Category: Archive

N.Y. GAA Kerry footballers collect New York’s Div. 2 trophy

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Kerry 3-17, Sligo 2-14

We always knew we would have a potential stormer of a game with these two sides meeting in the Div. 2 football final Sunday at Gaelic Park. We weren’t disappointed. Kerry and Sligo have proven themselves to be a class apart from the other Div. 2 sides this year, and it was always likely that we’d see them take part in the deciding game in the division.

Sligo entered the tie as the only side to have beaten Kerry this year, when the two faced off a couple of weeks back in their league meeting. Many observers believed that Kerry were understrength on that occasion, and Sligo had more to prove to their rivals.

Both sides had already qualified for the quarterfinal stages of the competition, though the silverware still awaited for the victors.

It was Sligo who started as the stronger side, perhaps casting themselves a little against type in doing so. Steven Healy hit a point, which was quickly followed by Mike Lawlor’s goal, which stunned the Kerry side. From then on, though, it was Kerry’s lead practically throughout the game. Once the early jitters had been taken care of, the lads from the kingdom got into their stride. The Kerry forward line is perhaps one of the most impressive in senior football. All six players managed to get on the scoresheet, and each forward also cam close a number of other times only to be denied by Dermot Fleming in goal for Sligo, and Paul Bruin on the full back line. Darren Reddy opened the scoring for Kerry, followed by efforts from Mike Carmody, Dave McCarthy and Bingo O’Driscoll. The forward who stood out in the first half though was without doubt, Kerry’s John Sexton, who punched in two first half goals, and went on to hit a hat trick with his fist later in the second half.

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Each time Kerry moved in front, however, Sligo somehow managed to claw their way back. Enda Henry and Ciaran Whelan’s partnership in midfield proved successful with both players bagging a brace of points, and Steven and Conor Healy added their names to the scoresheet with a couple of efforts just before the break. Going into the interval, the score balanced in Kerry’s favor by five points.

Shortly after the break, Robbie Dowd made a fabulous goalbound save from Steven Healy, with Conor Banging the rebound over for a point. The second half increased in speed, and rather than players getting tired, the halftime talks from Paddy Kearney and Bosco Walsh appeared to have inspired the players to further heights. the second opened with both sides attacking their opponents goalmouths.

Kerry substitute Paudi Mulvihill increased his side’s scoreline, though Sligo again fought back thanks to points from Eddie McCormack, Noel Fitzgerald and Ronnie Cosgrove to bring the tie within three points. Kerry’s Sexton then provided his side with yet another punched-in effort to give his team a lead which would not be relinquished. Despite a well -taken goal from Shane Kearney, and points from Henry, Lawlor and McCormack, the game seemed to be slipping from Sligo’s grasp. Some late attacking from Bosco’s boys chipped away at Kerry’s lead, but some goalkeeping heroics from Robbie Dowd (including a late penalty save) prevented the Kingdom from losing its crown. Kerry are division 2 champions.

Kerry: Robbie Dowd, Niall Sugrue, Paul Gallivan, Paul Dillon, Louis Holland, Johnny O’Driscoll, Peter Riney, John McGlynn (0-3), Paddy Connor, Mike Carmody (0-2), John Sexton (3-1), Darren Reddy (0-3), Dave McCarthy (0-3), Bingo O’Driscoll (0-2), Willie O’Donnell (0-2). Sub Paudi Mulvihill (0-1), Kieran Cull, Collie Burns.

Sligo: Dermot Fleming, Paul Bruin, Kieran Fleming, John Cribben, Mark Doyle, Mark Shanahan, Donal Cassidy, Enda Henry (0-2), Ciaran Whelan (0-2), Eddie McCormack (0-4), Steven Healy (0-1), Noel Fitzgerald (0-1), Shane Cearney (1-0), Mike Lawlor (1-2), Conor Healy (0-1) Sub Ronnie Cosgrove (0-1).

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