O'Connell steals the show with impressive brace for Kingdom
Kerry got their season up and running by beating Derry at Celtic Park in front of scarcely 100 fans in a match that had 27 wides, 30 frees, 12 yellow cards and two reds.
The visitors completely controlled the first half and led by 1-9 to 0-4 at the break despite missing several chances. Shane Brick hit five of their eight wides in a first half that featured a superb goal on 26 minutes from star of the show Darragh O'Connell, who also netted in the second half.
The Oak Leafers fought back well with three unanswered points on the restart and an Oisin McCloskey penalty brought them right back into it at 1-10 to 1-7. However, Kerry, despite having Tom Murnane sent off for two yellow-card offences, surged clear again.
Scorers -- Kerry: D O'Connell 2-3 (0-1f), JM Dooley 1-1, J Griffin, S Brick (0-1f), J Flaherty 0-2 each, T Murnane, G O'Brien, M Boyle 0-1 each. Derry: P Henry 0-5 (0-4f), R Convery 0-3 (0-1f), O McCloskey 1-0 (pen), A Grant 0-1.
Kerry -- JB O'Halloran; C Hearns, A Healy, A Keane; J Godley, L Boyle, T Murnane; M Conway, J Griffin; S Nolan, G O'Brien, S Brick; M Boyle, JM Dooley, D O'Connell. Subs: J McCarthy for Godley (24), J Flaherty for Nolan (30), D Fitzelle for L Boyle (68), S Young for O'Brien (72), E Sheehy for M Boyle (72).
Derry -- D McDermott; E Farren, S McCullagh, R McCloskey; S Henry, A McCloskey, C Brunton; R Convery, K Hinphey; O McCloskey, S McNicholl, P Henry; P McCloskey, M Conway, A Kelly. Subs: A Grant for Kelly (h-t), G O'Kane for McNicholl (45), D Brunton for C Brunton (63), S McBride for Henry (68)
Ref -- G Devlin (Armagh).