All Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final – Kerry 1-20 Limerick 0-10

Just routine as Kerry set up Mayo clash

Kerry 1-20 Limerick 0-10

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

THE only source of surprise from Kerry’s All-Ireland Croke Park outing came long after the final whistle had blown as Mayo knocked All-Ireland champions Cork out of the race for Sam Maguire. Kerry’s tie with Limerick followed predictable lines as they eased to a 13-point victory thanks to their superior array of attacking options and highly disciplined defending. It was a routine win for Jack O’Connor’s side and there was never a sense that this last eight outing would prove to be the graveyard for their ambitions for the second successive year. But instead of reacquainting themselves with their Munster rivals in three weeks time, they must now face another county who they have held a hex over on big days at GAA headquarters.

For the first time this season in championship, Kerry will face a team from outside their province with the level of organisation and resilience displayed by Mayo bound to focus their minds before August 21. An emphatic 13-point success suggests Kerry’s game is in perfect working order yet there are plenty of things that Jack O’Connor will seek to brush up on before the last four showdown. O’Connor rightly pointed out afterwards that there was a distinct lack of sharpness in their play at times and they tended to become too elaborate at stages in their passing movements up front.

Some of that can be attributed to the four-week layoff since the Munster final and to still triumph so comfortably on an afternoon when attacking stars like Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper were largely peripheral figures will provide its own satisfaction for the Kerry camp. Of greater concern for Kerry was the sight of Darran O’Sullivan exiting before half-time, as he clutched his hamstring and limped off the pitch. The Glenbeigh-Glencar man will be anxious to regain fitness before the semi-final and those views will be shared by his team-mates and supporters. O’Sullivan has been in electric form this season and after looking to have sewn up the goal-of-the-season accolade with his strike in the Munster final, he managed to register a better one here. Bryan Sheehan’s fist pass towards him in the 28th minute came at an awkward low height but O’Sullivan, rushing in towards goal, adjusted his body superbly to produce an outrageous flick with his right foot and the send the ball nestling in the bottom corner. It was reminiscent of Gianfranco Zola’s effort against Norwich City in an FA Cup tie back in 2002 and was a rare moment of illumination in a humdrum encounter.

Limerick battled valiantly throughout but as manager Maurice Horan conceded afterwards, Kerry provided a superior level of opposition to that which they have faced in the qualifiers in recent weeks. Their cause was not helped by the continuation of the injury streak that has plagued them throughout this campaign. Stephen Lucey, parachuted in before throw-in, was gone after eight minutes while John Cooke had to retire at the break. Johnny McCarthy produced his customary level of excellence at the back, youngsters like John Riordan and Seamus O’Carroll demonstrated again that they are adapting to the senior game while Stephen Kelly provided flashes of attacking inspiration with some fine points from play.

But ultimately this was a game that Kerry were the masters of. They kept Limerick scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the game and were 1-8 to 0-4 to the good at the break. The Shannonsiders briefly rallied early in the second-half as they rattled over three quick points courtesy of a Kelly brace and a neat point by Ger Collins. Yet Kerry simply stepped up the gears after that and demonstrated their superiority once more. Their defence was excellent. Marc Ó Sé had another outstanding outing as he held Ian Ryan scoreless from play while outside him older brother Tomás slipped seamlessly back into the inter-county game after being sidelined for the past two months through suspension. O’Connor will also have been glad to see Paul Galvin get badly-needed game time in attack while the performance of Sheehan around midfield silenced some of his critics. That sector has been a worry for Kerry of late but Sheehan grafted well in the physical exchanges, frequently claimed clean possession in the air and potted his placed balls with typical efficiency.

Limerick’s hopes of fighting their way back into contention were dependent on grabbing a goal to ignite their challenge. An errant Aidan O’Mahony pass almost handed them a chance in the early exchanges but Kelly found the side-netting with his close range shot. A couple of other chances flew just over the crossbar but in general Kerry never afforded them the latitude to cut loose. After Limerick trimmed the gap to four points by the 39th minute, the Munster champions responded decisively by registering seven of the game’s next eight points. They were never in danger of being tripped up then. Their semi-final place was assured before the finish yet the identity of their opponents will generate fresh intrigue.

Scorers for Kerry: Darran O’Sullivan 1-3, B Sheehan 0-6 (0-4f, 0-1 ‘45), C Cooper 0-3 (0-1f), Declan O’Sullivan, T Ó’Sé 0-2 each, K Young, A Maher, K Donaghy, J O’Donoghue 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: S Kelly 0-4, I Ryan 0-2 (0-2f), G Collins, S O’Carroll, B Scanlon (0-1f), J Riordan 0-1 each.

Subs for Kerry: K O’Leary for Darran O’Sullivan (inj) (32), S Enright for O’Mahony (49), S Scanlon for Maher (62), D Bohane for Brosnan (62), J O’Donoghue for Galvin (62).

Subs for Limerick: M O’Riordan for Lucey (inj) (8), J Mullane for Cooke (inj) (half-time), J O’Donovan for Gallagher (half-time), B Fitzpatrick for O’Riordan (59), E Hogan for Mullane (62).

Referee: Pat McEnaney (Monaghan)

 

Team News

The Kerry team to play Limerick in The All Ireland Quarter Final on Sunday next the 31st July at 2pm in Croke Park is as follows:

1. Brendan Kealy, (Kilcummin)

2.Killian Young (Renard) 3 Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht) 4 Tom O’Sullivan (Rathmore)

5. Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltact) 6. Eoin Brosnan (Dr. Crokes) 7. Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore)

8. Anthony Maher (Duagh) 9.Bryan Sheehan (St. Mary’s)

10. Paul Galvin (Finuge) 11. Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh Na Dromada) 12. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane),

13. Colm Cooper (Dr. Crokes) Captain 14 Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) 15. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

Subs: 16. Tomás Mac a t’Saoir (An Ghaeltacht) 17. Shane Enright (Tarbert) 18. Kieran O’Leary (Dr. Crokes) 19. Daniel Bohan (Austin Stacks) 20. Michéal Quirke (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) 21. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) 22. Brian Maguire (Listowel Emmett’s) 23. Séamus Scanlon (Currow) 24. Padraig Reidy (Scartaglin) 25. Niall O’Mahony (Spa) and (26) James O’Donoghue (Legion)

Bainisteóir: Jack O’Connor (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

Physical Coach: Alan O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahillys)

Coach: Donie Buckley (Castleisland Desmonds)

Roghnóirí: Ger O’Keeffe (Austin Stacks) & Diarmuid Murphy (Daingean Uí Chúis)

LIMERICK SF TEAM V. KERRY 31/07/2011

1. Brian Scanlon Gerald Griffin’s.

2. Tommy Stack Dromcollogher-Broadford.

3. Shane Gallagher Ballysteen.

4. Stephen Lavin Adare.

5. John Riordan Fr. Casey’s.

6. Johnny McCarthy St. Kierans.

7. Pa Ranahan Ballysteen.

8. Seanie Buckley Dromcollogher-Broadford.

9. Jim O’ Donovan St. Kierans.

10. Stephen Kelly Newcastlewest.

11. John Mullane St. Patrick’s.

12. Mike Sheehan Fr. Casey’s.

13. Ger Collins Monaleen.

14. Seamus O Carroll Cappagh.

15. Ian Ryan St. Senan’s

Match Preview

They meet for the second time in this year’s championship, with Kerry having won the Munster semi-final easily (1-26 to 3-9) in the Gaelic Grounds on June 4. Kerry raced into a lead of 1-10 to 0-1 after 30 minutes before Limerick rallied to trail by 1-10 to 1-4 at half-time. However, they had left themselves with far too much to do and while they scored 2-5 in the second half, Kerry added 16 points. Colm Cooper (0-7), Darran O’Sullivan (1-3) and Declan O’Sullivan (0-4) were top scorers for Kerry while Ger Collins (1-4) was Limerick’s main marksman.

Kerry have reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals every year since the new championship system was introduced in 2001. Their only defeat came last year when they lost to Down by six points. Limerick are in the quarter-finals for the first time.

Paths to the quarter-final

Kerry

Kerry 2-16 Tipperary 0-11 (Munster quarter-final)

Kerry 1-26 Limerick 3-9 (Munster semi-final)

Kerry 1-15 Cork 1-12 (Munster final)

Average For: 1-20; Average Against: 1-12

Limerick

Kerry 1-26 Limerick 3-9 (Munster semi-final)

Limerick 3-13 Offaly 0-15 (Qualifiers R2)

Limerick 0-14 Waterford 0-9 (Qualifiers R3)

Limerick 1-18 Wexford 1-17 (Qualifiers R4)

Average For: 2-13; Average Against: 1-16

Last Five Championship Clashes

2011: Kerry 1-26 Limerick 3-9 (Munster semi-final)

2010: Kerry 1-17 Limerick 1-14 (Munster final)

2005: Kerry 2-10 Limerick 0-10 (Munster semi-final)

2004: Kerry 3-10 Limerick 2-9 (Munster final) Replay

2004: Kerry 1-10 Limerick 1-10 (Munster final) Draw

Previous Quarter final appearances

Kerry

2010: Down 1-16 Kerry 1-10

2009: Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7

2008: Kerry 1-21 Galway 1-16

2007: Kerry 1-12 Monaghan 1-11

2006: Kerry 3-15 Armagh 1-13

2005: Kerry 2-15 Mayo 0-18

2004: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 1-8

2003: Kerry 1-21 Roscommon 3-10

2002: Kerry 2-17 Galway 1-12

2001: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 1-12 (replay)

2001: Kerry 1-14 Dublin 2-11 (draw)

Played 11, Won 9, Drew 1, Lost 1