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McGrath Cup Senior Football Preliminary Round – Kerry 1-14 ITT 1-13
O’Connor takes look at options
Kerry 1-14 IT Tralee 1-13
By Murt Murphy for the Irish Examiner newspaper
AN experimental Kerry side were deserving winners over battling IT Tralee in this McGrath Cup preliminary round game at Austin Stack Park, Tralee yesterday — despite a slender winning margin, the issue was never really in doubt. Kerry led by five points with just six minutes to go but a late flurry of IT Tralee points closed the gap to the minimum in injury time.
Kerry boss Jack O’Connor expressed his satisfaction with the performance, being very pleased with the Geaney cousins, David and Paul, from Dingle who amassed 1-6 between them, while moving Darran O’Sullivan to wing-back also worked well. IT Tralee started the scoring in the 10th minute through a Shane Carroll point and then struck for a 14th-minute goal through Michael Kiely. When Mikey Brennan added a quick point, Tralee led 1-2 to 0-0 after 15 minutes.
However, Donnacha Walsh got Kerry going with a 16th-minute point and a point from Kieran Donaghy and two each from Niall O’Mahony and David Geaney hauled Kerry level at 0-6 to 1-3 by the 27th minute. The crucial score came in the 28th minute when David Geaney floated a high ball into the Tralee danger zone, Donaghy batted the ball down and Paul Geaney netted.
Geaney again and Donaghy then quickly put Kerry three clear before four David Geaney points (0-3 frees) and one each from subs Barry O’Grady and Mike S O’Donoghue underlined Kerry’s dominance before Tralee’s late flourish saw Barry John Keane (2), Paul O’Donoghue and Shane Carroll all register to add more than a sheen of respectability to the scoreline.
Kerry now play Limerick IT in Limerick next Sunday.
Scorers for Kerry: D Geaney 0-6 (0-3 frees), P Geaney 1-1, K Donaghy and N O’Mahony 0-2 each, D Walsh, B O’Grady and M O’Donoghue 0-1 each.
Scorers for IT Tralee: M Kiely 1-0, B J Keane 0-3 (0-2 frees), A O’Donoghue 0-2 (0-1 free), S Carroll 0-2, D Culloty, P O’Donoghue, G O’Driscoll, M Brennan, B Poff and D Coleman 0-1 each.
KERRY: B Kealy, P Reidy, M Moloney, S Enright, J Lyne, A O’Sullivan, Darran O’Sullivan, A Maher, D Moran, G Sayers, D Walsh, N O’Mahony, D Geaney, K Donaghy, P Geaney.
Subs: S Scanlon for A O’Sullivan (55), B O’Grady for G Sayers (55), M O’Donoghue for P Geaney (55), K Dwyer for P Reidy (63), C O’Mahony for Darran O’Sullivan (63).
IT TRALEE: S Dee, E Murray (Meath), S Brosnan, M Shanahan, G O’Grady, K Hartnett (Clare) , D Culloty, P O’Donoghue, G O’Driscoll, M Brennan, B J Keane, B Poff, A O’Donoghue, S Carroll, M Kiely (Limerick).
Subs: M Deegan (Limerick) for K Hartnett (34th) P Kelly for G O’Grady (45), D Coleman (Cork) for M Kiely (47), K Hartnett for E Murray (60).
Referee: R Moloney (Limerick)