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2023 Allianz Hurling League Division 2A – Kerry 2-22 Derry 0-13
Kerry defeated Derry by 2-22 to 0-13 in Round 1 of the Allianz Hurling League Division 2A on Saturday February 4th at Celtic Park.
Walsh off early but Kerry survive Derry fightback to bag opening day points https://t.co/19IkJDQ81p
— Irish Examiner Sport (@ExaminerSport) February 5, 2023
Walsh off early but Kerry survive Derry fightback to bag opening day points
Allianz HL Division 2A: Derry 0-14 Kerry 2-22
Report by Michael Wilson for the Irish Examiner newspaper
KERRY withstood the fourth-minute sending off of playmaker Colin Walsh to ease to a comfortable opening day Division 2A victory over Derry in Celtic Park.
Walsh was dismissed for an off-the-ball incident with the game still in its infancy but even a man short, the Kingdom always looked to have too much for the home side who had seen 14 of last year’s promotion panel depart in the close season and new manager Johnny McGarvey only appointed three weeks ago.
That close season upheaval eventually told but only after a brave home effort had taken the Oak Leafers to within two points of Kerry with 20 minutes to play. Derry were in the ascendency at that stage before a mistake from keeper Eoin Mulholland, who lost the flight of substitute Paudie O’Connor’s long hopeful effort, gifted Kerry their opening goal. From there Stephen Molumphy’s men eased away to a somewhat flattering margin of victory.
With Daithi Griffin and Shane Conway superb throughout, and Padraig Boyle deadly from frees as he hit 0-11 of 13 placed balls, Kerry always looked likely winners but Molumphy won’t have been fooled by the double-score victory, there is plenty of room for improvement.
Despite trailing 0-2 to 0-1 when Walsh got his marching orders, losing a man didn’t stop Kerry taking a grip of the game as they eventually turned around with a 0-13 to 0-8 lead though Derry probably should have been closer.
Kerry introduced Brandon Barrett and Kyle O’Connor at the break but the third quarter belonged to Derry despite a Boyle free getting Kerry up and running first. Two Cormac O’Doherty frees brought it back to 0-14 to 0-10 before a superb Eoin Ross score was cancelled out by a Meehaul McGrath point.
Three Derry points in succession had the game in the melting pot at 0-16 to 0-14 with Kerry looking anxiously over their shoulder. Points from Boyle and Griffin eased those worries but even at four points, the game was still there for either county.
O’Connor’s goal changed that and the former Kerry captain will never score an easier one, Mullholland completely unsighted by the blinding low sun as the ball bounce three times before finding the net. It was hard on the young Derry keeper who had been having a great game.
Derry’s momentum had been deflated and Kerry took full advantage, pushing for home in style by holding their hosts scoreless for the remainder of the game as they tagged on another 1-04, including a second goal courtesy of Eoin Ross.
Derry scorers: J Friel (0-5, frees), C O’Doherty (0-4, frees), J Mullan, M McGrath, R Mullan, C O’Reilly, P Cleary (0-1 each).
Kerry scorers: P Boyle (0-11, frees), E Ross (1-1), P O’Connor (1-0), D Collins (0-3), D Goggin (0-2), S Conway (0-2), D Griffin, K Carmody (0-2)
DERRY: E Mulholland; S Cassidy, M Craig, R Mullan; S F Quinn, R Mullan, M McGrath; C O’Reilly, J Mullan; C O’Doherty, P Cleary, D McGilligan; J Friel, P Neilis, R McSorley.
Subs: C Quinn for S Cassidy (BS, 4-10); C O’Kane for R Mullan (HT), C Quinn for R McSorley (52(, C Gough for P Neilis (60), A Duffin for P Cleary (66), D Kelly for C O’Reilly (75).
KERRY: J B O’Halloran; C O’Keeffe, T Brick, E Murphy; E Leen, M Boyle, E Ross; F MacKessy, D Collins; S Conway, C Walsh, D Griffin; N Mulcahy, D Goggin, P Boyle.
Subs: B Barrett for N Mulcahy (HT), K O’Connor for Brick (HT), K Carmody for Goggin (55), P O’Connor for Murphy (55), P Lucid for Boyle (63).
Referee: Colm McDonald (Antrim)
Team Announcement: Kerry vs Derry – Allianz Hurling League
— Kerry GAA (@Kerry_Official) February 3, 2023
— Derry GAA (@Doiregaa) February 3, 2023