Kerry see off Galway to advance to All-Ireland semi-final

Kerry 1-18 - Galway 0-13: Kerry advance to an All-Ireland semi-final on August 20 but with alarm bells ringing in their ears after coughing up another succession of goal chances, writes John Fogarty.

After Cork failed to take any of the five they manufactured in the Munster final, Galway had four clear-cut opportunities here but Brian Kelly was level to a couple of them and Kerry defenders put their bodies in the way of the other two.

Yet four points was as close as Galway got to Kerry in the second half. It could have been much less had Mark Griffin not denied Damien Comer in the 37th minute and Seán Armstrong’s shot foiled Kelly six minutes later, but they couldn’t exploit those openings and Kerry were able to breathe easy.

The fine all-round showings by Johnny Buckley and Paul Murphy were central to Kerry keeping their heads while the likes of James O’Donoghue and Jack Barry will have plenty to improve on after mediocre outings.

Leading 1-10 to 0-8 at half-time, Kerry never went behind in the game, opening and ending the scoring in the first half via Murphy and Donnchadh Walsh. Ian Burke scored the first of four first-half points in the fourth minute but the next couple of scores were Kerry’s, Buckley and Paul Geaney splitting the posts.

After an Armstrong score, Kerry hit Galway for 1-1 in the space of three minutes. Geaney bent one over from distance and then Kieran Donaghy reeled in the years, catching a high delivery from David Moran and turning well to elude two defenders and send a left-footed shot past Bernard Power.

Taking their lead perhaps from Tipperary at this stage last year, Kerry would try the same trick a few more times before the half was out, profiting when Walsh pumped a ball into the edge of the square for him and he fisted over. He caught another in the 21st minute only to be crowded out upon landing and penalised as O’Donoghue found the net although Donaghy did win a free in the 27th minute, which O’Donoghue converted.

That made it 1-6 to 0-5 and three more Kerry points followed as Galway, while sending several players back, were not concentrating on stopping the ball going inside their 45-metre line. Galway recovered to kick three points in a row to and Shane Enright was so fortunate not to be black carded for taking out Johnny Heaney in the 34th minute, a yellow card deemed by David Coldrick to be the rightful punishment.

In injury-time, Comer collected a kick-out and sprinted towards goal, his strike only thwarted by Fionn Fitzgerald on the goal-line. Burke at least added a point as Galway reworked the rebound and he added another prior to Walsh closing out the period.

Scorers for Kerry: K. Donaghy (1-1); P. Geaney (0-4, 1 free); J. Buckley, P. Murphy, D. Moran, S. O’Brien, B.J. Keane(0-2 each); J. O’Donoghue (free), D. Walsh, J. Savage (0-1 each).

Scorers for Galway: I. Burke (0-5, 1 free); S. Armstrong (0-4, 1 free); S. Walsh (free), M. Daly, E. Brannigan, J. Heaney (0-1 each).

KERRY: B. Kelly; F. Fitzgerald, S. Enright, M. Griffin; P. Crowley, T. Morley, P. Murphy; D. Moran, J. Barry; M. Geaney, J. Buckley (c), D. Walsh; J. O’Donoghue, K. Donaghy, P. Geaney.

Subs for Kerry: S. O’Brien for M. Geaney (39); J. Savage for J. O’Donoghue (48); A. Maher for J. Barry (54); B.J. Keane for K. Donaghy (57); K. Young for T. Morley (63); J. Lyne for D. Walsh (67).

GALWAY: B. Power; E. Kerin, D. Walsh, D. Kyne; G. O’Donnell (c), G. Bradshaw, L. Silke; P. Conroy, J. Heaney; T. Flynn, M. Daly. S. Walsh; D. Comer, S. Armstrong, I. Burke.

Subs for Galway: C. Sweeney for D. Walsh (39); E. Brannigan for S. Walsh (44); M. Farragher for D. Bradshaw (52); F. Ó Curraoin for M. Daly (58); C. McDaid for T. Flynn (63); D. Cummins for S. Armstrong (66).

Referee: D. Coldrick (Meath).

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