Category: Archive

Champions Kerry turn back Monaghan challenge

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

This was the game we’d been waiting for Sunday at Gaelic Park. There was no shortage of controversy, with two sendings off, and a number of bookings littering proceedings. We were faced with a tie between the senior football championship defenders, Kerry, and what some may say are championship pretenders in Monaghan.

Monaghan won many fans last year with their direct style of football, when they held the lead versus so many of the city’s top teams, only to let their advantages slip at vital stages. They have increased firepower this year, with 1999’s top scorer, Mickey Slowey, having joined the ranks from Ulster rivals Tyrone, though Slowey missed this particular game.

The always reliable Bingo Driscoll opened the scoring for Kerry, though he was soon withdrawn from the tie due to a nasty looking injury, one which the Kerry board, and all at Gaelic Park hope, is not serious. Driscoll’s contribution to Kerry football, and indeed New York football, has been enormous recently, and he was sorely missed as soon as he left the field of play. Kerry recovered a little following Driscoll’s withdrawal, and soon increased their lead when Dave McCarthy, and substitute Mark Fitzgerald hit points. Paul Rush grabbed one back for Monaghan, though the Kingdom side got back into something of a stride when Johnny Driscoll and Willie O’Donnell grabbed a point each.

Monaghan trailed by four points, and one man going into the break, Barry Duggan having been dismissed from the game. Half time came and went, and Kerry increased their superiority when O’Donnell hit another point. Monaghan fought right back though, a Gary Meehan point, and a thunderbolt goal from Paul McEntee brought them within sight of victory. Kerry, having had Paul Gallivan sent off, almost began to look shaky, though their confidence won through and were soon back in gear. Monaghan had lost Paul McGlynn early on in the tie due to a niggling injury, and without him, the missing Slowey, and the heavily marked (Paddy Connor style) Eddie Murphy, were distinctly lacking in attack.

With just 10 minutes to go, Monaghan were still in the game, and a Paul Rush point brought them to within four points. Kerry though, finished as they intend to go on this season. Late points from Willie O’Donnell, McCarthy and substitute Mark Fitzgerald sealed the victory for the Kingdom.

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Monaghan: Dave Ballantine, Barry Duggan, Mickey Treanor, Gary Birdy, Brian McKenna, Bernard Treanor, Gareth Duffy, Hughie Sullivan, Dan Scott, Noel McEntee, Gary Meehan (0-3), Paul Rush (0-1), Eddie Murphy, Paul McGlynn, Paul McEntee (1-0). Subs Sean Carbin, Louis Breslin.

Kerry: Finbarr Flood, Jake Rooney, Paul Gallivan, Paul Dillon, Paddy Connor, Adrian Riney, Peter Riney, Dave McSweeney, Willie O’Donnell (0-2), Paudi Mulvihill (0-1), Johnny Driscoll (0-1), Bingo Driscoll (0-1), Dave McCarthy (1-4), Ollie Conway, Louis Holland. Subs: Mark Fitzgerald (0-1), Kieran Cull.

Man of the Match: Mickey Treanor (Monaghan).

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