O'Sullivan inspires Kingdom's B-specials to title hat-trick
Kerry 3-22 Down 0-12
Dual star Donal O'Sullivan produced a sparkling display as Kerry completed a hat-trick of U-20 'B' hurling titles with an impressive final showing at Navan on Saturday.
O'Sullivan was in scintillating form throughout and finished with a tally of 2-5 as the holders had far too much power and precision for a Down side who never stood a chance following a first-half mauling.
Kerry opened up a 1-4 to 0-0 lead in the early stages with O'Sullivan finding the net after just four minutes.
A brace of points each from Ronan Blair and Tim Prender suggested that the Mourne men might make a game of it but when O'Sullivan struck for a second goal on 17 minutes, leaving the Kingdom leading 2-6 to 0-4. Earlier, Down goalkeeper Conor McLornan had produced an excellent save to deny Michael Slattery.
The third Kerry goal arrived on the stroke of half-time from another dual star Barry O'Mahony, while Down full forward Blair brought his tally of points to four before the break.
By half-time they led 3-13 to 0-8 and the Richie McElligott Cup, named after the famous Kerry hurler, was set for another stay in the Kingdom.
With Down unable to make any impression, the tempo of the game dipped considerably in the second half. The Kingdom failed to add to their goal tally and instead were content to pick off points as they continued to stretch their lead.
Midfielder Dan Goggin hit two fine efforts while full-forward Slattery took his tally to eight before the finish.
Down battled to the end but were completely outclassed and they only managed a single point from play in the second half, from Conor McCrickard. Their remaining scores came from Ronan Blair frees.
Scorers - Kerry: D O'Sullivan 2-5 (1f); M Slattery 0-8 (7f); B O'Mahony 1-2; D Goggin, S McElligott 0-2 each; E Murphy (f), M Lenihan, S O'Halloran 0-1 each. Down: R Blair 0-7 (5f); T Prenter 0-2; R Costello, C McCrickard, S Martin 0-1 each.
Kerry - A O'Sullivan; L Twomey, T Brick, B McAuliffe; G Fennessy, E Murphy, C O'Keeffe; D Hunt, D Goggin; M Lenihan, B O'Mahony, G Dooley; D O'Sullivan, M Slattery, S McElligott. Subs: D O'Donoghue for McElligott (37), E Shanahan for McAuliffe (41), S Sheehan for Hunt (42), J McKenna for O'Mahony (51), S O'Halloran for Slattery (53).
Down - C McLornan; M McKey, T Murray, A Dorrian; C Watson, R McCrickard, N MacFarlene; N Fitzsimmons, P Savage; J Hanrahan, C McCrickard, T Prenter; R Costello, R Blair, S Martin. Subs: C Coulter for MacFarlene, P Davidson for Hanrahan (both h-t), C Smyth for McKey (42), P Doran for Martin (52), S Campbell for Smyth (57).
Ref - C Mooney (Dublin)