Monday 16 September 2019

Keane sees 'bright future' as Kerry juniors hit five in a row

Kerry 3-14 Galway 0-13

Kerry manager Jimmy Keane. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Kerry manager Jimmy Keane. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

A 20th All-Ireland junior football title was secured by Kerry at O'Moore Park on Saturday as they wrapped up five titles in a row, and their manager Jimmy Keane has backed his players to shine in the senior shirt.

Second-half goals from Stephen O'Sullivan and James Crean, added to an own goal, saw Kerry pull clear of Galway, who had stayed in touch thanks to the point-taking ability of Garry Kelly.

There were plenty of strong performers for Kerry, especially goalscorer O'Sullivan and wing-back Jack Brosnan, and Keane said he has been impressed with the ambition his players have shown all year.

"At the start of the year when we get them in we say 'we don't just want you coming in as a Kerry junior, we want you coming in as a step up to Kerry senior'," he said.

"We want ambitious young fellas; we don't want fellas coming in just for the gear or anything like that.

"And no doubt, with the performance of a few of the fellas out there I think the future is bright for Kerry football."

Galway will wonder what might have happened in this game if everything had gone to plan. Injury and personal commitments robbed them of centre-back Adrian Ward and captain Michael Day, while former Galway senior Enda Tierney was black carded after just six minutes for a pull-down on Brosnan.

Around that time Kelly had kicked a couple of points for Galway when goal chances were there, while Eoghan O'Brien also denied Colm Brennan with an excellent save in the 13th minute.

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"It was one of those days. We were playing very well in the first-half and if we had gotten a goal the game would have been very different," said Galway manager Matt Duggan.

After that Kerry improved and points from Brosnan and Foley on the run from deep lifted Kerry into a 0-8 to 0-6 half-time lead.

Galway levelled with two quick points, but when Barry O'Dwyer's effort at a fisted point dropped short and found the net via Thomas Rabbitte, Kerry soared.

Stephen O'Sullivan kicked an excellent point and followed in with a brilliant goal in the 41st minute, while Crean signed off on victory with their third goal three minutes from time.

Scorers - Kerry: S O'Sullivan 1-4; J Crean 1-0; T Rabbitte 1-0 (own goal); D Daly (1f), E O'Brien (1f, 1'45) 0-2 each; P O'Connor, J Brosnan, M Foley, C Teahan, M Breen, T Lynch 0-1 each. Galway: G Kelly 0-8 (4f); L Molloy 0-2; P O'Donnell, S Denvir, S Ó Currin 0-1 each.

Kerry - E O'Brien; C Ó Murchú, P O'Connor, PJ O'Sullivan; J Brosnan, M Breen, M Foley; JM Foley, N Breen; B Barrett, C Farley, P O'Connor (c); S O'Sullivan, D Daly, B O'Dwyer. Subs: C Teahan for Farley (37), J Crean for O'Dwyer (46), T Lynch for Barrett (57), G O'Sullivan Ó Murchú (59), F Clifford for Daly (59), J Spillane for Brosnan (60).

Galway - C Haslam; E O'Sullivan (c), D Ó Ruairc, T Rabbitte; M Geraghty, C Costello, P O'Donnell; A Molloy, E Tierney; T Gleeson, J Ryan, S Denvir; PE Ó Curraoin, C Brennan, G Kelly. Subs: S Ó Currin for Tierney (7, BC), L Molloy for Gleeson (37), E Concannon for Ó Ruairc (46), C Brady for Ó Curraoin (57), A Ó hIarnáin for Ó Currin (59), G Gibbons for Ryan (64).

Ref - M McNally (Monaghan).

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