Kerry move to the top of the table following this solid Division 1 win over Monaghan in Inniskeen’s McGrattan Park.
A win for Galway against Mayo in Tuam tomorrow will see the Tribesmen return to the summit going into the final round of the Allianz League next weekend. Monaghan’s defeat leaves them in relegation difficulty.
Here the visitors were in control for the vast majority of this affair, leading 0-10 to 0-6 at half-time. David Clifford fired over six points, three from play, but there were some other eye-catching displays from Gavin White and Seán O’Shea in general play.
Kerry led by six points in the 55th minute and could have put the game beyond doubt when they had a three on two overlap only for Rory Beggan to deny Jonathan Lyne’s palmed effort. Conor McManus was excellent for Monaghan upon his appearance at half-time, scoring five points.
With both teams retreating deeply when not in possession, the first half was marked by the amount of times each team had to recycle the ball but Kerry were not only more patient but ingenuitive. David Clifford had two points inside the opening four minutes, the second of them from a mark and they had three points on the board before Monaghan opened their account in the 13th minute.
A fine Seán O’Shea 45 to restore Kerry’s three-point advantage ended the period prior to the first water break. Monaghan were sharper on the resumption and it was a one-point game by the 24th minute as Fintan Kelly (mark) and Micheál Bannigan split the posts.
However, the next three points came from Kerry defenders - Jason Foley, the impressive Gavin White and Paul Murphy. Monaghan had a sniff of a goal in the ninth minute when Dermot Malone squared a hand-pass but no team-mate could get to it. Kerry’s goal chance came when Beggan misjudged a ball through to Tony Brosnan and he flicked over his second point. Kelly rocketed the woodwork in the 35th minute having been put through by Darren Hughes before Clifford and Beggan exchanged frees prior to the interval.