Brannigan grabs crucial goal as Galway down Kerry to maintain 100 per cent record
Galway 1-14 Kerry 0-14
Galway produced a gutsy second half display to maintain their 100pc league record in a chilly Austin Stack Park, Tralee.
Playing against the wind in the second half, Galway grabbed a crucial goal when Eamonn Brannigan blazed through the heart of the Kerry defence to toe poke past Brian Kelly.
Kerry responded well and cut the gap to two with youngsters David Clifford and Sean O'Shea leading the way. However, Galway adjusted and through some clever counter attacking football soon and had the gap back to six.
Kerry kept trying and in the seven minutes of injury time they had enough possession to get closer. However, like the rest of the teams that have met Galway this term, the were unable to find a hit the net despite late drama that saw a David Clifford shot saved and Stephen O'Brien unable to goal from the rebound when the gap was at three points.
Galway played with the aid of the breeze in the first but it was Kerry who fashioned the first meaningful chance of the half when Brian O Beaglaoich got beyond the Galway cover only to see his effort beaten away by Ruairi Lavelle.
Almost immediately Galway were presented with the first of their two good goal chances of the first half. Michael Sweeney's run wasn't tracked and suddenly he was through on goal. His shot was deflected wide for a 45 which was converted by Barry McHugh.
Galway kicked some lovely long range points in the first half and opened up a 0-5 to 0-1 lead on 14 minutes with Brannigan and Patrick Sweeney finding their range. Kerry then cut that gap to two with David Clifford and Paul Murphy getting on the scoresheet.
McHugh stretched the lead to three points before Galway's second good goal chance. This time Shane Walsh had too much pace for Shane Enright but Brian Kelly was on hand to deny the Galway star. Once again the flawless McHugh pointed the resultant 45 before Clifford grabbed his second. Walsh would have the last say of the half when he landed a difficult free kick to send the visitors leading by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Kerry looked better in the second half but Brannigan's goal gave them a six point cushion and that would ultimately prove to be enough as Galway made it four wins from four.
SCORERS - Galway: B McHugh 0-8 (5f, 2 45), E Brannigan 1-3, P Sweeney 0-2, S Walsh 0-1 (1f).
Kerry: D Clifford 0-6 (3f), S O’Shea 0-3 (2f), P Murphy, P Crowley, T O’Sullivan, S O’Brien, D Casey 0-1 each.
Galway: R Lavelle; D Kyne, SA O Ceallaigh, E Kerin; C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly; P Conroy, P Cooke; J Heaney, S Walsh, E Brannigan; P Sweeney, D Comer, B McHugh SUBS: G O’Donnell for C Sweeney (BC 7), S Armstrong for P Sweeney (49), J Duane for Heaney, D Wynne for O Ceallaigh (both BC 56), C Duggan for Cooke (64), T Flynn for Brannigan (70).
Kerry: B Kelly; S Enright, J Foley, R Shanahan; P Murphy, P Crowley, B O Beaglaoich; J Barry, B O’Sullivan; M Burns, S O’Shea, S O’Brien; D Clifford, P Geaney, BJ Keane SUBS: M Flaherty for Shanahan (41), T O’Sullivan for O Beaglaoich (42), E O Conchuir for Keane (48), D Casey for Burns (60), K Spillane for Geaney (67), B O Seanachain for O’Sullivan (70).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford).