Shane Nolan rescues lethargic Kerry with late point
A below-par Kerry, were forced to rely on the trusty stick of ace marksman Shane Nolan, who rescued a point for last year's champions, three minutes into injury time, when he broke Derry hearts with a close-in free after Sean Weir was fouled.
It was a truly forgettable Allianz Division 2 League opener, played in heavy underfoot conditions as lethargic Kerry were almost caught napping having led by 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time. Kerry wasted too many chances, shooting 16 wides in total, with Shane Nolan 0-5 in the opening half and young midfielder Philip Lucid, firing over three from play.
Derry were also poor up front, missing early frees, but once midfielder Paddy Henry assumed the free-taking duties and Johnny O'Dwyer came in off the bench, they began to eat into Kerry's lead, and Henry converted four first-half frees.
A hungrier Derry side took over in the second half, with Henry adding two frees and two from play, while O'Dwyer also added two as Kerry continued their wasteful ways, and they only added 0-2 in normal time, one from Lucid (play) and Nolan (free), despite some inspired fetching from young Michael O'Leary.
Paddy Henry appeared to have given Derry victory, when he converted a 61st-minute free, but Shane Nolan had other ideas, with a late leveller, that saved Kerry's bacon.
Man of the Match: Paddy Henry (Derry)
Scorers - Kerry: S Nolan 0-7 (4fs), P Lucid 0-4, M Boyle, A Royle and M O'Leary 0-1 each. Derry: P Henry 0-9 (7fs), J O Dwyer 0-3, A Grant and M Conway 0-1 each
Kerry - J Logue 7; B Murphy 6, P Kelly 7, D Fitzelle 7; P Costelloe 6, A Fealey 6, S Weir 7; J Griffin 7, P Lucid 7; M Boyle 6, C Harty 5, A Royle 6; S Nolan 7, M O'Leary 7, K Carmody 6. Subs: T Casey 6 for A Fealy (44), R Heffernan 6 for C Harty (45), G O Grady 6 for K Carmody (65).
Derry - B Robinson 7; J McCloskey 5, C Quinn 6, E McGuckin 6; S McCullagh 6, C McSorley 6, K Hinphey 6; S McGuigan 6, P Henry 8; M Warnock 5, P Mc Closkey 5, R Convery 5; P Cleary 6, A Grant 6, D Flanagan 6. Subs: J O'Dwyer 7 for M Warnock (23), A Kelly 6 for R Convery (44), B Duban 7 for J McCloskey (44), D Foley 6 for P McCloskey (64), M Conway 6 for D Flanagan (66).
REF - J Heffernan (Wexford)