Allianz Football League Division 1 – Kerry 2-15 Westmeath 0-13

Kerry defeated Westmeath by 2-15 to 0-13 in round 6 of the Allianz Football League Division 1 on Sunday March 30th at Cusack Park, Mullingar.

Westmeath relegated as Kerry stride on


Report from the

An opportunist goal apiece from Kieran O’Leary and Paul Geaney in the first and second halves respectively helped Kerry to their expected win in front of 2,700 spectators at Cusack Park, Mullingar on Sunday afternoon, thereby condemning their hosts Westmeath to an immediate return to Division II next year.

As was the case in most of their earlier matches in the campaign, Westmeath gave as good as they got in the first half. With Kieran Martin, Callum McCormack and Denis Glennon availing of a decent supply of ball from midfield, the home side was deservedly on level terms (0-5 each) after 24 minutes. James O’Donoghue was being well marshalled by Kevin Maguire, with the Kingdom’s biggest threat coming from Paul Geaney.
However, the needless concession of a free in the 25th minute by Steven Gilmore was cleverly exploited by the visitors and Stephen O’Brien teed up Kieran O’Leary to slap the ball to the net from point-blank range.

Glennon and Bryan Sheehan (from a superbly struck ‘45’ from near the sideline) traded points, but Paul Bealin’s men finished the half strongly with points from Martin, Ray Connellan (a free) and Egan (also a free) to go in at the break deservedly on level terms (1-6 to 0-9). Callum McCormack and James O’Donoghue (who was far more prominent on the change of ends) exchanged points within seven minutes of the resumption. The crucial score of the contest arrived in the 44th minute when Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s troops scored their second goal after two unforced errors from the men in maroon and white left Paul Geaney free, and he gave Stephen Gallagher no chance from 12 metres.

Points followed from Geaney (free), O’Donoghue and Geaney (another free) to put the men in green and gold two goals clear (2-10 to 0-10). The introduction of Anthony Maher helped Kerry to dominate the midfield exchanges and the issue was never in doubt during the final quarter. Indeed, it took a great block from Kieran Gavin on Geaney to prevent a third Kerry goal late on, with David Moran replicating the by now-substituted Sheehan’s heroics from the resultant ‘45’.
Scorers for Kerry: P Geaney 1-4 (0-2f); J O’Donoghue 0-5 (3f); K O’Leary 1-0; B Sheehan 0-2 (2 ‘45’); P Crowley, S O’Brien, D Moran (‘45’), D Walsh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Westmeath: D Glennon, C McCormack 0-3 each; G Egan (2f), R Connellan (2f), K Martin 0-2 each; P Sharry 0-1 (‘45’).

KERRY: B Kelly; P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, F Fitzgerald, M Ó Sé; J Buckley, D Moran; J Lyne, B Sheehan, K O’Leary; S O’Brien, P Geaney, J O’Donoghue
Subs: D Walsh for Lyne (31), D Casey for Sheehan (ht), A Maher for Buckley (49), D O’Sullivan for O’Leary (49), J Sherwood for Ó Sé (60), A O’Mahony for Crowley (63).

WESTMEATH: S Gallagher; K Maguire, K Gavin, S Gilmore; Damien Dolan, P Sharry, D Harte; D Duffy, R Connellan; K Martin, G Egan, C McCormack; J Dolan, D Glennon, Dessie Dolan
Subs: J Egan for Damien Dolan (48), D McCormack for Martin (57), A Giles for Glennon (57), R Foley for Harte (60), K Daly for Duffy (69).

REFEREE: A Nolan (Wicklow)

Team News

KERRY: Brian Kelly (Killarney Legion); Paul Murphy (Rathmore), Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore), Shane Enright (Tarbert); Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers), Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes), Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht); Anthony Maher (Duagh), David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys); Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion), Bryan Sheehan (St Marys), Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes); Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare), Paul Geaney (Dingle), James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion).
Subs: Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin), Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane), Daithí Casey (Dr Crokes), Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh Glencar), Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes), Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore), Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys), Jack Sherwood (Firies), Michael Geaney (Dingle), Brian McGuire (Listowel Emmets), David Culhane (Ballylongford).