Kerry Through to Fourth All Ireland Junior Final in a Row

Into another All-Ireland final: Philip O'Connor, James Walsh and Eamon Kiely. ©Photographs: John Reidy
Into another All-Ireland final: Philip O’Connor, James Walsh and Eamon Kiely. ©Photographs: John Reidy

St. Kieran’s players, Philip O’Connor, Cordal: James Walsh, Knocknagoshel and Eamonn Kiely from Brosna were part of the Kerry Junior Football team which qualified for its fourth All-Ireland football final in a row by defeating Leitrim at Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.

The team is under the management of Brosna man, Jimmy Keane.

Kerry 1-16 – Leitrim 1-9 –

Kerry advanced to the All Ireland Junior final where they will play Meath following this seven points victory over Leitrim at the Gaelic Grounds.

While Kerry were comfortable all through, it’s unlikely that Manager Jimmy Keane will be too pleased with the display of his charges, especially in the second half when they shared the scoring with the Connaught champions.

Munster Champions Rocked

Conor Cox got Kerry on the scoreboard from a free in the opening minute from a free but a minute later the Munster Champions were rocked when their defence was caught napping and full forward Cathal McCrann found himself all alone unmarked and finished to the net.

Kerry’s response was good however.

Tomás Ó Sé fielded well in front of goal and turned in text book style to goal from close range in the sixth minute and they then reeled off seven points without reply – including two each from Conor Cox and Jeff O’Donoghue to lead by 1-7 to 1-0 by the 22nd minute.

A Great Goal Block

Jack Heslin got Leitrim’s first point soon after and before the break Tomás Ó Sé, backtracking with his man, effected a great block to deny Leitrim a goal.

At the break it was 1-8 to 1-1 with Kerry bossing the game without ever reaching top gear and Leitrim’s mass defence proving more effective as the half wore on.

Jeff O’Donoghue extended Kerry’s lead on the restart from a 50 yards free but Leitrim replied with two points from play from McSweeney and McCrann

The Leitrim defensive wall was proving difficult to break down but Kerry did hit a purple patch with four good scores in as many minutes.

Got to Grips

Philip O’Connor got two, Liam Carey another straight after his introduction and Jeff O’Donoghue the other and leading by 1-13 to 1-3 at the three quarter stage Kerry seemed to have finally got to grips with their surroundings.

But they failed to kick on in the final quarter and Leitrim hit six points to one in reply from Eanna Ó Conchúir before Jeff O’Donoghue (free) and Ó Conchúir again added two points in injury time to complete the scoring.

So Kerry now meet Meath, victors over Kilkenny by 2-21 to 2-8 in the other semi final, in the All Ireland final on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday.

A Double Bill?

That fixture could very well be a double bill with the Kerry Minors’ quarter final tie with Louth at a midlands venue. The CCCC will decide on venues on Monday.

Scorers: Kerry: Jeff O’Donoghue 0-5 (2 frees, 1 “45”), Tomás Ó Sé 1-1, Conor Cox 0-3 (2 Frees), Philip O’Connor and Eánna Ó Conchúir 0-2 each, James Walsh, Killian Spillane and Liam Carey 0-1 each.

Subs Used:  Liam Carey for Conor Cox, Ivan Parker for Killian Spillane, Brian Sugrue for Eamonn Kiely, DJ Murphy for Michael Foley, PJ Mac Lámh for Rob Ó Sé, Dara Ó Sé

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