WHEN a team does not take advantage of their chances they often pay a heavy price and the Kerry Youth Team learned this the hard way at Mounthawk Park last Friday when, after dominating the game, a 70th minute goal by Limerick won the game and ended Kerry's chances of reaching the knock out stages of the Umbro FAI Youths Inter-league Cup.
Kerry showed five changes from the team that lost to the Desmond League but they were without their ace striker Jesse O'Sullivan who was injured.
Kerry have only themselves to blame for their defeat as they missed so many great scoring opportunities and were unable to put their possession advantage to proper use. In general they played very well but met a goalie that was almost as unpenetrative as the Great Wall of China on the night. Dave Considine was simpley unbeatable making a series of wonderful saves to keep his side in the game. Nevertheless, many of the shots Considine made should have been put away by Kerry and it was this poor finishing that cost the home at the end.
Played in bitterly cold conditions this was a very good competitive game played in a good spirit and produced some very good spells of free flowing football. It was a game both sides needed to win and consequently they showed a lot of urgency from the very outset.
Kerry had a great early chance when Jack Savage put Ryan Carroll in one on one with the Limerick goalkeeper but he did not contol the ball sufficiently and the goalie made a vital block. Ten minutes in Kerry forced three consecutive corners and from the third a double effort by Greg Horan was blocked on the line.
Limerick hit on the break with Sean McCormick cutting in from the wing but his shot clipped off the top of the crossbar. Shane Walsh brought a save out of the Kerry goalkeeper Josh Reilly and he had to save again to deny Ivan Waters.
Down the other end Kerry had two good attacks but neither Tony Brosnan nor Jack O'Neill were able to get their strikes on target. Kerry had the first chance in the second half withTony Brosnan making a long run and his low shot to the bottom corner was brilliantly tipped around the post by Limerick custodian Dave Consodine.
Kerry then had the ball in the net after a wondefrul move but Matt Keane was ruled offside and the goal disallowed. James Harty was put through for Limerick but was denied by Josh Reilly who made a great block.
Everything went pear-shaped for Kerry in the 70th minute when they failed to deal with a Shane Walsh corner kick and sub Cian O'Donoghue crept in at the near post and headed to the roof of the net.
Kerry squandered a few great scoring chances with Jack Savage denied from eight yards by a wondeful save by Considine. The Cork custodian then showed electric reflexes to deny Greg Horan from 10 yards after a great Kerry move while sub Shane Ryan fired over the top after being set up by Jack Savage.
Kerry were reduced to 10 players in the 84th minute when Savage sent off for a second yellow card offence which was a very harsh decision. Despite their best efforts Kerry were unable to find the net and they were left ponder on why they lost a game they were on top territorily and had so many goal scoring chances.
This defeat practically ends Kerry hopes of progressing to the knock out stages of the competition. In the other game in the group Cork Youths defeated the Desmond League 4-0. Kerry now play them away in the final game in the group. KERRY DL: Josh Reilly (Killarney Celtic), Brian O'Connell (Tralee Dynamos), Ryan Downey (The Park), Cian Kennedy (The Park), Jarad O'Sullivan (Tralee Dynamos), Matt Keane (Killarney Celtic) Ryan Carroll (The Park), Greg Horan (The Park), Jack O'Neill (Killarney Celtic) Jack Savage (The Park), Tony Brosnan (Killarney Celtic). Subs: Shane Ryan (The Park) for Brian O'Connell, Ryan Fitzpatrick (Killarney Celtic) for Ryan Carroll, Dean Cassidy (Inter Kenmare), for Jarad O'Sullivan. LIMERICK DL: Dave Considine, Ryan Earls, Brendan Murphy, Danny Nc Innenry, Sam Mullins, Glenn O'Connor, Ivan Waters, Shane Walsh, James Harty, Jamie Bromill, Sean McCormick. Subs: Conor Laffan for Ivan Waters, Cian O'Donoghue for Jamie Bromill, Nathan O'Callaghan for Glenn O'Connor. REFEREE: Seamus O'Mahony.