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AFL Division 1:Down 0-6 Kerry 0-22 2016-02-28 19:18:00

Allianz Hurling League Division 1
Down 0-6 Kerry 0-22

With both side pointless going into the Round 3 game in Páirc Esler something had to give and it was Kerry who prevailed by an impressive 16 points at the hands of a weakened Down side. This was a much improved performance from the Kingdom who dominated the game for long periods and once they began to take their chances in the second quarter there was only going to be one winner.
Kerry got the perfect start with Darran O’Sullivan, whose strong running caused endless problems for the home defence, pointing inside the opening minute and further points from Alan Fitzgerald and Bryan Sheehan (Free) had Kerry three points to the good by the 9th minute. With Kerry relaxing their grip and missing some good scoring chances, Down hit back to score 3 points on the trot, including two from Colin Harrisson to level up the game by the 16th minute. With Bryan Sheehan and Kieran Donaghy, a late replacement for David Moran, on top in midfield, the Kerry forwards saw plenty of the ball and gradually began to put the possession to good effect. Darran O’Sullivan and Stephen O’Brien had points and after a ten minute period of poor shooting, Kerry got back on track with Alan Fitzgerald (free), Bryan Sheehan (play and free) and Darran O’Sullivan all on target to send Kerry in at the break 9 points to 3 to the good. It could have been worse for Down as Paul Murphy just failed to steer a pass across goal into the net just before the break, just one of a number of Kerry goal scoring chances that went a-begging throughout the game.
Any hopes the home side had that Kerry would ease up on the resumption were ill founded as Bryan Sheehan extended the Kerry lead from a “45” and then Colm Cooper was introduced for his first game of the season for debutant Aidan Walsh. Conor McGinn kicked a good score for Down in the 44th minute but Cooper was soon on the mark from a free on the right and Darran O’Sullivan after a great run added another before Barry O’Hagan had Down’s 5th point in the 49th minute. Darran was almost in for a goal soon after – Sheehan pointing the resultant “45” and then Alan Fitzgerald (Free), Sheehan from distance and another from Cooper had Kerry 16 points to 5 ahead before Ryan Mallon replied for the homeside in the 63rd minute. It was a rare attack however as Kerry ran the bench and the subs introduced in that second half finished up with 8 points between them as Barry John Keane (3), Brendan O’Sullivan (2), and another from Cooper saw Kerry run out deserving winners.
Kerry; Bryan Sheehan 0-6 (4fr), Darran O’Sullivan 0-4, Alan Fitzgerald (2 frees), Colm Cooper (1 free) and Barry John Keane (1 free) 0-3 each, Brendan O’Sullivan 0-2, Stephen O’Brien 0-1.
Kerry Subs Used: Colm Cooper for Walsh (43), Peter Crowley for O’Connor (48), Barry John Keane for Alan Fitzgerald (59), Pa Kilkenny for Marc Ó Sé (60), Tommy Walsh for Kieran Donaghy (63), Brendan O’Sullivan for Donnchadh Walsh (64).

Kerry Senior Football Team V Down AFL Round 3
The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Down in Round 3 of the Allianz League in Pairc Esler on Sunday shows several changes in personnel and a number of positional changes from the side defeated by Roscommon in Round 2.

Brendan Kealy takes over from Brian Kelly in goal, Marc Ó Sé comes into the full back line for his first game of the season in place of his Gaeltacht clubmate Brian Ó Beaglaóich who reverts to the Under 21 panel, Padraig O’Connor comes into the half back line in place of Paul Murphy who moves to the attack and Fionn Fitzgerald also starts in the half back line instead of Killian Young; Team Captain Bryan Sheehan, comes in for Johnny Buckley to partner David Moran at midfield, and up front, Aidan Walsh of St Marys makes his League debut in place of Jonathan Lyne, Paul Murphy starts at centre forward with Barry John Keane the one to lose out while Castlegregory’s Alan Fitzgerald takes over at full forward from Tommy Walsh.

Killian Young, Johnny Buckley and Jonathan Lyne are carrying knocks and are not part of Sunday’s match day squad.

The substitutes list is notable for the return to the match day panel of Colm Cooper, last year’s captain Kieran Donaghy and Peter Crowley.

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).

Additional Information:

Padraig O’Connor – Affectionately known as Podge, made his League debut as far back as 2010 when he came on as a sub against Dublin and was also introduced in this year’s Round 1 game against the Dubs. A former Kerry Minor and U21 player.
Aidan Walsh – The St Mary’s man who won a Senior Football Championship medal with South Kerry last year, also won an All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship with the Cahersiveen side a few weeks back. His only other appearance in a Kerry Jersey was as a Junior in 2013.
Darran O’Sullivan – Plays his 60th League game for Kerry on Sunday and has scored 4-48 to date in the League.
Paul Murphy – Paul is no stranger to the centre forward position having played all his Club Championship football there with Rathmore in their run to the semi finals of the county championship and victory in the East Kerry Divisional Championship last season.
Alan Fitzgerald – Made his League debut as a sub against Dublin in 2014 and his full League debut last year against Monaghan. Holder of an All Ireland Junior Club Championship medal with Castlegregory.
Aidan O’Mahony – Plays in his 80th League game for Kerry on Sunday – scored 1-9.

A Run through the Subs:

Philip O’Connor, a farmer from Cordal near Castleisland, he made his full League debut against Dublin in Round 1 having been introduced as a sub for a number of League games last year. Philip won an All Ireland Junior Medal with Kerry in 2015.
Pa Kilkenny made his League debut V Dublin in 2014 and was a regular starter on the League sides of 2014 and 2015.
The 2 Valentia O’Sullivans, Brendan and Paul were very influential players in the 2015 County Championship with South Kerry on their way to the title – Brendan won an All Ireland Junior medal with Kerry last year.
St Mary’s man Denis Daly won a Senior Football Championship medal with South Kerry last year and also won an All Ireland Intermediate Club Championship with the Cahersiveen side a few weeks back. Kerry Minor in 2012 and Under 21 in 2013 & 2014.

Injury Update
Kieran O’Leary has resumed training, the Geaneys, Paul and Mike are aiming to be back next month while Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue are expected to return in April.

Vital points at stake as Kerry footballers travel to Newry on Sunday
With two pointless games behind them, Kerry’s trip north to take on Down in the Allianz Football League Round 3 on Sunday next is certainly one that they will have to bring away something from. Before the League commenced, given the fact that so many of the panel were absent due to injury or other commitments, along with the fact that Kerry were going into the All Ireland title holder’s back yard in Round 1, very few would have put Kerry down for four points at this stage of the competition in the first place, but they certainly would have said that Kerry would have two points in the bag from the Round 2 encounter with Roscommon. We all know what happened on that occasion, and Kerry are now in a situation where they have to win on Sunday to keep their hopes of a semi final place alive not to mention the very important issue of avoiding relegation from the premier division. Their opponents Down, are in exactly the same position having shipped a 17 points defeat at the hands of Donegal on home soil while also losing out to Monaghan albeit after a much improved performance in Round 2.

Player Availability Update
Kerry’s Under 21 players, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Tom O’Sullivan and Barry O’Sullivan, having helped the seniors out in a time of need, return to training with Jack O’Connor’s crew for the remainder of Kerry’s involvement in that championship but on the flip side of that coin some well know faces are back in the reckoning for a starting place on Sunday. Eamonn Fitzmaurice has confirmed that the likes of Marc Ó Sé, Kieran Donaghy, Colm Cooper, Bryan Sheehan, Peter Crowley and Kieran O’Leary will all be vying for a place on Sunday. He also confirmed that Aidan Walsh and Denis Daly (St Marys) and Tadhg Morley and Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) are in training with the Kerry squad right now following their exertions with their respective clubs in the All Ireland Club Championship campaign. Meanwhile the Geaneys, Paul and Mikey, Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue are all still recovering from Autumn surgery.

Right now, as we witnessed when they went 29 scoreless second half minutes against Roscommon, Kerry are badly in need of a creative player such as Colm Cooper up front and with a cock a hoop Donegal just around the corner Kerry need to get back on track on Sunday next in Páirc Esler. The game has a 2pm throw-in time with Martin Duffy in charge of the whistle.

Kerry’s remaining games in the League are at home to Donegal in Austin Stack Park on March 6th (Double bill with the Kerry V Wexford Hurling game), away to Mayo on March 13th and after a two week break, away to Monaghan on March 27th and finishing with a home game against Cork in Austin Stack Park on April 3rd.