Kerry SHC wrap: Kilmoyley impress as Dr Crokes fall just short on debut

Crokes staged a dramatic last-quarter fightback but fell short by the minimum to Abbeydorney
Kerry SHC wrap: Kilmoyley impress as Dr Crokes fall just short on debut

Last year’s finalists Kilmoyley and Causeway have made impressive starts in the opening round of the 2021 Kerry SHC. 

Kilmoyley withstood a spirited first-half challenge from Ballyheigue before going on to win by 4-23 to 1-16. 

The defending champions were made to work hard by Ballyheigue, with John Meyler’s side leading by a single point at the break (1-8 to 0-10) before a more dominant second-half performance, coupled with Ballyheigue finishing with 14 men, saw Kilmoyley cruise to a 16-point win.

Kilmoyley's four goals came from Daniel Collins, Robert Collins, and Maurice O’Connor (two), while Paudie Carroll got a late consolation goal for Ballyheigue. 

Daniel Collins, with 1-11, was Kilmoyley’s main sharpshooter while young Nathan Guerin scored 0-8 for Ballyheigue.

Causeway were slow starters against St Brendan’s but cut loose in the second half to race to a 3-20 to 0-13 win. 

Causeway led 0-9 to 0-7 at half-time with Keith Carmody firing over three points from midfield and Billy Lyons adding three more. St Brendan’s were over-reliant on Cian Hussey who converted five frees.

Causeway introduced Colum Harty and Sean Leahy at half-time and they outscored the Ardfert side 3-11 to 0-6 thereafter. Gavin Dooley scored two superb goals while Sean Leahy scrambled the third over the line after Darren Delaney had made a brilliant stop. 

Causeway got 1-4 from their bench with Colum Harty contributing 0-3 while Jason Diggins was a colossus at centre-back and Evan Murphy added to his growing reputation as a man-marker.

On Sunday, Dr Crokes made their SHC debut and staged a dramatic last-quarter fightback but fell short by the minimum to Abbeydorney on a 0-18 to 0-17 scoreline. 

Abbeydorney had led 0-10 to 0-6 at half-time with Keith O’Connor converting four frees, as well as points from Brian O’Leary (2) and David Egan with a fine effort as Mark Heffernan kept Crokes in touch.

When Abbeydorney moved 0-13 to 0-6 clear early in the third quarter the signs were ominous for Crokes but they staged a remarkable fourth-quarter rally with Heffernan's four points plus efforts from David Carroll and keeper Conor Bohane reducing the deficit to a single point as Abbeydorney clung on for victory.

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