On the up East dump Mid out
County SFC Losers Round: East Kerry 4-15 Mid Kerry 1-11
When the winning team's full-forward line finishes the game with the grand tally of four goals and six points then you get a fair picture of the dominance that they enjoyed throughout the game.
East Kerry were much too strong for a tame Mid Kerry side in Lewis Road last Sunday and were full value for their 13-point win in the finish. Prior to the throw in most spectators were expecting a tight game between the two district sides, but East Kerry were vastly superior and opened up a porous Mid Kerry defence with ease.
While East Kerry were very impressive at times, and look to have potential, it is difficult to know if they are genuine title contenders in the overall context.
Although the game was a largely forgettable affair, some of the score taking was of the top drawer variety and David Clifford added to his collection of great goals with another sublime effort right on the stroke of half-time.
The 2017 Kerry minor captain collected a pass from his brother Paudie, took on a couple of defenders and placed the ball with power and accuracy into the top right hand corner of the net from 15 yards, with Mid Kerry goalkeeper Mike Moriarty helpless as the ball flew past him. A great goal from a class act.
This left East Kerry with an eight-point advantage at the break, 3-5 to 0-6, in spite of playing against the wind in the first half and it was difficult to see a way back for Mid Kerry at this stage.
The start of the first half was a pretty even affair and it was level at two points a piece after 10 minutes, with the Mid Kerry scores coming from Gavan O'Grady and Cathal Moriarty, while Jack Sherwood and Paudie Clifford replied for East Kerry.
The stylish Jeff O'Donoghue then palmed a goal for East Kerry after wing back Shane Cronin slalomed through the Mid Kerry defence at ease and passed to O'Donoghue.
The goal seemed to change the whole complexion of the game and East Kerry points followed from Stephen Foley and Dara Roche, before a high ball in from David Clifford broke kindly to Roche and he finished low and hard to the back of the net.
Suddenly East Kerry were 2-4 to 0-2 ahead, but credit to Mid Kerry who put over four points on the bounce from Mike Breen, a Gavan O'Grady free, Donnchadh Walsh and a Liam Carey free kick with East Kerry's response coming from a fine Jeff O'Donoghue individual effort.
Mid Kerry's chances were then dealt a body blow with Clifford's goal on the half time whistle. The sides swapped scores at the start of the second with O'Grady slotting over two for Mid Kerry and Roche and O'Donoghue replying for East Kerry.
Mid Kerry got the goal they craved in the 40th minute when their most impressive performer Gavan O'Grady took on the East Kerry defence once more, and his pass left wing-forward John Tyther with the easy task of rolling the ball into the back of the net.
Stung into action, East Kerry put over three points from Shane Cronin, a Dara Roche free kick and Ronan Buckley before David Clifford caused panic in the Mid Kerry defence, and he set up Dara Roche for goal number four after the ball broke kindly to him.
The spectators now left the Lewis Road in their droves as East Kerry were in total control of the game. Mid Kerry's insistence on playing with a man to man marking system in defence was exposed time and again by the live wire East Kerry forwards who benefited from the lack of extra protection we normally see in the modern game.
With the score now at 4-10 to 1-9 and just 10 minutes left on the clock, there really was no way back for a disappointing Mid Kerry side, who looked to be going through the motions.
Points from Dara Roche, Mike McCarthy, and three from Ronan Buckley, (two frees) saw East Kerry finish out the game at ease with the only Mid Kerry reply coming from Gary Sayers and a Liam Carey free kick.
East Kerry: Colin Myers, Darren Brosnan, Stephen Foley (0-1), DJ Murphy, Shane Cronin (0-1), Dan O'Donoghue, Daniel O'Brien, Fintan Coffey, Jack Sherwood (0-1), Paudie Clifford (0-1), Dara Moynihan, Ronan Buckley (0-4, 2f), David Clifford (1-0), Jeff O'Donoghue (1-3), Dara Roche (2-3, 0-1f) Subs: Padraig De Brun for P Clifford, 45, Evan Cronin for D Moynihan, 47, Thomas Ladden for C McGillicuddy, 50, Con O'Mahony for F Coffey, 52, James Devane for C Myers, 52, Josh Flynn for S Cronin, 55, Mike McCarthy (0-1) for D Clifford, 55
Mid Kerry: Mike Moriarty, Pa Kilkenny, Ger Hartnett, Gavin Evans, David Roche, Mike Breen (0-1), Jack Brosnan, Colin McGillicuddy, Ronan Murphy, Gary Sayers (0-1), Liam Carey (0-2f), John Tyther (1-0), Gavan O'Grady (0-4, 2f), Donnchadh Walsh (0-2, 1f), Cathal Moriarty (0-1) Subs: Caolin Teahan for D Roche, half-time, Cathal Clarke for C Moriarty, 40, Padraig Doona for J Tyther, 58
Referee: Paul Hayes (Kerins O'Rahillys).
The game in 60 seconds
A hard one to call, but Dara Roche just gets the nod over Jeff O'Donoghue. In fairness it's hard to argue against a man that finishes a game after scoring 2-3. Jack Sherwood was also industrious in the middle of the field.
Jeff O'Donoghue's goal in the first half changed the complexion of the game and East Kerry drove on from that point.
David Clifford's goal on the stroke of half time drew a round of applause from both sets of supporters. It really was that good and was on everyone's lips after the game. Clifford could be the man to light up this year's county championship.