Mike O’Halloran reports on Kerry’s Munster Senior Hurling League clash with Cork yesterday in Mallow…
Kerry travelled to Mallow on Sunday wondering what lay in store for them in 2017.
Cork had put out a fairly handy side, having already played a game on Friday evening.
Some Kerry supporters I spoke to before the game expected the team to be eager to impress the new manager, as it turned out some players seemed content to rely on their past reputations to secure their places for the future, while one or two of the younger put down markers of their arrival.
Jordan Conway in particular was very impressive when he was introduced for the injured Brendan O’Leary after ten minutes. Conway ended the day with three points to his name.
It was nip and tuck for the most of the first half, with Cork going in at halftime only a point up 1-12 to 14 points.
The goal for Cork came from the stick of Darragh Fitzgibbon,who was a busy boy all day for Cork.
Shane Nolan scored seven points for Kerry, six of them from placed balls.
Within a minute and a half of the restart Kerry drew level and then led by a point 16 points to 1-12.
Kerry were only to get two further points in the second half both coming from the Kilmoyley midfielder Paudie O’Connor.
Kerry had gone for nearly thirty minutes without scoring, while Cork scored with ease and were denied a goal by the excellent Kerry captain Aiden McCabe.
The Kerry backs tried very hard and were working their socks off to keep the score down, up front there was very little happening as almost every insipid Kerry attack was handled with ease by the Cork rearguard.
Kerry players can point to starting late in their preparations an excuse for their lack of “legs” in the second half.
Speaking to Fintan O’Connor and Ian Brick after, they were not too displeased with the performance, they are using this competition to blood players and for Fintan to get a handle on what kind of talent he has at his disposal. He can be well pleased with Tomas O’Connor, Billy Lyons on their showing today.
The has been a very positive response from the players to Fintan O’Connor since he arrived to the camp, we wish him and the team well for the season ahead.
Kerry Hurling team
1 Aiden McCabe(C).
2 Billy Lyons
4 Sean Weir
5 James O’Connor
6 Darren Dineen
7 Tomás O’Connor (James Godley)
8 Daniel Collins
9 Paudie O’Connor(2pts)
10 Michael O’Leary(2pts)(Padraigh Boyle)
11 Michael Boyle (1pt)
12 Brendan O’Leary (Jordan Conway(3pts)
13 Jack Goulding(Thomas Casey)
14 Shane Nolan(9pts)
15 John Egan(1pt)(Philip Lucid)