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All Ireland SFC Q-F: Comfortable win for Kerry   30/07/2017

All Ireland SFC Quarter-Final - Courtesy of GAA.ie


KERRY 1-18 GALWAY 0-13

By Paul Keane at Croke Park


Allianz League form held good at Croke Park where Kerry, the Division 1 champions, saw off Galway, the Division 2 winners, to claim a familiar All-Ireland football semi-final berth.

The Munster champions and 2014 All-Ireland winners brought all their big game experience to bear on the contest with veteran Kieran Donaghy playing an important role.


The big full-forward scored a crucial first-half goal and 1-1 in total as Eamonn Fitzmaurice's men built an early lead and held onto it to secure their fifth consecutive quarter-final win.

Forward colleague Paul Geaney helped himself to 0-4 while David Moran, Johnny Buckley and Paul Murphy all boomed over a brace of points apiece.


It's the end of the line for Galway who bounced back from their Connacht final defeat to Roscommon with a big win over Donegal but never truly looked like taking down Kerry.

Kevin Walsh's Galway outscored Kerry by 0-6 to 0-3 in a period stretching from late in the first-half until the 50th minute.


That reduced their arrears to four points with around 20 minutes remaining but they never got any closer and are still searching for that first win in a Championship game at Croke Park since 2001.


Kerry came into the contest buoyed by their 79th Munster title success and looking to stretch their impressive record in All-Ireland quarter-finals.


They slipped up just twice at this stage - to Down in 2010 and Donegal in 2012 - having never failed to reach the last eight.


They lived up to that impressive record with a surprisingly comfortable win and never once trailed in the encounter.


Ian Burke, who kicked four points for Galway in the opening half, cancelled out an early Kerry effort from Murphy to tie the scores at 0-1 apiece.


But Buckley's ninth minute point for Kerry moved them back into the lead and they remained in the ascendancy from there onwards.


Kerry were excellent in the opening quarter hour and profited from both long and diagonal balls into their full-forward line.


David Walsh, a late addition to the Galway lineup in place of Cathal Sweeney, marked Donaghy but struggled against the six foot six Tralee man in their aerial duels.


Donaghy scored a thrilling 14th minute goal when he rose up above Walsh and Liam Silke in the Galway defence, found some space on his left side and blasted a left footed shot to the net.


Donaghy finished the half with 1-1 and also created points for James O'Donoghue and Donnchadh Walsh in a typically excellent display of high fielding and distribution.


Donaghy's goal helped Kerry into a 1-5 to 0-3 lead after 15 minutes but the Kingdom didn't scored again until the 27th minute as the game entered a lull.


Kerry stepped on the gas again with four points in to open up an ominous seven-point lead but a strong Galway finish to the half that included back to back Burke points steadied them.


Kerry still led 1-10 to 0-8 at the interval and looked in a strong position to return to the last four.


Galway asked more questions of Kerry after the restart with three points and reduced their arrears to four points to hint that they may rescue a result from the game.


Kerry's response was impressive though with points from Jack Savage, Stephen O'Brien and Geaney to put themselves in the clear again.


The game lacked a vital cut and thrust in the closing minutes as Kerry ran in their full allocation of subs and picked off more points through O'Brien and Barry John Keane to win by a handsome eight-point margin.


Scorers for Kerry: Kieran Donaghy 1-1, Paul Geaney 0-4 (1f), Johnny Buckley 0-2, Paul Murphy 0-2, David Moran 0-2, Stephen O'Brien 0-2,  Barry John Keane 0-2, James O'Donoghue 0-1 (0-1f), Donnchadh Walsh 0-1, Jack Savage 0-1.


Scorers for Galway: Ian Burke 0-5 (1f), Sean Armstrong 0-4 (1f), Eamonn Brannigan 0-1, Shane Walsh 0-1 (0-1f), Michael Daly 0-1, Johnny Heaney 0-1.


KERRY: Brian Kelly; Shane Enright, Mark Griffin, Fionn Fitzgerald; Tadhg Morley, Peter Crowley, Paul Murphy; David Moran, Jack Barry; Michael Geaney, Johnny Buckley, Donnchadh Walsh; Paul Geaney, Kieran Donaghy, James O'Donoghue.

Subs: Stephen O'Brien for M Geaney (39), Jack Savage for O'Donoghue (49), Anthony Maher for Barry (54), Barry John Keane for Donaghy (57), Killian Young for Morley (63), Jonathan Lyne for Walsh (67).


GALWAY: Bernard Power; Eoghan Kerin, David Walsh, Declan Kyne; Gary O'Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw, Liam Silke; Paul Conroy, Thomas Flynn; Johnny Heaney, Michael Daly, Shane Walsh; Ian Burke, Damien Comer, Sean Armstrong.

Subs: Cathal Sweeney for D Walsh (39), Eamonn Brannigan for Walsh (44), Michael Farragher for Bradshaw (52), Fionntan O Curraoin for Daly (58), Cillian McDaid for Flynn (63), Danny Cummins for Armstrong (66).


REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath).