McGrath Cup Football – Waterford v Kerry

Kerry defeated Waterford by 2-12 to 3-5 in the McGrath Cup Football Quarter-Final on Sunday at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Deadly Donaghy denies Déise

Kerry 2-12 Waterford 3-5

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, January 18, 2010

WATERFORD were on the cusp of a momentous success over Kerry in yesterday’s McGrath Cup quarter-final in Fitzgerald Stadium. With two minutes remaining the Déise men led 3-4 to 0-11 but then Kieran Donaghy strode forward to alter the course of the game. Utilising the modified square ball rule, Donaghy fielded a high ball in the 58th minute, swivelled and planted a shot in the net. Sixty seconds later, he delightfully fisted in a long Bryan Sheehan ball for his second goal and then applied the coup de grace in injury-time by sending over a brilliant point from the sideline. It had been a hectic weekend for Jack O’Connor, with yesterday’s match preceded by a preliminary round victory over IT Tralee on Saturday afternoon. The unblemished record of results was something to savour but the news from the infirmary clouded O’Connor’s mood. David Moran limped off in the first-half with a knock to his leg and more critically new captain Bryan Sheehan was stretchered off late on with a serious ankle injury.

Sheehan looks certain to miss Kerry’s opening rounds on the NFL and almost definitely will not lead out Kerry for their glamour League opener against Dublin on February 7 against Dublin and away to Cork a week later after an x-ray revealed damaged ankle ligaments. The weekend marked the birth of latest raft of GAA experimental rules, yet it was the technicalities of hand-passing rather than the spectacular visual effects of the mark that dominated yesterday’s game. Kerry’s players found the handpass changes problematic. O’Connor revealed his misgivings about the handpass rule afterwards but the mark did work well for Kerry, with David Moran making fine fetches early on. Waterford prospered from penalties being taken a couple yards close to goal. Michael Donnelly tucked home a neat shot from a 35th minute placed kick, to propel Waterford into a 3-3 to 0-6 lead after a flurry of goals.

Their first had come just before the interval when Tony Grey’s point effort was misjudged by Kerry netminder Ger Reidy and looped into the net. That strike enabled Waterford to draw level 1-3 to 0-6 at half-time and then three minutes after the break, attacker Conor McGrath jinked through before finishing a sublime shot into the far corner. However, after Donnelly’s goal they endured a 20-minute scoring drought and manager John Owens pinpointed that afterwards a critical shortcoming. “That was the disappointing aspect that we went so long without a score. But it was a positive enough display. If you’d said to me beforehand that we’d play reasonably well against Kerry, I’d have taken it.” Kerry’s comeback to victory was engineered not only by Donaghy’s scoring burst but also the methodical point-kicking of Bryan Sheehan who registered six points during the game. The energy of their youngsters also helped, with Barry John Keane and James O’Donoghue both able to reflect on impressive contributions in both matches over the weekend.

Scorers for Kerry: K Donaghy 2-2, B Sheehan 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45), K O’Leary 0-2, S Scanlon, J O’Donoghue 0-1 each

Waterford: M Donnelly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), T Grey, C McGrath 1-0 each, B Wall 0-2 (0-2f), JJ Hutchinson 0-1.

KERRY: G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, A O’Connell; K Young, A O’Mahony, M Corridan; S Scanlon, D Moran; J O’Connor, B Sheehan, D Walsh; K O’Leary, K Donaghy, P O’Connor.

Subs: BJ Keane for Moran (inj) (27), A O’Sullivan for O’Connell (40), J O’Donoghue for J O’Connor (43), P Corridan for O’Leary (43), K O’Leary for Walsh (54).

WATERFORD: T Wall; J Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman, J Phelan; T Grey, S Briggs, P Ogle; M Ahearne, Michael O’Gorman; W Hennessy, C McGrath, B Wall; M Donnelly, R Ahearne, S Cunningham.

Subs: T O’Gorman for M Ahearne (43), JJ Hutchinson for W Hennessy (50), N Hennessy for Phelan (50), B Phelan for Michael O’Gorman (54).

Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary)

Sheehan blow sours Kingdom’s fightback

Kerry 2-12 Waterford 3-5

McGrath Cup

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday January 18 2010

AN injury to new Kerry captain Bryan Sheehan marred the All-Ireland champions’ first competitive game of 2010, when they had to stage a dramatic late fightback to deny Waterford in this quarter-final clash, played at the Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney yesterday. Sheehan was carried off the field late in the game and has been told that he will be out for anything from four to six weeks. As a result, he looks certain to miss the opening rounds of the NFL, which means that he won’t lead out Kerry for their glamour league opener against Dublin on February 7 or away to Cork a week later after an X-ray on his ankle revealed that he damaged ligaments.

This is a huge blow to the St Mary’s clubman, who indicated after his club won the South Kerry Championship, thus affording him the honour of skippering Kerry in 2010, that his main aim this spring was to nail down a starting place on the team after an indifferent 2009. Now it appears certain that it will be his friend and team-mate Killian Young who will lead out the All-Ireland champions against Dublin in three weeks’ time when the Kingdom open their defence of the NFL title. Kerry needed two late Kieran Donaghy goals to see off the challenge of Waterford, who were gifted a goal late in the first half and two more within minutes of resuming in the second half.

Trailing by two points with just minutes to go, Donaghy caught a high pass just outside the Waterford square, and turning swiftly, the ‘Star’ fired home to send Kerry into the lead. Just over a minute later, he punched a Sheehan point-attempt into the back of the net, as he twisted in mid-air like a falcon, and swooped to guarantee Kerry’s place in the semi-final of the Munster competition, against Tipperary and John Evans on Sunday next. Fielding a relatively strong team (only Adrian O’Connell survived the previous day’s win over IT Tralee) that included the likes of Aidan O’Mahony, Young, Seamus Scanlon, Tommy Griffin, David Moran as well as Sheehan and Donaghy, it was still no surprise to see Kerry struggle for large patches.

At one stage in the first half, they led 0-6 to 0-1 as Sheehan (0-3), Scanlon, Donaghy and Kieran O’Leary were all on target but Waterford, thanks to a fortuitous goal from Tom Grey in the 28th minute, saw the visitors back on level terms at the break, 0-6 to 1-3. Two early Waterford goals in the second half handed the visitors a six-point lead — the first from Conor McGrath and the second a penalty from Michael Donnelly — and suddenly at 3-3 to 0-6 clear the distress signals were starting. However Kerry chipped away at that lead — mainly through the accuracy of Sheehan, who finished with 0-6 — but the shock looked on until Donaghy’s late double won the game for the Kingdom. However the Sheehan injury soured the Kingdom’s impressive recovery.

Scorers — Kerry: K Donaghy 2-2, B Sheehan 0-6 (0-3fs), K O’Leary 0-2, S Scanlon and J O’Donoghue 0-1 each.

Waterford: M Donnelly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), T Grey, C McGrath 1-0 each, B Wall 0-2 (0-2f), JJ Hutchinson 0-1.

Kerry — G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, A O’Connell; K Young, A O’Mahony, M Corridan; S Scanlon, D Moran; J O’Connor, B Sheehan, D Walsh; K O’Leary, K Donaghy, P O’Connor. Subs: BJ Keane for Moran, A O’Sullivan for O’Connell, James O’Donoghue for J O’Connor, P Corridan for O’Leary, K O’Leary for Walsh.

Waterford — T Wall; J Walsh, Maurice O’Gorman, J Phelan; T Grey, S Briggs, P Ogle; M Ahearne, Michael O’Gorman; W Hennessy, C McGrath, B Wall; M Donnelly, R Ahearne, S Cunningham. Subs: T O’Gorman for M Ahearne, JJ Hutchinson for W Hennessy, B Phelan for Michael O’Gorman.

Ref — D O’Mahony (Tipperary)

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