Sport Hurling

Friday 19 January 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Darragh O'Connell (Kerry)

To finish an All-Ireland final of any description with 1-9 is impressive shooting and the Abbeydorney forward (right) was in sparkling form at Croke Park. His well-taken goal at the start of the second half was the killer blow to Wicklow's faint hopes of a second half comeback.

Turning point

Kerry midfielder Darren Dineen saved a Jonathan O'Neill penalty in the 22nd minute and it was the wake-up call the Kingdom needed. They had been cruising along up to that point, but allowed Wicklow to creep back into the game and a goal then would have made it a dogfight. Kerry kicked on to dominate from there to the finish.

Ref watch

Overall, it was a satisfactory performance from Antrim's Garret Duffy, but at times the official seemed to do a lot of work a good distance away from where play was actually taking place.

What they said

Michael Boyle (Kerry captain)

"The plan with John Meyler for the last couple of years is to get us into the Munster championship. We're not ready now, but it's going to come. Kerry hurling is on a high, winning U-21 'B' titles back-to-back -- this was coming, things are working out for us. We lost the final last year, but we put that behind us, we were determined to go one better this year."

Match statistics

Wides: Kerry 12 (7); Wicklow 11 (7)

Frees: Kerry 4 (3); Wicklow 7 (5)

Yellow cards: Kerry 4 (O'Grady, Fitzgerald, Dineen, O'Brien); Wicklow 5 (Connors, Cuddihy, Glynn, E Dunne, J Murphy)

Attendance: 3,612

Irish Independent

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