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Kerry 1.19 v Roscommon 1.13 - Report 2017-03-06 22:15:00

Allianz Football League Division 1


By Declan Rooney at Dr Hyde Park Courtesy of GAA.ie

Paul Geaney fired an added-time goal to end Roscommon hopes of a first win of the Division 1 campaign as Kerry earned a deserved win at Dr Hyde Park.

Ciarain Murtagh’s 67th minute penalty had cut Kerry’s lead to just a point, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s side finished out the game in style with James O’Donoghue and Stephen O’Brien points either side of Geaney’s goal.

Kerry were the better side throughout and deserved their second win of the spring, and a bright second-half from O’Donoghue will please the Kingdom’s management. But it was Paul Geaney that set them on the road to victory with six first-half points, while Roscommon finished the game with 14 men after John McManus’ red card 12 minutes from the end.

It was a brave comeback from Roscommon as Diarmuid Murtagh made a big impact after his half-time introduction, while Tadhg O’Rourke also impressed at midfield for Kevin McStay’s side. But ultimately they lacked a small bit of composure in the first-half especially when they conceded six points in an 11-minute spell with just one in return. After a difficult start to their league campaign the last thing Roscommon ended was an in-form Jame O’Donoghue to show up in Hyde Park, but it was his full-forward line partner Paul Geaney who got his side off to a bright start with two points in the opening three minutes.

Despite the slow start, McStay would have been delighted to see his side level by the sixth minute after Fintan Cregg’s point off his left and Cian Connolly’s fisted effort.

Both sides experienced decent periods of dominance and three points in a row from Kerry in two minutes – two from Geaney and a third from Keane – saw them into a decent lead. This was a spirited display from Roscommon and after Donie Smith added two close range frees, Connolly made it 0-5 each with a great score on the turn. But between the 19th and 30th minutes Kerry upped reeled off a series of good points. With Jack Savage getting off the mark, Geaney, Paul Murphy and David Moran also found the target. The only Roscommon score in that spell came from Darren O’Malley from a long range free, which was earned after a clash between Donnchadh Walsh and Enda Smith, and the Kerry man was black carded in the incident.

Ciarain Murtagh cut Kerry’s lead to four two minutes from the interval, but Kerry took a 0-12 to 0-7 lead into half-time when skipper Peter Crowley crept in for a good point.

Savage added his second point shortly after the restart to stretch Kerry’s advantage and on a few occasions they led by six points in the second-half. O’Donoghue reeled off three points in a row midway though the half, and despite McManus’ red card Roscommon rallied. Diarmuid Murtagh pointed two frees after his brother Ciarain also found the target, and when Tadhg Morley was deemed to have fouled Enda Smith, the captain’s penalty put just a point between the sides. But in the end Geaney was cool under pressure and his goal brought the comeback to an abrupt end.

Scorers for Kerry

Paul Geaney 1-6 (4fs), James O’Donoghue 0-4 (1f), Jack Savage 0-2, Barry John Keane 0-2, Shane Enright 0-1, Peter Crowley 0-1, Paul Murphy 0-1, David Moran 0-1, Stephen O’Brien 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon

Ciaran Murtagh 1-2 (1-0pen), Diarmuid Murtagh 0-3 (2fs), Donie Smith 0-3 (3fs), Fintan Cregg 0-2, Cian Connolly 0-2, Darren O’Malley 0-1 (1f)


Brendan Kealy; Shane Enright, Killian Young, Ronan Shanahan; Tadhg Morley, Peter Crowley (c), Paul Murphy; David Moran, Jack Barry; Kevin McCarthy, Jack Savage, Donnchadh Walsh; Barry John Keane, Paul Geaney, James O’Donoghue

Subs: Stephen O’Brien for Walsh (26 BC), Anthony Maher for Barry (31), Mark Griffin for Crowley (42), Darran O’Sullivan for Savage (52), Jonathan Lyne for Young (56), Micheal Geaney for Keane (69).


Darren O’Malley; David Murray, Sean Mullooly, Niall McInerney; Conor Devaney, Sean McDermott, John McManus; Enda Smith, Tadhg O’Rourke; Fintan Cregg, Ronan Stack, Shane O’Rourke; Donie Smith, Ciaran Murtagh (c), Cian Connolly

Subs: Ciaran Cafferkey for McDermott (32), Diarmuid Murtagh for Connolly (h-t), Niall Kilroy for D Smith (44), Brian Murtagh for Cregg (58), Paddy Brogan for Murray (65).

REFEREE: Barry Cassidy (Derry).


Roscommon are next up for the Kingdom.

Kerry head to Roscommon’s Hyde Park on Sunday next knowing that nothing short of two points will suffice against a side who have yet to register a point on the table having gone down to successive defeats at the hands of Tyrone, Donegal and Mayo thus far in the Allianz League. Two of those games of course were on the road and in their only home game they were pipped at the death by Donegal who sneaked a one point victory in Hyde Park. 

Kerry management will be particularly disappointed to have lost both their home games in front of their hard core League support of around 5,000 tried and trusted supporters and even more so when you consider that they must still face the likes of stiff opposition in the form of Dublin and Tyrone - albeit the fact that both games are on home territory - as well as the two away games in Roscommon and Cavan.

Sunday’s game, which has a 2pm throw-in, provides Kerry with a good chance to get back to winning ways and certainly the players could do with a morale boosting victory to give a pep to their step in training. We are likely to see changes to the starting fifteen and certainly management cannot be accused of not trying out new players in the games played thus far. No one in the Kerry camp needs to be reminded that Roscommon came to Fitzgerald Stadium last year and deservedly went home with the spoils but I am sure that increased urgency in the Kerry training camp this week will be reflected on the scoreboard on Sunday next.

The Kerry team will be announced on Friday evening at 8:30 and posted on the Kerry GAA Website.