First-half goals lay winning platform for Kerry minors

All-Ireland MFC quarter-final: Kerry 2-16 Roscommon 2-7

Charlie Carthy of Roscommon in action against Dan McCarthy of Kerry
Charlie Carthy of Roscommon in action against Dan McCarthy of Kerry

Paul Brennan

An All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Monaghan is Kerry's reward for easing past Roscommon in last Saturday's quarter-final in Limerick, when first half goals from Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích and Killian Falvey laid the platform for the minor team's win, a result that leave them just two wins from making it five All-Ireland minor titles in a row for the county.

Roscommon hit back with two second half goals but it was never going to be enough to close the 12-point lead Kerry had built up by the half-time interval, although the strong downfield wind was significant, as illustrated by the fact Roscommon won the second half by 2-3 to 0-6. That said, Kerry did register more scores than their opponent in the second half than the beaten Connacht finalists, who showed good pedigree but only in patches.

Perhaps the main difference between the teams was Kerry's ability to kick scores with the wind, and the 10 points they registered before the break - in addition to Ó Beaglaoích's and Falvey's goals - proved the foundation for success.

Those goals in the 16th and 28th minutes kept the Munster champions at a safe distance throughout once they had built up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after early points from Ó Beaglaoích, Paul Walsh, Patrick D'Arcy and midfielder Darragh Rahilly.

Ó Beaglaoích's goal arrived then after a tap down from Walsh to make it 1-4 to 0-1 but Roscommon played well against that stiff wind and created several openings through that first 30 minutes, with Eoghan Derwin having the best chance when played through on goal but he opted for a point instead.

Charlie Carthy's low shot drew a smart save from Kerry goalkeeper Marc Kelliher at the expense of a '45' as Roscommon kept Kerry honest, but the Roscommon kickout let them down badly with Darragh Rahilly and Darragh Lyne hoovering up plenty of possession around midfield, which in turn kept a regular supply of ball going into Walsh, D'Arcy and Dylan Geaney.

A move in the 28th minute involving Rahilly, Walsh and Geaney set up Falvey to tap in Kerry's second goal from close range to help Kerry to a 2-10 to 0-4 half-time lead and leave Roscommon with a mountain to climb.

The teams traded early second half points before Carthy goaled for Roscommon to make it a nine-point game, and Kerry were still comfortable 2-13 to 1-6 leaders when Roscommon centre-forward Fearghus Lennon got on the end of Shane Cunnane's pass and beat Kelliher in the Kerry goal.

That seven-point gap after 45 minutes was as close as Roscommon came to Kerry, and late scores from the very impressive Paul Walsh and substitute Michael Lenihan cemented Kerry's place in the All-Ireland semi-final in two weeks when they will play Monaghan.

Kerry: Mark Kelliher (Glenflesk), Conor Flannery (Dingle), Owen Fitzgerald (Gneeveguilla), David Mangan (Laune Rangers), Colm Moriarty (Annascaul), Dan McCarthy (Kenmare), Dan Murphy (Rathmore), Darragh Rahilly 0-2 (Rathmore), Darragh Lyne (Killarney Legion), Paul Walsh 0-5 (2f) (Brosna), Paul O'Shea 0-2 (Kilcummin), Killian Falvey 1-0 (Annascaul), Dylan Geaney 0-2 (1f) (Dingle), Patrick D'Arcy 0-3 (Glenflesk), Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích 1-1 (An Ghaeltacht). Subs: Jack O'Connor (Beaufort) for Ó Beaglaoich (HT), Sean Quilter (Austin Stacks) for K Falvey (53), Michael Lenihan 0-1 (Dr Crokes) for D Geaney (58), David Dineen (Rathmore) for P Walsh (62), Kieran O'Donoghue (Killarney Legion) for O Fitzgerald (62), Jack Kennelly (Ballydonoghue) for P D'Arcy (63)

Roscommon: Daniel Connolly, Cathal Brogan, Dylan Gaughan, Sean Trundle, Robbie Dolan, Colin Walsh, Jack Lohan, Shane Cunnane, Jonathan Hester, Charlie Carthy 1-0, Fearghus Lennon 1-1, Richard Walsh 0-1, Eoghan Derwin, Adam McDermott 0-2, James Fitzpatrick 0-3. Subs: Ronan Garvin for E Derwin (40), Niall Moran for C Walsh (43), Aaron McDermott for J Hester (48), Keelan Gunning for R Dolan (57), Daire Gregg for C Carthy (62), David Wynne for D Gaughan (62)

Referee: Sean Lonergan (Tipperary)