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Kerry's Conway star of show

Kerry 1-21 Antrim 2-16

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Mary I were too good for NUI Maynooth (stock photo)

Mary I were too good for NUI Maynooth (stock photo)

SPORTSFILE

Mary I were too good for NUI Maynooth (stock photo)

Kerry manager Fintan O'Connor is expecting his young players to improve throughout the year after they came away from Corrigan Park with an opening-day win over 13-man Antrim.

Kerry started the brighter and led by 1-9 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, with Jack Goulding hitting a fourth-minute goal.

Antrim, who lost Nicky McKeague to a straight red after nine minutes, closed the gap to a single point on 39 minutes, helped by two Eoin O'Neill goals, but Kerry, with Shane Conway impeccable from frees, stretched the lead.

The Saffrons lost Keelan Molloy to a red card after an off-the-ball clash with Jason Diggins, but still closed the gap. James McNaughton had a free in injury-time, but his low-drilled shot was cleared.

"We've a lot of young lads and when things aren't going their way, sometimes they don't respond as well as you'd hope. They will learn and get better as they go on," O'Connor said.

SCORERS - Kerry: S Conway 0-12 (9f, 1 s/l), J Conway 0-5, J Goulding 1-1, P Boyle 0-3. Antrim: J McNaughton 0-12 (9f, 1 '65'), E O'Neill 2-0, J O'Connell 0-2, K Molloy, C McHugh 0-1 each.

Kerry - M Stackpoole 7; S Weir 8, B Murphy 8, E Leen 8; J Diggins 8, M Boyle 8, F MacKessy 8; B Barrett 7, D Griffin 7; M O'Leary 8, S Conway 9, M Leane ; J Conway 8, P Boyle 8, J Goulding 7. Subs: D Goggin 7 for Goulding (51), T O'Connor 7 for Barrett (54), M Slattery 7 for Leane (59), J O'Connor for Griffin (68), P Costello for Diggins (70).

Antrim - R Elliott 7; S Rooney 7, J Dillon 7, P Duffin; R Molloy 7, S Duffin 7, M Donnelly 7; C McCann 8, C McHugh 8; N Elliott 7, J McNaughton 9, N McKeague 6; E O'Neill 8, K Molloy 7, C Clarke 6. Subs: J O'Connell 8 for R Molloy (ht), C Boyd 7 for O'Neill (56), J McGoldrick for Clarke (62), C Patterson for P Duffin (69), C Laverty for Elliott (69).

Ref - S Stack (Dublin).

Irish Independent