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NFL Division 1 – Kerry v Dublin

February 7, 2010 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Dublin defeated Kerry by 1-12 to 1-10 in Round 1 of the National Football League on Sunday at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney.

Dublin 1-12 Kerry 1-10

From the web site

Feb 07, 2010

Dublin claimed their first win in Kerry since the 1982-1983 season by beating the All-Ireland champions 1-12 to 1-10 in an exciting Allianz GAA NFL Division One clash in Killarney on Sunday. After the humiliating 17-point All-Ireland Quarter-final against the Kingdom last August, Dublin boss Pat Gilroy will look back with some satisfaction on this game in which his charges withstood a late comeback to claim a narrow win. The Dubs led 1-6 to 0-6 at the break after Paul Flynn’s 33rd minute goal, and kicked three points in a row after the restart to extend their advantage. Inevitably, Kerry hit back, with Barry John Walsh grabbing an injury-time goal to set up a grandstand finish. The league champions went in search of an equalising point, but Michael MacAuley stepped up to fist over a late point to hand the Dubs victory.

Eamon Fennell, who finished the game with three points from play, carved out an early chance to put his off-field troubles to the back of his mind, but the midfielder smashed the ball over the bar in the first minute after bursting through on goal. Fennell gave a superb performance in the first half, scoring a second point from play after 17 minute to give Dublin a 0-3 to 0-2 lead. However, Paul Galvin was in equally good form and slotted over three points from play in the first half alone, his effort with the outside of his foot to level the game after 24 minutes being the highlight of a very enjoyable 35 half. However, Dublin did take the lead into the break after Flynn found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. Darragh MacAuley tapped a high ball into the path of the onrushing Flynn, who fired a low shot past Ger Reidy. Flynn added a point a minute later before Paul O’Connor struck his third point of the day to leave Kerry trailing by 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time.

Flynn, Kevin McManamon and Blaine Kelly nudged Dublin further ahead after the break before Paul O’Connor got Kerry off the mark in the second half with a pair of frees. However, Fennell kept the Kingdom at arm’s length with his third of the afternoon after 57 minutes. Kerry then had a succession of goal chances, with Walsh denied by Stephen Cluxton and Declan O’Sullivan somehow skewing the ball wide after Donaghy had given him the easiest of goal chances. Galvin was next to go close, firing just over the bar to get his side back to within four points with two minutes left. Walsh then smashed the ball through a crowded goalmouth past Cluxton to give the home crowd hope that a remarkable comeback was on the cards. However, as Kerry went in search of a winner, MacAuley stripped a defender of the ball and blazed through on goal before taking the sensible option and fisting the ball over the bar.

Gilroy plays down capital gains

Kerry 1-10 Dublin 1-12

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Monday, February 08, 2010

THERE was retribution in the Killarney air yesterday, but no one in the Dublin football camp was celebrating after beating the All-Ireland champions in this NFL Division One opener. A two-point league victory cannot erase the memories of last August’s championship meltdown, but as part of their rehabilitation this was an encouraging starting point. They travelled home last night as the first Dublin team since November 1982 to take league points from the locals in Killarney but perspective was the buzzword in the Dublin ranks afterwards. For manager Pat Gilroy, the key is building on this display: “I don’t think the result really matters, it’s more about performances. It’s all about consistency, there’s no point playing like that today and not following it up next week. We want to see how young lads acquit themselves out there and I was very happy with how hard everyone worked for us today. But look, it’s a February league match and that’s all it is.”

Gilroy went with just five of the side that started in last summer’s trouncing and that was reflected in how Dublin played free of inhibitions in the opening half. Their work-rate from the outset was ferocious, and they also played some bright, engaging football. Midfielder Eamonn Fennell brushed aside the recent club transfer talk that has dogged him to gain a strong foothold around the middle with partner Ross McConnell. Fennell’s best work was done in an attacking sphere, as along with centre-forward Michael MacAuley, he sliced open the Kerry rearguard with astute angles of running. The good news continued elsewhere around the pitch with Rory O’Carroll, Paul Flynn and Kevin McManamon validating their case for inclusion with high-standard displays.

For Kerry an early league defeat will not prompt grave inquisitions. With several names missing, their teamsheet underwent a huge makeover from last summer’s side while manager Jack O’Connor was also absent from the sidelines due to a family bereavement. Dublin’s greater dynamism suggested they are further advanced in their training schedule and it will take Kerry a few games to shake winter aches from their limbs. For all of Dublin’s early sparkle, Kerry competed well on the scoreboard in the first half. That was principally due to the excellence of Paul Galvin who kept his team afloat with his marquee moment arriving in the 23rd minute when his quicksilver footwork created a great point.

But Dublin were full value for their 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead, with Fennell notching two points and McManamon posing difficulties for Kerry defender Pádraig Reidy. The uncharacteristic laxness of Kerry’s passing from defence was another key factor as sloppy handling gifted Dublin cheap points, and but for fatal dithering by MacAuley in the fourth minute, they could have goaled after an errant Tommy Griffin sideline. When Dublin did hit the net in the 32nd minute, it was a product of their own invention. Ross McConnell arrowed a brilliant pass forward and McAuley deftly flicked on to Paul Flynn, who shot emphatically to the net.

In contrast, Kerry’s inside attackers Barry John Walsh and Paul O’Connor’s ambitions to impress were not helped by the paucity of possession fed into them in the first half. Kerry’s principal tactic was to lump high balls to ‘Star’ at the edge of the square, but Dublin were alert to Donaghy’s threat and effectively crowded him out when he gained possession.

Dublin’s ploy of clogging the middle third deprived Kerry players of the space they needed to execute clean deliveries forward and that practice continued after the interval. Flynn, McManamon and the improving Blaine Kelly all set umpires flags fluttering and when Paul O’Connor kicked a 50th minute free, Kerry trailed 1-9 to 0-7.

Kerry’s fortunes did enjoy resurgence in a helter-skelter finale. Aidan O’Mahony and Declan O’Sullivan started channelling the action towards the Dublin half, while frees from O’Connor and Walsh ate into the Dublin lead. The play was growing ragged at this stage and referee Rory Hickey had to keep a tight rein as skirmishes developed. Kerry needed the boosting injection of a goal and created several frantic scrambles, but it was not until Walsh finished a Killian Young cross in the 72nd minute that they hit the net. Momentarily Dublin’s grip on the game weakened but Kerry’s pursuit of an equaliser was undermined when MacAuley intercepted a Seamus Scanlon pass to race through and punch over the clinching point.

Kerry selector Ger O’Keeffe, deputising for O’Connor, admitted they collided with a superior side: “Dublin came down with big intentions and that showed, in the first half particularly. They were far fitter, I’d say they’d probably more work done than the president of the GAA might have thought since January. It’ll be a lesson to our younger lads that you don’t win games just because you’re All-Ireland champions. “We’ve a lot of lads out and Declan O’Sullivan suffered a dead leg there, but we’d be hoping to get them back over the next few weeks.”

Scorers for Dublin: P Flynn 1-2, E Fennell 0-3, B Kelly (0-2f), K McManamon 0-2 each, A Hubbard, B Brogan (0-1f), M MacAuley 0-1 each.

Kerry: P O’Connor 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45), BJ Walsh 1-1, P Galvin 0-4.


Dublin: B Brogan for Kelly (49), D Kelly for Hubbard (62), T Diamond for McManamon (68).

Kerry: A O’Sullivan for Quirke (47), Padraig O’Connor for Corridan (47), J O’Donoghue for Paul O’Connor (55), BJ Keane for D Walsh (66), K O’Leary for D O’Sullivan (inj) (66).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

Team News

KERRY (SF v Dublin) – (1)Ger Reidy, Castleisland Desmonds (2)Padraig Reidy Scartaglin (3) Tommy Griffin (Dingle) (4) Adrian O’Connell ( St Michael’s Foilmore ) (5) Maurice Corridan (Finuge )(6) Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore) (7) Killian Young (Renard)- Captain (8)Seamus Scanlon (Currow)(9) Micheál Quirke (Kerins O’Rahillys) (10)Paul Galvin (Finuge) (11) Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromada) (12) Donnacha Walsh (Cromane) (13) Barry John Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) (14) Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) (15) Paul O’Connor (Kenmare)

Subs: (16) Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin) (17) Alan O’Sullivan (Tuosist) (18) James O’Donoghue (Legion) (19) Pat Corridan (Finuge) (20) Aidan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromada), (21) Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes) (22) Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys) (23) Brian Looney (Dr. Crokes) (24) Paudge O’Connor (Legion) 25) Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

DUBLIN (SF v Kerry): Stephen Cluxton; Ross O’Carroll, Rory O’Carroll, Philly McMahon; Paul Griffin (Capt), Cian O’Sullivan, James McCarthy; Eamon Fennell, Ross McConnell; Alan Hubbard Michael Darragh MacAuley, Paul Flynn; David Henry, Blaine Kelly, Kevin McManamon

Subs : Michael Savage, Paul Conlon, Conor McCormack, Paul Casey, Bryan Cullen, Denis Carrigan, Tiernan Diamond, James Brogan, Bernard Brogan, Dean Kelly, Kevin Bonner, Brendan McManamon

Match Preview

The Dublin camp have been keen to point out that revenge is not their primary motive in Killarney after last year’s All-Ireland Quarter-final humiliation, but there is little doubt that the wounds from the 17-point Bank Holiday massacre are still wide open in the capital. Pat Gilroy begins another year in the pressure cooker as Dublin manager with the toughest possible start to a league campaign. Kerry are the Allianz National League and All-Ireland champions, and will relish the prospect of flexing their muscles in the second week in February.

However, manager Jack O’Connor is missing 16 of the squad that faced the Dubs last year and only five of the team will start on Sunday. Kieran Donaghy will play at full-forward despite reports that he was going to join team-mates Colm Cooper and Darran O’Sullivan at the Superbowl in Miami. O’Connor began the search for replacements for Diarmuid Murphy, Tommy Walsh and Tadhg Kennelly during the successful McGrath Cup campaign, but he will have to look deep into Kerry’s pool of talent to adequately fill the yawning gaps left behind by three of their best performers last year.

Ger Reidy gets the nod between the posts, while Adrian O’Connell and Maurice Corridan are promoted after showing good form in the pre-season. Barry John Walsh steps straight into the spot vacated by his brother, Tommy, who has joined AFL side St Kilda, at corner forward. Gilroy has been similarly hampered, with ten of his panel unavailable due to injury. He has been forced to perform major surgery on his defence, as the O’Carroll brothers, Ross and Rory, are included in a back-line alongside the inexperienced Philly McMahon.

Only Stephen Cluxton, David Henry, Paul Griffin, Ross McConnell and Paul Flynn survive from the 17-point mauling the Dubs suffered last August. Bernard Brogan is kept in reserve despite his superb form in the O’Byrne Cup. Pat Burke, Conal Keaney, Darren Magee and Brennan are all sidelined. Denis Bastic is not expected to return until the end of February after undergoing ankle surgery, while Tomás Quinn faces four to six weeks in rehabilitation after fracturing his metatarsal.


February 7, 2010
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

GAA Units