Kingdom overcome disappointment to claim Christy Ring Cup

Kerry 2-21 Wicklow 2-8

Kerry 2-21 Wicklow 2-8

Kerry put the heartbreak of losing last year’s Christy Ring Cup final by a point to Westmeath firmly behind them with a resounding victory in this year’s decider.

The Kingdom’s finest claimed their first title at this level by making sure that this tie was never going down to the wire, as they had far too much too much firepower for a committed but outclassed Wicklow.

John Meyler’s crew were operating on a higher plane to their opponents and led by 1-10 to 0-6 at half time thanks to John Egan’s 11th minute goal and five points from the deadly Darragh O’Connell.

Egan’s strike owed much to the fine play of centre-forward, Gary O’Brien. The centre-forward ran at the heart of the Wicklow defence before giving a sublimely weighted hand-pass that bounced perfectly in front of Egan, who drove first time to the net.

Andy O’Brien was looking dangerous at the other end and he had two points on the board when fouled for a 23rd minute penalty, but Jonathan O’Neill’s low shot was saved by Kerry midfielder John Griffin.

Though O’Neill slotted the resultant 65, Kerry finished with four points on the trot to leave them with all their forwards having gotten on the scoresheet as they took that seven-point lead into the interval break.

O’Connell swooped for a goal within two minutes of the resumption and though Jonathan Quirke goaled at the other end, after his penalty had been saved by former All-Ireland winning Cork substitute goalkeeper Bernard Rochford, there was never any doubt about the ultimate result.

The lively Shane Nolan and O’Connell shared eight points evenly between them, and diminutive substitute James Flaherty also nicked a score within seconds of his introduction.

This meant that Kerry were far and away in the distance when O’Neill rammed home the rebound from a Rochford save in the 68th minute for a goal that can have been of very little consolation indeed to Wicklow.

Kerry: B Rochford; P O’Grady, J Godley, E Fitzgerald; C Harris, J Casey, A Keane; D Dineen, J Griffin 0-1; D O’Connell 1-9 (0-4fs, 0-1 65), G O’Brien 0-1, M Boyle 0-1; S Nolan 0-6, M Conway 0-1, J Egan 1-1. Subs: J Flaherty 0-1 for Conway (52); L Boyle for O’Brien (64); J Fitzgerald for E Fitzgerald (69); C Harty

Wicklow: W O’Gorman; J Connors, G Keogh, B Cuddihy; G Bermingham, L Kennedy, S Kelly; E Kearns, R Keddy 0-1; L Glynn, J O’Neill 1-4(0-3fs, 0-1 65), T Doyle; E Glynn, D Hyland, A O’Brien 0-2. Subs: J Quirke 1-1(0-1f) for Doyle (ht); E O’Neill for Connors (42); W Collins for Bermingham (59); J Murphy for E Glynn (65); E Dunne for Kelly (69)

Referee: G Duffy (Antrim)

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.