Kerry Hurlers Get Back On Track With Victory Over Westmeath

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Mike O’Halloran watched Kerry rise to the occasion against Westmeath yesterday in Mullingar…

Kerry 0-20

Westmeath 2-12

The Kerry panel line-up before the game against Westmeath yesterday. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

Kerry travelled to rain-sodden Mullingar in a do or die effort to remain in with a chance of progressing in the Leinster Championship round robin.

They arrived in the Westmeath capital sorely wounded after their defeat to Meath the Sunday before.

One could see from the warm-up that they were well up for any challenge presented by any opposition such was the intensity of the preliminaries, they could hardly wait for the national anthem to end to get into the fray.

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Within three minutes Kerry were three points to nil in front when Shane Nolan pointed.

Three minutes later Padraig Boyle made it five points to two, by this stage there was an edge developing in the game with Westmeath “putting themselves about”.

Nine minutes later that “putting themselves about” resulted in a second yellow card for their full forward Niall O’Brien.

By this stage Kerry led on a score-line of Kerry nine points Westmeath three, the ninth point coming from James O’Connor.

Kerry went in at halftime leading by seven points, the scoreboard reading Kerry 0-12 Westmeath 0-5, Jordan Conway having Kerry’s last score of the half.

In the second half Alan Devine began a wind-assisted Westmeath revival when he pointed, Killian Doyle followed with another.

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Shane Nolan then pointed a free to stem that revival for a time.

Michael Boyle put nine points between the teams twelve minutes into the half. Five minutes later Kerry led by ten, the away side on their way to an easy victory one would assume at this stage, but Westmeath struck for a goal and a point Westmeath 1-9 Kerry 0-18 with eighteen minutes left on the clock.

With four minutes left on the timepiece Westmeath struck a goal from a penalty – Killian Doyle gave Martin Stackpoole no chance with a low shot to the net.

Robbie Greville reduced that to two and try as they might, Westmeath could not manufacture a goal chance such was the tenacity of the Kerry defence.

Westmeath will rue their attitude and indiscipline in the first half, Kerry on the other hand can be delighted with their resolve and resilience in coming back from their defeat last weekend.

Kerry were driven on to win this game by massive work in the midfield area by Paudie O’Connor and Jack Goulding, a tenacious defence that stepped up their performance from last Sunday.

Up front the twin towers (the O’Leary’s) worked their socks off Michael and Padraig Boyle were an ever present threat, Shane Nolan tapped over the frees and again the excellent Jordan Conway was as busy as usual adding two points to the twenty point tally.

Kerry now have two weeks to prepare to defeat Laois in Tralee in the final game of this series, the win today will surely stand them in good stead for that challenge.

It must have been very disappointing for the team to see only about sixteen Kerry supporters at the game.

Kerry Team. 

Martin Stackpoole, James O’Connor (1pt), Rory Horgan, Sean Weir, John Buckley, Darren Dineen, Tom Murnane; Jack Goulding (1pt), Paudie O’Connor (1pt), Jordan Conway (2pts), Michael O’Leary (1pt) (John Griffin), Brendan O’Leary (Keith Carmody), Padraigh Boyle (3pts) (Maurice O’Connor), Michael Boyle (4pts), Shane Nolan (7pts. 5frees 1‘65)


P Maloney; C Shaw, T Doyle, T Gallagher; G Greville, P Greville, A Clarke; C Boyle, J Boyle (J Galvin), A Devine (0.8), K Doyle (1.02), R Greville (0.2) ( A Cox), N O’Brien, N Mitchell (1.0), D Egerton ( D McNicholas).

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