Breen a concern for Mid Kerry despite table-topping win over Stacks

Captain Mike Breen started but was withdrawn at half time, meaning he has yet to finish a game in the SFC.
Breen a concern for Mid Kerry despite table-topping win over Stacks

BURSTING OUT: Mid Kerry’s David Mangan chased by Austin Stacks’s Michael O’Gara and Kieran Donaghy in the Austin Stacks v Mid Kerry Group 3 / Round 3 in Beaufort on Sunday. Pic: Don MacMonagle

Kerry SFC: Group 3 RD 3:

Mid Kerry 1-15 Austin Stacks 1-7 

Mid Kerry, while they were always in control in this top-of-table clash against an injury-ravaged Austin Stacks, took a long time to secure the win and top spot.

It was down to a combination of sloppy play up front and some superb goalkeeping from Stacks keeper Wayne Guthrie. 

He made three point-blank saves in the opening half and another two in the second and he was only beaten in the 62nd minute by Fiachra Clifford.

But a bigger worry for Mid Kerry going forward is the fact that their captain Mike Breen started but was withdrawn at half time. He has yet to finish a game in the SFC.

Kieran Donaghy made his first start of the year but was well marshaled by the Mid Kerry defence as Stacks had to field without the injured Joe O' Connor and Brendan O Sullivan.

Mid Kerry played a fast-running game but at times with too many cooks and all of that saw them spurn a number of gilt-edged chances. 

They had the first three points from Ciaran Kennedy, Eanna O’Connor and Darren Houlihan before Conor Horan kicked Stacks opener in the 10th minute. 

Points from David Mannix (free) and Conor Jordan saw Mid Kerry leading 0-4 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter, Mid Kerry should have put the game to bed in the second quarter but Wayne Guthrie kept them out with some stunning saves though they added points from Eanna and Jack O’Connor plus a Liam Carey special to lead 0-7 to 0-3 at half time.

A Mike O’Donnell goal in the 36th minute and points from Shane O’Callaghan, Sean Quilter and Conor Horan saw the sides level at 0-10 to 1-7 in the 48th minute. This did not reflect Mid Kerry’s dominance but Stacks were not to score again as Mid Kerry took over and added 1-5 to cruise to an eight-point win with Fiachra Clifford putting the icing on the cake with a late goal.

Scorers: Mid Kerry; F Clifford (1-1), L Carey (0-4), E O’Connor (0-3, 2fs), J O’Connor and J Brosnan (0-2 each), K Evans, D Houlihan and C Kennedy (0-1each).

Austin Stacks; M O’Donnell (1-0), C Horan and D Mannix (0-2 each), S Quilter (1f), S O’Callaghan and C Jordan (0-1 each). 

MID KERRY: S Coffey (Beaufort); P Wrenn (Milltown/Castlemaine), M Breen (Beaufort), D Mangan (Laune Rangers); E Clifford (Laune Rangers), P Kilkenny (Glenbeigh/Glencar), S O’Brien (Beaufort); C McGillicuddy (Glenbeigh/Glencar), D Houlihan (Cromane); F Clifford (Laune Rangers), E O’Connor (Milltown/Castlemaine), K Evans (Keel); J O Connor (Beaufort), L Carey (Beaufort), C Kennedy (Beaufort).

Subs: E Coffey ( Beaufort) for M Breen ( h/t), J Brosnan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for S O’Brien (Beaufort) ( inj 38), G Horan (Milltown/Castlemaine) for P Wrenn ( 48)), G Hassett ( Laune Rangers) for C Kennedy ( 52) , Cleary ( Laune Rangers) for J O’Connor ( 57),.

AUSTIN STACKS; W Guthrie; C Griffin, J O’Shea, N Fitzmaurice; G Horan, C Jordan , P O’Sullivan; M O’Donnell , B Shanahan; A Heinrich, M O’Gara; C Horan ; S O’Callaghan , K Donaghy, D Mannix.

Subs: S Quilter (ht) , A Curran for A Heinrich (38m), R Shanahan for P O’Sullivan (40m), E Carroll for K Donaghy (52m), Gearóid Fitzgerald for C Horan (58m).

Referee: B Griffin (Clounmacon)

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