Friday 23 February 2018

Captain O'Shea leads Kingdom minor charge

Kerry 1-24 Derry 2-10

Kerry's Stefan Okunbar and Michael Potts celebrate after the match. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Kerry's Stefan Okunbar and Michael Potts celebrate after the match. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile newsdesk

Peter Keane watched his Kerry minors march into the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football championship with a clinical attacking display but insisted they can still improve.

Captain Seán O'Shea landed 1-6 and David Clifford and David Shaw bagged five points each on a day when the Kingdom, chasing a third successive All-Ireland title, scored 1-23 from play.

Kerry's Ferdia O'Brien in action against Derry's Shea Downey, Aaron Bradley and Eoghan Concannon. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Kerry's Ferdia O'Brien in action against Derry's Shea Downey, Aaron Bradley and Eoghan Concannon. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

But Kerry took some time to burn off a Derry side that was level at half-time, thanks in main to two scruffy goals.

Patrick Quigg netted at the second attempt in the 24th minute before full-forward Feargal Higgins somehow got through to squeeze a shot beneath Billy Courtney six minutes later.

And when Patrick Coney and Pádraig McGrogan pointed in stoppage time, Derry had restored parity - 2-6 to 0-12 at the break.

The second half was a different story as Kerry won it by 1-12 to 0-4. O'Shea, who scored six first half points, netted in the 33rd minute and four points without reply from Shaw in a seven-minute spell were also crucial.

Derry's Feargal Higgins tries to keep the ball away from Kerry's Graham O'Sullivan. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Derry's Feargal Higgins tries to keep the ball away from Kerry's Graham O'Sullivan. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Having built up a lead, Kerry were able to display their party pieces, with Hogan Cup and Munster final hero Clifford showing the class that's seen him compared to Maurice Fitzgerald at just 17 years old.

But Keane said: "Looking at the first half, out of 20 kicks we had only 12 scores. I wasn't happy conceding two goals but those are the things we've got to work on."

Kerry will play Kildare or Mayo on August 28.

Scorers - Kerry: S O'Shea 1-6 (1f), D Clifford & D Shaw 0-5 each, D O'Brien 0-2, M Potts, M Breen, M Ryan, D Moynihan, B Friel & C Teahan 0-1 each. Derry: F Higgins 1-2 (0-1f), P Quigg 1-0, P Coney 0-3, C Devlin 0-3f, P McGrogan & S Higgins 0-1 each. 

KERRY: B Courtney; D Naughton, G O'Sullivan, N Collins; M Potts, D O'Brien, M Foley; M Breen, M Ryan; B Sweeney, S O'Shea, D Moynihan; F O'Brien, D Shaw, D Clifford. Subs: B Friel for O'Brien (h.t.), C Teahan for Sweeney (44), S Okunbar for Ryan (55), K Dwyer for Potts (56), C Linnane for Moynihan (59), T O'Connor for Clifford (60+2).

DERRY: B McKinless; C McCluskey, G McLaughlin, A Bradley; S McErlain, E Concannon, P McGrogan; P Coney, C Doherty; S Higgins, C Devlin, P Quigg; S Downey, F Higgins, E Bradley. Subs: O McKeever for Concannon (34), O McWilliams for Downey (37), S Mortimer for McLaughlin (44), R Young for Doherty (45), L Kielt for Bradley (51), J.P. Devlin for McCluskey (55).

Ref: J Hickey (Carlow)

Impressive Haslam keeps the Galway minors cruising

Galway 3-10 Laois 0-12

One could have been forgiven for thinking Galway had lost Saturday's All Ireland minor quarter final meeting with Laois, based on the comments of manager Stephen Joyce after the game.

"We didn't win any breaks around the middle, we allowed them to run at us, they were breaking the tackle, we didn't turn them over enough," Joyce explained, though it was the kickout battle that upset the Clonbur man.

"The stats on the kickouts don't make for great reading, we won less than a third of them.. When we move on we're going to have to try and break even in the middle of the field.

"Today, only for Cormac in goal and a couple of great saves, and for Seán Mulkerrins at full back, we could have been in trouble."

Those saves from Cormac Haslam were certainly vital as Laois peppered the Galway goal with shots for goal, sending three wide and meeting an inspired custodian with their other strikes - including a late penalty.

In contrast the Galway inside duo of Desmond Conneely and Robert Finnerty were in form and they, allied to centre forward Evan Murphy, proved unstoppable.

Finnerty and Murphy struck first half goals while Conneely fired over several excellent points, and once Ryan Forde added the game's third goal with 15 to play, there was little cause for excessive Laois optimism - even after they tacked on the last six points in a row.

Scorers - Galway: E Murphy, R Finnerty (0-1f) 1-3 each; D Conneely 0-4; R Forde 1-0. Laois: D Whelan 0-7 (7f); A Deering 0-2; F Crowley, J Kelly, L Davis 0-1 each.

GALWAY: C Haslam; E Deeley, S Mulkerrin, F Garvey; A Quirke, E McDonagh, L Kenny; R Murphy, S Raftery; F Ó' Laoi, E Murphy, R Forde; R Cunningham, D Conneely, R Finnerty. Subs: J Maher for Cunningham (35), S Thornton for Kenny (41), L Boyle for Deeley (53), M Kerrigan for Murphy (56), J Gavin for Ó'Laoi (59).

LAOIS: R McGrath; D Bennett, J Kelly, R Hitchcock; S Bolger, S Byrne, J O'Connor; R Tyrell, M Connolly; F Crowley, A Deering, C Comerford; A Kinsella, J Kavanagh, D Whelan. Subs: D Phelan for McGrath (24 - bc), J Kelly for Kinsella (ht), D Feane for Bolger (43 - bc), L Davis for Comerford (43), E Lowry for Kavanagh (43).

Ref: Alfie Devine (Westmeath).

Second-half surge sees Donegal safely through

Donegal 2-13 Cork 0-13

Donegal fought back against Cork to seal a place in the All-Ireland minor semi-finals.

Cork were 0-10 to 1-3 ahead at half-time and looked on their way through as they high-fived on their way back to the dressing rooms.

Donegal were out of sorts in the opening half, but Jason McGee's goal, in the 27th minute, was vital. JD Boyle found the big midfielder and he hammered to the net.

After just 12 minutes, Cork goalkeeper Mark White charged out to meet McCormick's long ball in, but White took a heavy blow and had to be replaced by Kevin McMahon.

It was the Rebels who began to boss the game, with Mark Buckley and Damien Gore leading the charge. Cork scored four points in a row to lead by four at the interval.

The third quarter has been the forte of Donegal teams in recent years and it was in this spell that Shaun Paul Barrett's team had the winning of this one.

There, Donegal went from four behind to one ahead with Niall O'Donnell's quarter of points aided by scores from Aidan McLaughlin and Enda McCormick.

Cork scored just three points in the second half and Donegal sub Shane McGrath scored the game-clinching second goal three minutes from the end.

McGrath, after good work by O'Donnell, didn't get the cleanest of connections on his shot, but it was enough to secure Donegal's spot in the semi-finals.

Scorers -  Donegal: N O'Donnell 0-5 (4f), J McGee, S McGrath 1-0 each, P Mogan 0-3f, A McLaughlin, E McCormick 0-2 each, E McGettigan 0-1. Cork: M Buckley 0-5 (1 '45), D Gore 0-4 (3f), T Corkery, C Maguire, C O'Callaghan, C O'Mahony (f) 0-1 each

Donegal: G Mulreany; S Ferry, A McCrea, M Curran; O Shiels, JD Boyle, A McLaughlin; J McGee, K Gallagher; N Boyle, N O'Donnell, O McFadden-Ferry; P Mogan, E McGettigan, E McCormick. Subs: A Deeney for McCrea (30+6), S McGrath for Shiels (h-t), B O'Donnell for JD Boyle (54), G Molloy for McCormick (60).

Cork: M White; A McCarthy, A Browne, L O'Donovan; S Minihane, N Walsh, R O'Driscoll; C Foley, T Corkery; C Óg Jones, C O'Callaghan, C Maguire; D Gore, M Buckley, S O'Sullivan. Subs: K McMahon for White (12), S Ryan for Minihane (half-time), C O'Mahony for Maguire (45), J Twomey for O'Driscoll (46), R Fowley for O'Sullivan (50), L Fahy for Jones (54).

Ref: J Henry (Mayo).

Irish Independent

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