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Kerry lose 3rd straight

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Pierce O’Reilly

Scoreline:

Leitrim 3-11

Kerry 1-12

Kerry’s grip on the New York championship is beginning to slip and their third consecutive defeat will not please manager Paddy Kearney one bit. The Munster men were well beaten on Sunday in the third game played Sunday at sunny Gaelic Park and the Kingdom can have no complaints.

It sounds strange, but the Munster men lacked cohesion and commitment, something that they had in abundance when they won the title two years ago. Leitrim are saying nothing to anybody. They have six points, a great midfield and a defense that is as tough as teak. Mark my words, the Westerners will have a big say on this championship yet.

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Larry Keanan has gone from mediocre to majestic at midfield and Tommy Gee has gone from headless to hero at full forward. The Laois men are playing great football and nobody has taken notice yet. On Sunday, Gee hit 1-3 from play and made as many more scores. At the interval, the Westerners led 3-5 to 0-3.

The first goal came from John Meehan after just 10 minutes when he collected the ball behind the Kerry defense to rattle a great shot to the roof of the Kingdom net. Gee landed goal No. 2 a few minutes later when Noel Keanan found him on the edge of the small square. The big full forward rounded the goalkeeper to kick into an empty net. Then wing forward Mike Murphy got in on the act, when he batted the ball to the net just before the interval for the third goal number and the Leitrim attack in rampant mood.

Kerry, with Michael O’Se at midfield and D.J. Fleming at full forward, played much better football in the second half. Paud O’Donoghue hit some vital frees, while Bingo Driscoll and Willie O’Donnell each landed one from play. With five minutes to play there was only three points between the sides. Kerry were then awarded a penalty when Fleming was dragged down as he headed for the onion bag. For once O’Donoghue took his eye off the target and his shot — straight at Aidan Power in the Leitrim goal — was easily smothered.

Two late points from Wexford seniors Mattie Forde and Diarmuid Kinsella sealed victory for Leitrim.

Leitrim: Aidan Power, Colm Morris, John Walsh, Keith Murray, John Donoghue, Pa Murphy, Niall Keanan, John Meehan 1-0, Larry Keanan, Ken O’Connor 0-1, Michael Walsh, Mike Murphy 1-0, Mattie Forde 0-4, Tommy Gee 1-3, Jim Donoghue. Subs: Diarmuid Kinsella 0-3.

Kerry:, Brendan Moore, Aidan Riney, Paul Galvin, Derrick Riney, Oliver Favier, Johnny Driscoll, Peter Riney, Dave McSweeney, Micheal O’Se, Willie O’Donnell 0-1, Jamie Driscoll, Bingo Driscoll 0-1, Dave McCarthy, DJ Fleming 1-1, Paud O’Donoghue 0-9. Sub: Liam Hartnett.

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