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Conway inspires Kingdom's perfect start

Kerry 0-13 Meath 0-8, Allianz NHL Division 2A

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Shane Conway: Seven-point tally. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Shane Conway: Seven-point tally. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Shane Conway: Seven-point tally. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Shane Conway fired over seven points as Kerry's perfect start to their National League campaign continued in difficult conditions at Trim on Saturday.

The UCC Fitzgibbon Cup final star showed few ill effects from his midweek exploits as he led the Kingdom charge with a polished display from midfield.

In a game of few goal chances the visitors played into a stiff breeze in the opening half and had raced into 0-4 to 0-0 lead by the 11th minute. Conway accounted for two of those scores from frees and uncharacteristically was wide of the target with a couple more as Kerry spurned opportunities to extend their advantage.

The game was 17 minutes old before Padraig O'Hanrahan opened the Meath account from long range. The Royals' challenge improved after that and with O'Hanrahan on target with two further points they were level at 0-5 each at the break.

The only goal opportunity of the half fell to Padraig Boyle midway through but he was denied by a fine block from Meath keeper Charlie Ennis.

The teams swapped scores at the start of the second half but Kerry never relinquished the lead after Michael Leane pointed them ahead on 43 minutes.

Kerry added five further points, including three from Conway (left), before O'Hanrahan converted a free for only Meath's second score of the half on 58 minutes.

Fintan O'Connor's charges comfortably preserved their lead from there to the finish as Meath laboured to make any headway in attack.

Scorers - Kerry: S Conway 0-7 (4f, 2 '65); P Boyle, J Conway 0-2 each; B Barrett, M Leane 0-1 each. Meath: P O'Hanrahan 0-5 (4f); J Regan, E O Donnchadha, J Kelly 0-1 each.

Kerry - M Stackpoole 7; E Leen 7, J O'Connor 7, S Weir 7; T O'Connor 7, M Boyle 8, F Mackessy 7; S Nolan 7, S Conway 9; M O'Leary 6, P Boyle 8, B Barrett 7; M Leane 7, J Conway 6, C Harty 6. Subs: D Goggin 6 for O'Leary (58), J Diggins for Harty (68), D Hunt for J Conway (70).

Meath - C Ennis 7; S Ennis 5, S Geraghty 7, S Morris 7; K Keoghan 7, J Toher 7, L Moran 7; M Burke 7, P Potterton 7; D Healy 6, P Hanrahan 7, P Slevin 5; E O Donnchadha 6, J Regan 6, J Walsh 5. Subs: S Brennan 7 for S Ennis (22), J Kelly 7 for Slevin (30), M Mullen 5 for Walsh (56), C O'Sullivan 5 for Burke (63), J McGowan for Keoghan (65).

Ref - C Gunning (Antrim).

Irish Independent