Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 1-14 Dublin 0-11

Kerry defeated Dublin by 1-14 to 0-11 in round 1 of the Allianz Football League Division 1 on Saturday at Croke Park.

Sheehan points the way for Kerry

Allianz Football League Division I: Dublin 0-11 Kerry 1-14

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Kerry gained a measure of revenge for last year’s All-Ireland final defeat by beating Dublin in the opening game of their Allianz Football League Division I campaign at Croke Park. Kerry trailed by 0-7 to 0-5 at the break, but Bryan Sheehan gave a tour de force performance in the second half, bringing his total for the game to 0-8 with as succession of sweetly struck frees, and Darran O’Sullivan scored a crucial 55th minute goal to help the Kingdom to victory. To make matters worse for Dublin, Eamonn Fennell was shown a straight red card two minutes from time after appearing to hit out at Sheehan.

Kerry had opened an early three-point lead with James O’Donoghue, who was making his first senior start, kicking a point and Sheehan adding two more, one from play and a second from a placed ball. That was only after Dublin had opened in the same manner they finished the All-Ireland final. Within 20 seconds of the start, Mossie Quinn was denied a goal, forcing a great save from Kerry goalkeeper Brendan Kealy, who pushed his shot wide with his feet.

Dublin got off the mark when All-Ireland final hero Kevin McManamon, Dublin’s best performer on the night, sent over brilliant point, stating his case for a regular starting place to manager Pat Gilroy. Gradually Dublin came back into the game and by the time McManamon had snaffled a second they were level at 0-5 apiece after 23 minutes. The first half was without much further incident until it moved into added time and Dublin edged ahead when Quinn and Cluxton – with a brilliantly struck ’45 – put the All-Ireland champions two clear at the break. McManamon then had a chance to repeat his heroics from last September when he raced clear on goal after the restart, but he drove the ball over the bar when one-on-one with Kealy, the opposition goalkeeper.

That miss appeared to embolden Kerry and they hit the next four points, all from the boot of Sheehan, who was enjoying a profitable might in Jack O’Connor’s midfield. Kerry made it 1-4 on the bounce when Darran O’Sullivan used his pace to run clear of the Dublin defence and calmly slot past Cluxton. They led by 1-10 to 0-8 with 15 minutes left. Connolly and Cluxton hit back for Dublin, but Sheehan was in fine form and BJ Keane, the Kerry corner forward, knocked over his second and third points of the game late on to seal the win.

Dublin: S Cluxton (0-2, 0-1f, 0-1’45); M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, G Brennan, C Dias; R McConnell, M D Macauley, P Brogan, K McManamon (0-3), B Cullen (0-1); D Connolly (0-1), E O’Gara, T Quinn (0-4, 0-3f).

Subs: P Flynn for P Brogan (45), K Nolan for M Fitzsimons, E Fennell for R McConnell (both 51), D Kelly for E O’Gara (63), S Murray for M D Macauley (64).

Kerry: B Kealy: S Enright; M Ó Sé, P Crowley; T Ó Sé, K Young, B Maguire; S Scanlon, B Sheehan (0-8, 0-5f); P Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan (1-0), S O’Sullivan; J O’Donoghue (0-3, 0-2f), K Donaghy (capt), BJ Keane (0-3).

Subs: A Maher for S Scanlon (HT), P Curtin for S O’Sullivan (50), D O’Callaghan for Darran O’Sullivan (61), A O’Mahony for P Crowley (66), D Bohan for BJ Keane (71).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

Attendance: 45,838