darragh Ryan Crotta O’Neills

Adrian O’Mahony Crotta O’Neills

Ronan O’Donovan Abbeydorney

Stevie O’Sullivan Abbeydorney

Unavailable – Rehabbing from Injury

Daniel Collins Kilmoyley

Colum Harty Causeway

Patrick Kelly Clarecastle