GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Qualifiers Round 4 – Kerry 2-22 Clare 1-6

Kerry torpedo Clare, dodge Galvin bullet

Kerry 2-22 Clare 1-06

By Tony Leen for the Irish Examiner newspaper

A mismatch of some scale this, so does that excuse the Kerry management for falling asleep like the rest of us early in the second half? With Paul Galvin booked and on the edge, logic and reason suggested that when Jack O’Connor and his selectors came to make his first two attacking substitutions, they’d be calling the Finuge man ashore for his own good — and for the good of Kerry’s All-Ireland quarter-final chances next weekend against Donegal. Instead, and inexcusably, Kerry let Galvin, red mist and all, play on and minutes later, he was off for a second yellow card after a high tackle on Clare’s John Hayes — yes, the same Hayes from 2008, Paddy Russell and all that. It was only a yellow, yes, but with Galvin in such a confrontational mindset, it was asking for needless trouble not to yank him after the first yellow card.

O’Connor wasn’t inclined to explore the issue in any detail afterwards and perhaps he’s right. It was a momentary blemish on an otherwise impressively ruthless Kerry display that sees the Kingdom head for their favourite field in fine fettle. Importantly too, the likes of Kieran Donaghy, Aidan O’Mahony, Anthony Maher, Bryan Sheehan and Donnchadh Walsh are bringing some form with them. “(Taking Galvin off) was in our thoughts alright, but both yellow cards were harmless enough. Paul is playing great stuff at the moment, we just wanted him to keep the momentum going. Players will tackle, and it looked like he mistimed it, that’s all.” Tomás Ó Sé duly set his record for the most Championship appearances ever by a footballer (82) and Colm Cooper sailed past Mikey Sheehy’s Championship scoring record, his 1-4 moving him to 19-240 in 70 Championship games. But again, wasn’t there a case for replacing them early in the second period for safety sake, and not the likes of Killian Young or James O’Donoghue? A moot point, I guess, even if Ó Sé did appear to tweak a troublesome back late on.

Galvin’s double-yellow dismissal was as mystifying as it was ludicrous. For three-quarters of an hour, he was the best player Kerry had in terms of ball-winning around midfield, quality distribution to his forwards, and hound-like grafting to dispossess Clare ball. He may have exaggerated a couple of half-hearted third-man tackles, but in terms of provocation, this was nothing like the examination of his temperament he passed with flying colours last week against Tyrone. After that game he seemed on the verge of tears as he defended those “great men” in the Kerry dressing room. One wonders what they’d have thought of him had he earned a straight red on Saturday with Kerry leading Clare by 18 points?

The Wayne Rooney defence — that Kerry and Galvin “lose” something if he’s not pumped to the max — is ridiculous. If that is the case, he is a liability. Galvin, in this form, is so good, so important to Kerry, his absence against a side like Donegal could be the difference between winning and losing. With Galvin in tow, and three Championship outings in as many weeks in their legs, Kerry will fancy their chances against anyone in Croke Park, but Donegal was the draw they wanted least. The Ulster champions’ intensity will test some of those high mileage limbs more than Dublin did last September.

Therefore, Kerry could have done with another rigorous test of their well-being in the final round of qualifiers. But as soon as Clare saw the green and gold jerseys coming out to meet them at the Gaelic Grounds, their shoulders sagged just a little. Whatever chance Micheal McDermott’s side had, it was to get into Kerry’s face early and often. They erected a doomed-to-fail defensive structure in the early exchanges, but they were confronted with a Kerry side with momentum from the week before — and damned determined to hold onto it.

Jack O’Connor had drawn a line all the way back to the start of this year’s national league for his team-talk, urging the players not to follow the high of victory against Dublin with the low of a home loss to Armagh at the beginning of February. Saturday was competitive for around 20 minutes, with Ger Quinlan’s point keeping Clare on Kerry coat-tails at 0-4 to 0-3. It would be more than half an hour before Clare would score again, and in the meantime Kerry made half-time 0-12 to 0-3 to the good.

The early stages of the second half had a sense of Kerry moving seamlessly into top gear. Galvin pointed off his left, Sheehan landed a free from 50-odd metres, and they transferred the ball with pace and precision from end to end for James O’Donoghue to pass to the net for their first goal on 41 minutes. When the Legion man — Kieran O’Leary’s impressive second half appearance will keep O’Donoghue on his toes — quickly added another point, there was a sense of the 1979 Milltown massacre amongst the crowd of 7,388. That day Kerry put 9-21 on the bewildered Banner. Kerry thought about declaring at that stage, perhaps prompted by Galvin’s departure, but with 10 minutes left, Cooper bagged a tap-in to rub salt in the wounds.

Kerry scorers: C Cooper (1-4), J. O’Donoghue (1-3); B Sheehan (0-4, frees); K. Donaghy (0-3); Declan O’Sullivan, K O’Leary (0-2 each); M Ó Sé, A Maher, P Galvin, D Walsh (0-1 each).

Clare scorers: D Russell (1-1), D Tubridy (0-3, frees), G Quinlan (0-2).

Subs for Kerry: K O’Leary for Declan O’Sullivan, Darran O’Sullivan for Walsh (both 49); J Buckley for Maher (53); J Lyne for Young; BJ Keane for O’Donoghue (both 59).

Subs for Clare: G Kelly for McGrath (33); N Browne for O’Shea (half time); D Russell for Clohessy (50); C Talty for Kelly (53).

Referee: M. Deegan (Laois)

 

Superb Kerry March On

Report from the GAA.ie web site

GAA Football All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 4: Clare 1-6 Kerry 2-22

Kerry showed all their class on Saturday evening at the Gaelic Grounds as they crushed Clare in Round 4 of the Qualifiers and marched into the last eight of the championship. Kerry led 0-12 to 0-3 at half-time after hitting eight points without reply in the final fifteen minutes of the half, and they resumed where they left off after the restart, hitting three more quick points. They moved fifteen points clear when James O’Donoghue found the net on 42 minutes, and that ended the game as a contest, if that was not already the case.

Colm Cooper struck a second Kerry goal before the end, and with that score he surpassed Mikey Sheehy in the Kingdom’s scoring charts to become his county’s top championship scorer of all time. It was a fitting note to end a remarkably dominant day for Kerry, who had 19 points to spare by the finish.

Kerry’s nine-point half-time lead was established in a golden period of dominance in the final 15 minutes of the first half. Clare had lived with Kerry for the first quarter of the game, and trailed by just one point at 0-4 to 0-3 after 18 minutes, with Ger Quinlan kicking two early scores for them. But when a well-taken point from Cooper put Kerry 0-5 to 0-3 ahead, it kickstarted a run from the Kingdom which left Clare a long way behind. Donnacha Walsh gave Kerry a three point lead after 25 minutes, and Jack O’Connor’s men then kicked six points in the final 10 minutes of the half to firmly put their dominance on the board, and leave Clare with an impossible task for the second half. James O’Donoghue (2), Kieran Donaghy (2), Sheehan and Anthony Maher all fired over in that period, with a few of the scores superbly worked team efforts.

Three quick points after the restart pushed Kerry even further clear, one of them a typically massive kick from Sheehan, and then O’Donoghue found the net to put Kerry fifteen points ahead with close to half an hour left in the game. Kerry continued to sail over scores, but Clare gave their supporters something to cheer about when David Russell grabbed a goal to make it 1-18 to 1-4 after 56 minutes. Unfortunately for the Banner men, that wasn’t the start of a period of mercy from Kerry, and they outscored Clare by 1-4 to 0-2 in the final 15 minutes. Cooper got their second goal, and it was one for the history books as he became his county’s top championship scorer in the process. One note of disappointment for Kerry was the dismissal of Paul Galvin before the end, but it didn’t take much away from what was a very impressive show of strength from the rapidly improving Kingdom.

Team News

Clare (SF v Kerry): J Hayes: K Harnett, B Duggan, L Healy; E Coughlan, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan; S Brennan, S McGrath, A Clohessy; R Donnelly, D Tubridy, M O’Shea.

The Kerry Senior Football team to play Clare on Saturday July 28th

1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

2. Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

3. Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore)

4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

6. Eoin Brosnan (Dr Crokes)

7. Killian Young (Renard)

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. James O’Donoghue (Legion)

14. Colm Cooper (Captain) (Dr Crokes

15. Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)

16. Brian Kelly (Legion)

17. Brian McGuire (Listowel Emmets)

18. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

19. Peter Crowley (Laune Rgs)

20. Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes)

21. Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

22. Patrick Curtin (Moyvane)

23. Jonathan Lyne (Legion)

24. Seamus Scanlon (Currow)

25. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

26. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes)

27. Michael Geaney (Daingean Uí Chuis)

Match Preview

CLARE v KERRY, GAELIC GROUNDS, SATURDAY, 7.00pm

They meet in the championship for the first time since the 2008 Munster semifinal when Kerry won by 1-14 to 0-5 in Killarney. Clare’s last win over Kerry in the championship was in 1992 when they won the Munster final. Kerry’s win over Tyrone on Saturday maintained their 100 per cent record in the qualifiers and kept them in line to qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals for a 12th successive year. Clare are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since the championship system was changed in 2001.

Last Five Championship Clashes

2008: Kerry 1-14 Clare 0-5 (Munster semi-final)

2004: Kerry 2-10 Clare 0-9 (Munster quarter-final)

2000: Kerry 3-15 Clare 0-8 (Munster final)

1999: Kerry 3-17 Clare 0-12 (Munster semi-final)

1997: Kerry 1-13 Clare 0-11 (Munster final)

Championship 2012:

Kerry 0-16 Tipperary 0-10; Cork 0-17 Kerry 0-12 (Munster semi-final); Kerry 2-10 Westmeath 1-12; Kerry 1-16 Tyrone 1-6 (Qualifier Round 3).

Clare 1-13 Limerick 0-15; Cork 3-16 Clare 0-13 (Munster final)