Dublin a class apart as Jim Gavin's men romp to a 12-point win over Kerry
Dublin 2-17 Kerry 0-11
DUBLIN all but made certain of a sixth League final appearance in a row today, trouncing Kerry in Croke Park this afternoon by 2-17 to 0-11.
If Jim Gavin’s team, who recorded their fifth win from their first five League matches of 2018 thanks to a remarkably dominant second half performance, manage to avoid to losing to both Galway and Monaghan in their final to Division 1 matches, they will meet the Tribesman in the competition final on April 1st.
Kerry, who managed a draw and victory against Dublin in last year’s League, were completely overrun this afternoon in a team that started without the likes of Mick Fitzsimon, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy, Jack McCaffrey, Con O’Callaghan, Paul Mannion and Diarmuid Connolly.
As Éamonn Fitzmaurice continues the process of blooding his lavishly successful former underage players to seniordom, this result will come as a significant setback.
Kerry’s former minor sensasion David Clifford started his first senior game in Croke Park and in the company of no less a marker than Cian O’Sullivan, scored 0-3 - including a free he won himself.
He was however, almost completely eclipsed in the second half by the outstanding Jonny Cooper.
Clifford played an unwanted part in Dublin’s first half goal, too.
His attempt to generate a goal from a scoreable free by going short to Paul Geaney was intercepted by Cooper, who surged up the pitch.
Brian Fenton fed Carthy, whose shot looped over Shane Murphy to Niall Scully, who palmed in his second goal in consecutive matches.
Kerry had an excellent chance to score a goal in that first half too but Seán O’Shea inexplicably skewed his shot wide after rounding Stephen Cluxton.
There was plenty of ‘needle’ too.
Barry O’Sullivan and John Small were black carded.
Peter Crowley and Kevin McCarthy were fortunate to stay on also.
At 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time, the win was still up for grabs.
Yet Kerry went from the 25th minute to the 54th without scoring.
Dublin meanwhile, scored 1-10 in that period to effectively kill the game and Kerry’s resolve.
Ciarán Kilkenny scooped home Dublin’s second goal to cap a sparkling individual display while Cooper and Michael Darragh Macauley were also outstanding on a day when Dublin’s superiority over Kerry seemed more pronounced than ever.
SCORERS – Dublin: C Kilkenny 1-3, D Rock 0-4 (3f), N Scully 1-1, P Andrews 0-3, C Basquel 0-2, C Costello, J Cooper, P McMahon, P Small 0-1 each. Kerry: D Clifford 0-4 (2f), K McCarthy, M Burns 0-2 each, S O’Shea, P Geaney, M Geaney 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: S Cluxton; D Byrne, J Cooper, C O’Sullivan; S Carthy, J Small, E Lowndes; B Fenton, MD Macauley; N Scully, C Basquel, B Howard; P Andrew, C Kilkenny, D Rock. Subs: P Small for Carthy (17), P McMahon for J Small (h-t, black card), A McGowan for O’Sullivan (64 inj), C Reddin for P Small (52), P Small for Rock (58), C Costello for Kilkenny (68), E Ó Conghaile for Fenton (68)
KERRY: S Murphy; P Murphy, J Foley, R Shanahan; P Crowley, B Ó Beaglaoich, S Enright; J Barry, B O’Sullivan; M Burns, S O’Shea, A Spillane; D Clifford, P Geaney, K McCarthy. Subs: É Ó Conchúir for O’Sullivan (33, black card), M Geaney for O’Shea (h-t inj), BJ Keane for P Geaney (h-t), F Fitzgerald for McCarthy (48), D Moran for Spillane (50), D Casey for Burns (64)
REF: C Branagan (Down)