The Kerry juniors will seldom have easier games than their 3-20 to 0-7 victory over Scotland in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final.
However, the same cannot be said about the mammoth journey the five-in-a-row-chasing Kingdom endured to and from the Glasgow venue.
Kerry manager Jimmy Keane: “We couldn’t get flights. Even the GAA offered to move the match back a week for us but it was impossible to get a squad of 30 plus over there so the only alternative was to travel by bus and by ferry.”
He revealed the timetable: “Our bus set off at 8.30am on Friday morning from Killarney but some of the lads might have already had been in the car for an hour or more just to get there.
“We then drove all the way to Larne where we caught the 8pm ferry to Stranraer in Scotland.
“That took two hours and then we had about another two to our hotel in Kilmarnock, arriving there around midnight on Friday.
“Next morning after breakfast we were back on the bus at 10.30am and it took just over an hour to get to Clydebank Community Sports Hub in Glasgow.
“The match threw in at 1pm and afterward we were treated to incredible hospitality from Scotland. We had a lovely meal and it also gave players a chance to meet up with friends and family who had gone over to support them.
“We began our homeward journey around 4pm and I was back in my bed at 4am, though a few of the players probably still had an hour or two before they got to their homes.
“Everyone I spoke to didn’t find the journey that gruelling, in fact, you could argue it was worth about 10 training sessions in terms of the squad bonding. Huge credit must go to the county board of the organisation of everything. They made the entire journey as smooth as possible.”
Things were much more straightforward on the pitch.
Stephen O’Sullivan had the ball in the Scottish net inside two minutes and points from Daniel Daly (3), O’Sullivan, Eoghan O’Brien (free), Philip O’Connor, and Brandon Barrett had Kerry 1-11 to 0-3 up at the interval.
Goals from Stephen O’Sullivan (38th) and Daniel Daly (52nd) only emphasised the gulf in class.
Scorers for Kerry:
D Daly (1-8, 3 frees), S O’Sullivan (2-1), G O’Sullivan ( 0-2), E O’Brien ( f), Philip O’Connor, B Barrett, Mitch Foley, J Brosnan, P J O’Sullivan, J M Foley, B O’Dwyer and C Farley ( 0-1 each):
Scorers for Scotland:
A McKeever (2 frees) and A Dawson, (0-2 each) H Conlon, D O’Brien and D Comiskey (0-1 each).
E O’Brien (Churchill); C Ó Murchú (An Ghaeltacht), Padraig O’Connor (Legion), PJ O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses); J Brosnan (Glenbeigh/Glencar), M Breen (Beaufort), M Foley (Ballydonoghue); JM Foley ( Kilgarvan), N Breen (Beaufort); Philip O’Connor (Cordal), C Farley (Dromid Pearses), B Barrett (Ardfert); S O’Sullivan (Templenoe), D Daly (St Mary’s), B O’Dwyer (Waterville).
C Teahan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for B Barrett (h/t), F Clifford (Waterville) for C Ó Murchú (42), J Spillane (Templenoe) for M Breen (42), G O’Sullivan (Tarbert) for Philip O’Connor (45), Mike Foley (Spa) for S O’Sullivan (45), A Finn (Annascaul) for Padraig O’Connor (52).
A McKeever; F Kearney, D O’Brien, H Conlon; B McAteer, J Stewart, B Parsons; P Duffy, A Matassa ; D Loftus, D Comiskey, C McCann; I Feerick, A Dawson, S Malee Subs: P Brady for F Kearney (40), R Stevenson for A Dawson (44).
P Faloon (Down)