Sunday 25 February 2018

MacGearailt stars for Kingdom

At least one Kerry side will contest an All-Ireland football final this year after Aodhan MacGearailt helped the Kingdom's junior side overcome Lancashire in Manchester on Saturday night.

The former senior star kicked six points against the British champions though it wasn't until the final quarter that Kerry sprinted clear.

Eoin Meaney put the home side ahead in the second minute but half-back Eamon Hickson levelled matters five minutes later.

Don Murphy pointed and a brace of frees by MacGearailt, along with a point from Gary Sayers, sent Kerry into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead before John Buckley netted Kerry's only goal of the game in the 21st minute.

At this point it looked like the home side were dead and buried but three minutes before half-time a thunderous goal from Laois native Richie Coss gave Lancashire a lifeline.

A long ball in from the half-back line found Coss in space and he expertly finished past Sean Og O Ciardubhain in the Kerry goals.

Less than 60 seconds after that goal, though, there was heartbreak for Lancashire when full-forward Willie Ahern was red-carded after an off-the-ball infringement. Kerry then took a 1-7 to 1-2 into the interval.

Lancashire started the second half brightly, despite their numerical disadvantage.

Substitute Joe Corcoran from Mayo was at the heart of everything in the third quarter for Lancashire. Stephen Molumby, Corcoran and Nathan Plant pointed to narrow the gap to two points but that was as close as Lancashire came to restoring parity.

Inspired by MacGearailt, captain Michael O' Donoghue and full-back Fergal Griffin, Kerry moved through the gears to book a place in the final against Sligo on August 21.

Scorers -- Kerry: A MacGearailt 0-6 (0-4f), J Buckley 1-2, M Murphy 0-3, E Hickson 0-2, D Murphy, G Sayers, M O'Donoghue, A O' Sullivan 0-1 each. Lancashire: E Meaney 0-4 (0-3 f), R Coss 1-0, J Corcoran, S Molumby, N Plant, L Coyne 0-1 each.

KERRY -- S Ó Ciardubháin; G O' Connor, F Griffin, A Cahill; E Hickson, A Greaney, B Guiney; M Coakley, D Murphy; M Murphy, M O' Donoghue (capt), A O' Sullivan; G Sayers, A MacGearailt, J Buckley. Subs: B Poff for Sayers; A Fitzgerald for Buckley; T McGoldrick for Coakley; B McGuire for O' Connor; B Gleeson for Cahill.

LANCASHIRE -- J Sheehan; R Gallagher, J Gibney, D Fitzpatrick; S Gallagher (capt), S Molumby, M Moore; R O' Donoghue, L Coyne; C O' Connor, J McDermott, N Plant; E Meaney, W Ahern, R Coss. Subs: J Corcoran for O'Connor; A Boyle for Gallagher; E Vahey for O'Donoghue.

Irish Independent

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