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2024 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship – Kerry 2-18 Meath 0-9

June 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Kerry defeated Meath by 2-18 to 0-9 in Round 2 of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on Sunday June 2nd at Páirc Tailteann, Navan.

All-Ireland SFC: Kerry too strong for Meath

KERRY 2-18 MEATH 0-9

Report By Paul Keane at Pairc Tailteann for

A little like the Kerry team at large, David Clifford didn’t really get going until the final 20 minutes or so in Navan but when he did eventually cut loose it was worth waiting for.

Goals from the reigning Footballer of the Year in the 49th and 71st minutes, and 2-2 in all, eased the Munster champions to victory, strengthening their position at the head of Group 4.

With a game to go in the round robin phase, against Louth in a fortnight, automatic qualification to the All-Ireland quarter-final is now within the Kingdom’s grasp.

Kerry had 11 different scorers in all and the two goals that Clifford scored amounted to their first and second in this year’s Championship following a barren period in front of the posts.

As for Meath’s new and young team, they still have a game to play in the group also with Monaghan the opposition in Round 3 on the weekend of June 15/16.

Following a 10-point loss to neighbours Louth last weekend, Meath were desperate for a pick-me-up and altered their team in the hope of hitting upon a combination that might pick the Kerry lock.

Colm O’Rourke and his management team gambled with a series of changes to the published team, four in total.

Sean Ryan from the St Peter’s Dunboyne club came in for not just his Championship debut but his first ever appearance for the Meath seniors.

Clubmate Michael Murphy and Ballivor’s Brian O’Halloran were both handed their first Championship starts while Conor Gray, midfield for last year’s Tailteann Cup triumph, started his first game of 2024 following a mixture of injury and illness.

All of that change left Meath with a novel midfield axis of Gray and Cathal Hickey while full-back Adam O’Neill picked up Sean O’Shea and Donal Keogan was given the task of tracking David Clifford.

Truth be told, it was one giant defensive effort as Meath declined to contest the Kerry kick-out and immediately funnelled numbers back in the hope of winning the game on the counter attack.

It was an understandable strategy and it would have yielded a greater dividend but for Meath’s aimless shooting and lack of ideas up front.

They carved out plenty of attacking opportunities but eight first-half wides, many of them poor kicks from scorable positions, proved costly.

Beating the blanket is nothing new to Kerry who poured everyone forward, allowing defenders Brian O Beaglaoich and Tom O’Sullivan to pick off five points from play between them.

Midfielders Joe and Diarmuid O’Connor drilled a couple of points too while Tony Brosnan weighed in with a brace of points, helping Kerry to lead by 0-10 to 0-3 at half-time.

Meath drafted in captain Ronan Jones and Jordan Morris at half-time and Jones’ dynamism around the middle helped Meath get on top for 10 minutes or so.

Sean Coffey and Mathew Costello scored points and with just five now between teams, Meath supporters suddenly found their voice.

It was a brief resurgence though and an unanswered 1-2 from Kerry pretty much killed the contest, leaving the hot favourites 1-12 to 0-6 clear.

Clifford had been relatively anonymous but came alive for the 49th minute goal, bursting onto an O’Sullivan lay off on the left and slamming to the roof of the net.

He would have had a second goal two minutes later but O’Neill got down with a terrific block.

Clifford eventually got his second major in the 71st minute following a series of intricate passes which ended with sub Killian Spillane feeding the Fossa phenom.

Kerry finished with an unanswered 1-4 in all to drive home their authority and leave 1999 All-Ireland winners Meath with that sinking feeling again following their third Championship match loss in a row.

Kerry scorers: David Clifford 2-2 (0-1f), Brian O Beaglaoich 0-3, Sean O’Shea 0-3 (0-1 45, 0-1m), Tony Brosnan 0-2, Tom O’Sullivan 0-2, Paul Geaney 0-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Joe O’Connor 0-1, Dara Moynihan 0-1, Killian Spillane 0-1 (0-1m), Paudie Clifford 0-1.

Meath scorers: Eoghan Frayne 0-4 (0-2f), Mathew Costello 0-2 (0-1f), Sean Coffey 0-1, Jack O’Connor 0-1, Ciaran Caulfield 0-1.

KERRY: Shane Ryan; Tom O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Dylan Casey; Brian O Beaglaoich, Mike Breen, Gavin White; Diarmuid O’Connor, Joe O’Connor; Tony Brosnan, Paudie Clifford, Cillian Burke; David Clifford, Sean O’Shea, Paul Geaney.
Subs: Dara Moynihan for Burke 49, Killian Spillane for Geaney 55, Dylan Geaney for Brosnan 55, Adrian Spillane for Diarmuid O’Connor 61, Sean O’Brien for Breen 61.

MEATH: Billy Hogan; Ronan Ryan, Adam O’Neill, Donal Keogan; Ciaran Caulfield, Brian O’Halloran, Sean Coffey; Cathal Hickey, Conor Gray; Michael Murphy, Darragh Campion, Sean Ryan; Cillian O’Sullivan, Mathew Costello, Eoghan Frayne.
Subs: Ronan Jones for Gray h/t, Jordan Morris for Murphy h/t, Jack O’Connor for O’Sullivan 47, Cian McBride for Coffey 54, Ross Ryan for Campion 58.

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).

Team News

Kerry: Shane Ryan; Dylan Casey, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan; Brian Ó Beaglaíoch, Mike Breen, Gavin White; Diarmuid O’Connor, Joe O’Connor; Tony Brosnan, Paudie Clifford, Cillian Burke; David Clifford, Seán O’Shea, Paul Geaney.
Subs: Shane Murphy, Dara Moynihan, Tadhg Morley, Paul Murphy, Seán O’Brien, Adrian Spillane, Barry Dan O’Sullivan, Killian Spillane, Darragh Roche, Armin Heinrich, Dylan Geaney.

Meath: Billy Hogan; Donal Keogan, Adam O’Neill, Ronan Ryan; Harry O’Higgins, Darragh Campion, Seán Coffey; Ronan Jones, Cian McBride; Ciarán Caulfield, Cillian O’Sullivan, Cathal Hickey; James Conlon, Mathew Costello, Eoghan Frayne.
Subs: Seán Brennan, Michael Murphy, Seán Ryan, Brian O’Halloran, Ross Ryan, Conor Gray, Daithí McGowan, Ruairi Kinsella, Jack O’Connor, Jordan Morris, Aaron Lynch.


June 2
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Páirc Tailteann

GAA Units