Kerry experienced their first All-Ireland quarter-final defeat in six years, their first to non-Ulster opposition ever and their first loss to Galway in Championship since 1965 in Croke Park this evening.
Killian Young’s 59th minute sending off made life difficult for the Munster winners but they had been disappointing before then and now must win their second round Super 8 game in Clones next Sunday to
rescue their season.
The 30,740 Croke Park crowd were subjected to a dreadful show of football where Kerry trailed from the 55th minute on.
Despite David Clifford’s fine finishing, his side were under pressure for so much of the half and substitute Patrick Sweeney sealed the victory with a goal on the break in the fourth minute of additional time.
Clifford grabbed a consolation goal with one of the final acts of the game when he kicked a ball soccer-style past Ruairí Lavelle but it was hardly deserving for Kerry given how far they were here from the team that dismantled Cork in the Munster final.
Drab would be too kind a word for what the first half served up. There were only five scores on the board prior to the lengthy treatment required to tend to Paul Conroy’s injury following a collision with Seán O’Shea.
The stoppage contributed to most of the eight additional minutes that followed at the end of the half.
Galway kicked eight wides into the Hill 16 end as well as dropped two shots short and Kerry weren’t much better, registering six wides.
Admittedly, neither group would have used to these wet conditions in a considerable amount of time but that unfamiliarity couldn’t legislate for how poor they were in negotiating them.
Both teams went ahead in those opening 43 minutes and five of the points came in injury time, Kerry going two points up when Shane Murphy sent over a difficult 45.
However, it was Galway who finished one up at the break, 0-6 to 0-5, after Ian Burke followed up a Shane Walsh free, a move started by an Eoghan Kerin interception at the other end.
Scorers for Galway: S. Walsh (0-5, 4 frees); P. Sweeney (1-0); I. Burke, A. Varley (0-2 each); P. Conroy, D. Comer, S. Kelly, D. Kyne (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kerry: D. Clifford (1-5, 0-1 free); P. Geaney (0-2); K. McCarthy, S. Murphy (45), S. O’Brien (0-1 each).
GALWAY: R. Lavelle; E. Kerin, S.A. Ó Ceallaigh, D. Kyne; C. Sweeney, G. Bradshaw, S. Kelly; P. Conroy, T. Flynn; S. Walsh, M. Daly, E. Brannigan; I. Burke, D. Comer, J. Heaney.
Subs for Galway: P. Cooke for P. Conroy (inj 23); D. Wynne for D. Kyne (blood, 35-35+1); A. Varley for M. Daly (55); G. O’Donnell for G. Bradshaw (64); P. Sweeney for D. Comer (65); F. Burke for I. Burke (70+6).
Sent off: E. Kerin (second yellow, 70).
KERRY: S. Murphy (c); P. Crowley, J. Foley, B. Ó Beaglaoich; P. Murphy, K. Young, G. White; D. Moran, J. Barry; K. McCarthy, S. Ó Shea, S. O’Brien; D. Clifford, P. Geaney, J. O’Donoghue.
Subs for Kerry: T. O’Sullivan for B. Ó Beaglaoich (h-t); A. Maher for J. Barry (47); M. Burns for J. O’Donoghue (52); D. Walsh for S. O’Shea, B.J. Keane for K. McCarthy, M. Griffin for J. Foley (all 66).
Sent off: K. Young (straight, 59).
Referee: B. Cassidy (Derry).