Kerry starlet David Clifford was among the goals as East Kerry progressed to the semi-finals of the county SFC with a 4-12 to 2-10 win over South Kerry in Fitzgerald Stadium yesterday.
It’s almost 20 years since East Kerry were kingpins of football in the county and their stock of young talent threatens to bring them close to the summit this year.
Bryan Sheehan’s fine goal put South Kerry 1-4 to 0-4 in front, but within four minutes East Kerry had turned momentum on its head with two goals from Glenflesk’s Dara Roche. David Clifford almost added a third just before the break, but their 2-6 to 1-4 interval lead gave East Kerry a platform to strut their stuff.
South Kerry’s Oran Clifford claimed his own moment of infamy in the opening moments of the second half, red-carded for a strike barely a minute after his introduction. With his exit went the chance of any South Kerry revival and though Sheehan, impressive again with 1-6, fought the good fight, South Kerry were outgunned in all sectors in the second half with 14 men.
Roche turned provider with the disguised pass of the match on 44 minutes for East Kerry’s third goal via David Clifford.
David Clifford finds the back of the net for East Kerry! pic.twitter.com/4HA3JUxi7P— The GAA (@officialgaa) September 30, 2018
But perhaps the most impressive figure in East Kerry colours was captain Jack Sherwood in the sweeper role, catching the eye with an assured display.
East Kerry will meet Dingle in the semi-final after Sean Geaney’s side overcame Austin Stacks 3-9 to 0-9.
Dingle sprung a surprise on Saturday evening by introducing Marc O’Connor, home less than a week from his duties with AFL side Geelong Cats.
All eyes were on O’Connor’s match-up with Kieran Donaghy — just back from his brother’s wedding in Spain — but it was three first-half Dingle goals, two from Kerry star Paul Geaney, that decided this contest.
O’Connor was deployed to play a sweeper’s role in front of Donaghy and he negated the Star’s influence. However, the 21-year-old lasted just 44 minutes before being black-carded for an off-the-ball trip that sparked an ugly melee.
Driven on by the impressive Tom O’Sullivan, Dingle really struck at the heart of the Stacks defence in the first period with Paul Geaney on the end of a shot that came off the post from an O’Sullivan rasper for their first goal in the 11th minute.
Matthew Flaherty added the second goal two minutes later and Geaney finished off a good team move for Dingle’s third goal to make it by 3-4 to 0-3 at the interval.
Stacks resumed a transformed side as five consecutive points cut the deficit in half with defenders Ronan Shanahan and Dylan Casey amongst their scorers.
But Tom O’Sullivan showed leadership qualities beyond his years for Dingle in the closing stages with two points to ensure Dingle reached their fifth Kerry SFC semi-final this decade.
Holders Dr Crokes’ strength in depth was evident when they could replace corner-forwards Colm Cooper and Jordan Kiely with in-form Tony Brosnan and talented ex-minor David Shaw for their comprehensive win over neighbours Legion, 1-20 to 0-9.
Brosnan kicked nine points, five from play, as Crokes led 0-13 to 0-1 at half-time against a listless Legion effort.
The champions now face Kerins O’Rahillys, who shocked them earlier in the competition. The Tralee side had a 3-11 to 1-15 win over St Brendan’s, who had to field without injured Kerry midfielder Jack Barry.
Tom Hoare was one of the goal scorers for O’Rahilly’s as David Moran put in a rebounded effort for their first goal in the seventh minute. A free from Savage dropped short to Tommy Walsh for their third as it looked like they might run riot.
Slowly St Brendan’s began to gnaw into that lead with Parker and Sheehy their main scorer getters as they trailed 3-7 to 1-8 at half-time.
The game entered the final quarter with the contest still live on the scoreboard, the divisional side managed to make it a one-point game (3-9 to 1-14) in the 48th minute with Parker’s seventh point.
But with an upset on the cards ups stepped Coffey and Mullins to nail the crucial scores that sees O’Rahilly’s through to the last four.
Semi-finals: Dr Crokes v Kerins O’Rahilly’s; East Kerry v Dingle.
Games to be played on the weekend of October 13-14