Kerry’s young guns held on to record their second league win, 1-12 to 3-5, in a nail-biting Allianz HL Division 2A clash with Wicklow at Austin Stack Park on Saturday.
Kerry had the wind in the opening half and started brightly with Shane Nolan and Darragh O’Connell hitting two points each but Wicklow took the lead when Bosco O’Neill set up Wayne O’Gorman who blasted the ball to the Kerry net.
Kerry responded when Brendan O’Leary found Shane Nolan who rounded his marker to find the net. Kerry led 1-7 to 1-3 at the interval but had to face a stiff breeze in the second half. Wicklow struck an early goal when Jonathon O’Neill pulled on a loose ball to the Kerry net.
When Wicklow struck for a third goal through Andy O’Brien the game was in the balance but Kerry refused to buckle with Bernard Rochford, Tom Murnane, Darragh O’Connell and Daniel Collins hurling superbly. Points from John Griffin, Shane Nolan, Darragh O’Connell and Willie O’Dwyer saw Kerry survive by a single point.
Meanwhile Down kept their slim hopes of a place in the Division 2A final alive with a comfortable 2-24 to 1-12 win over Roscommon.
The home side took control with goals from Danny Toner and Gareth “Magic” Johnson and led 2-12 to 0-9 at half time. Paul Braniff scored freely and ended the match with 12 points, while Cathal Kelly added a late goal for Roscommon
Mayo remain in contention thanks to a 4-16 to 3- 12 win over Armagh. Mayo dominated the first half but two Armagh goals just before half time reduced the deficit to five, 2-9 to 2-4. Seán Regan’s second goal of the game and a penalty goal from Donal O’Brien wrapped up the victory in the second half.
Derry claimed their second victory of the campaign, beating Kildare by 1-17 to 1-14.
Kildare led by 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time, but Derry put them under huge pressure on the restart.
Donegal continued their unbeaten run in Division 3A with a 4-15 to 1-19 win over Fermanagh at Brewster Park, but were pushed to the pin of their collar by the home side. Paddy Hannigan and Stephen Boyle goals gave Donegal a 2-7 to 0-12 lead at the break and a second goal for Hannigan, followed by another from Enda McDermott made the victory safe.
Louth and Fingal kept up the chase in the division with wins over Monaghan and Tyrone respectively. Andrew Mackin goaled early for Louth at Dowdallshill, but Monaghan surged back to lead by 0-9 to 1-3 at half time. Louth dominated the second half with the wind and hit 1-7 without reply before closing out a 2-13 to 0-11 win.
Scorers for Kerry: S Nolan 1-5 (0-2 frees), D O’Connell 0-3 (0-1 free), P Boyle, D Collins, J Griffin and W O’Dwyer 0-1 each.
Scorers for Wicklow: W O’Gorman 1-1, J O’Neill 1-1 (0-1 free) A O’Brien 1-0, R Keddy 0-2, E Kearns 0-1.
KERRY: B Rochford, P O’Keeffe, T Murnane, R Horgan, T Barrett, D O’Connell. D Dineen, D Fitzell, J Griffin, B O’Leary, G O’Brien, J Egan, S Nolan, a Boyle, D Collins.
Subs: P Boyle for J Egan (inj 16), P J Connolly for D Fitzell (25), S Maunsell for G O’Brien (61), W O’Dwyer for P Boyle (65).
WICKLOW J Murphy, P Keane, B Cuddihy, E Dunne, J Henderson, S Kelly, G Byrne E Kearns, B Osborne W O Gorman, R Keddy, S Byrne, A O/Brien, J O’Neill, M Lee
Subs: G Bermingham for J Henderson (42), R Byrne for P Keane (45), C Moorhouse for S Byrne (46), S Kinsella for J O’Neill (57).
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