Gavin White gave a man-of-the-match performance on his return from injury, but he wasn’t the only Kerry player to stand out
Dr Crokes man Gavin White looked like he was never away on his return from injury, while there were several other impressive performances by players in the green and gold on Saturday evening. Here’s our rundown of how they fared...
Shane Ryan (Rathmore)
After a disappointing performance in Omagh (mostly because of the concession of that first half goal), the Rathmore man was back on top form. Got his restarts off well and looked a strong and stable presence at the back.
Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)
Overall you’d have to say a fine game from the Dromid man who battled effectively throughout – good work to claim possession on the line on 44 minutes eased a tricky situation – but was black-carded shortly thereafter. Still his balance is in credit.
Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
It was a tricky enough evening Foley in Stack Park, who spent quite a lot of it tracking his fellow North Kerry man, Conor Cox. Cox shaded some of those exchanges, but by the end Foley recovered. Lucky not to be black carded for a trip late on, however.
Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)
The Dingle man played his part in an improved defensive performance by the Kingdom and as usual proved quite effective up and down the flanks – assisted a Dónal O’Sullivan point early on and scored a point from play himself.
Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
Another encouraging display by the Rathmore man as he sets out to make himself indispensable to Jack O’Connor ahead of Brian Ó Beaglaoich’s return from injury. Showed good awareness and anticipation as ever. Picked up Diarmuid Murtagh at times.
Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
A more assured performance from the Templenoe man, who seemed to have been handed the task of curbing Enda Smith (or maybe Smith pushed up on him). Either way was solid. Finished the game on the touchline having picked up a black card.
Gavin White (Dr Crokes)
You really wouldn’t have known this was the Crokes man’s first game back from injury. Looked razor sharp, as quick as ever and just generally effective both in defence and attack. Deservedly picked up the man of the match gong afterwards.
Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
Certainly not a stunning performance by the Na Gaeil man, but that’s not really his brand either is it? He was quietly effective all through getting through an amount of work, providing a platform for his midfield colleague to flourish.
Barry ‘Dan’ O’Sullivan (Dingle)
If it wasn’t for Gavin White’s star turn on his return, O’Sullivan would be in the reckoning for man of the match. Really strong in winning primary possession, but it was his ability to drive on (at speed) and upset the Rossies defence that stood out most of all.
Dara Moynihan (Spa)
A very solid shift from the Spa man, busy, hard-working, and generally effective if not quite as influential as he sometimes can be. Showed his awareness early on in fisting the first score of the game picking up a wayward effort for a point by Clifford.
Seán O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks)
One gets the impression that the Kenmare man is still working his way back to full match-sharpness. Wasn’t poor or anything like it to begin with, but it was obvious that he became more effective and influential as the game wore on.
Paudie Clifford (Fossa)
A bit like O’Shea, it wasn’t until the second half that Clifford really came into his own. He properly announced his arrival in the game with that 46 minute point (a beauty it was too) and that brilliant intervention on the line on 65 minutes to clear a tricky ball.
Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)
A really fine game by the corner man. Shot two points from play – probably should have hit the target with his 44th minute goal-scoring chance (assist O’Shea), however – and had the most audacious assist for David Clifford’s goal. Really encouraging.
David Clifford (Fossa)
Rossies’ full-back Brian Stack – his principal marker – will probably be happy enough with how he did... and yet Clifford still shot 1-1 from play. That’s just the measure of the man. Even not fully lifting still managed to be the difference between the sides.
Dónal O’Sullivan ‘Down’
Started the game like a runaway train, shooting two very fine points into the Horans’ end. That, however, was something of a high-water mark and he didn’t score again. Still overall effective and lively, but not the man-of-the-match display it might have been!
It was hugely encouraging to see Diarmuid O’Connor get decent minutes, but obviously he looked not quite at his best just yet. Killian Spillane looked lively and shot a fine point. Ruairí Murphy impacted nicely as did a lively Pa Warren. Paul Geaney, meanwhile, got some late minutes, another encouraging sign for Kerry as the championship hovers into views.