Dublin’s Whelan and Mulligan conspire to spoil Kerry celebrations

Dublin 0-16

However, Dublin spoilt the party but thoroughly merited their four- point triumph.

Dublin led from start to finish, and at one stage in the second half opened up a six-point gap.

A goal from substitute Mike Quirke threw Kerry a much-needed lifeline, but although they closed the gap to a point they were unable to close in for the kill and in the end were outplayed by a lively Dublin side, led well by midfielder player Ciaran Whelan.

The Dubs’ star player was majestic and Kerry’s cause was not helped by the fact Whelan received good back-up service from late replacement Tom Mulligan, who also scored some splendid left-footed points from frees.

Kerry lined out minus their vastly talented right flank of attack, Aodan MacGearailt and Colm Cooper, but welcomed back Seamus Moynihan at full-back following his ankle injury.

Understandably a bit rusty after his lay-off and conceding three points to his direct opponent Ray Cosgrave, Moynihan, like his colleagues, failed to find the necessary spark.

Dublin, aided by the strong wind, scorched into a six-points lead before Eoin Brosnan had Kerry’s first score from play in the 32nd minute.

When Colin O’Connor, standing in for MacGearailt, added another to make it 0-8 to 0-4 in the Dubs favour at half time, Kerry were back in the game.

However, the revival was shortlived because, with Whelan and Mulligan tightening their grip in the centre, Kerry found it difficult to set their attack in motion.

Things might have been different if a rocket-like drive from John Crowley had hit the net instead of ballooning off the upright three minutes after the resumption.

However, Dublin dug in again and looked set for a comprehensive victory when they led by six-points entering the closing quarter.

Connecting with a high cross from Declan Quill with an over-head flick, half time substitute Quirke gave Kerry cause for hope in the 52nd minute.

And when Quill and Crowley followed with lightning fast points to leave just the bare minimum between them with 15 minutes to play it looked like Kerry would sorely trouble the Dubs.

But they failed to score again, while Dublin, with three points from Cosgrave, Darren Homan and Mulligan, raced out worthy winners.

Scorers for Dublin: R Cosgrave 0-4 (0-1 from free); T Quinn 0-4 (0-4 from frees); C Mulligan 0-3 (0-2 from frees); C Whelan 0-2; J McNally,

P Casey and D Homan 0-1 each.

Kerry: M Quirke 1-0; D Quill 0-5 (0-3 from frees); E Brosnan 0-2; C O’Connor and J Crowley 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; D Henry, P Christie, B Cahill; P Andrews, C Moran, C Goggins; T Mulligan, C Whelan; S Connell, S Ryan, D Homan; J McNally, R Cosgrave, T Quinn. Subs: J Sherlock for Connell; P Casey for Coggins; D Farrell for McNally; P Lawless for Quinn; K Kavanagh for Ryan.

KERRY: D Murphy; T Ó Sé, S Moynihan, P Galvin; A O’Mahony, E Fitzmaurice, J Sheehan; D Ó Sé, P Kennedy; C O’Connor, E Brosnan, B Sheehan; D Quill, L Hassett, J Crowley. Subs: M Quirke for O’Connor; S Scanlon for B Sheehan; T O’Sullivan for J Sheehan; S Cremin for Fitzmaurice; R MacGearailt for Brosnan; M Lyons for O’Mahony.

Referee: A Mangan.

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