REPORT: Kerry Defeated In Westmeath As League Challenge Ends

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Mike O’Halloran saw Kerry defeated by Westmeath in the Division 2A game in Mullingar on Sunday…

Westmeath 1-20

Kerry 0-16

The Kerry panel before the Westmeath game. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

A most disappointing end to Kerry’s league run came with a seven point defeat to the table toppers Westmeath.

It started so brightly for Kerry when Padraig Boyle tapped over within a minute and a half.

His brother Michael was lording it at centre back and the Kerry boys were hooking and blocking frustrating the lakesides at every turn.

Derek McNicholas pointed from wing back, Alan Devine pointed a free on six minutes, John Gilligan added another on seven minutes to put Westmeath ahead three points to one.

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Kerry then hit four points without reply from Paudie O’Connor, Jordan Conway, Brendan O’Leary and Shane Conway to regain the lead.

Alan Devine reduced the margin to one point on eighteen minutes, Kerry had a goal disallowed a minute later when Padraig Boyle was adjudged to be loitering in the box.

Alan Devine levelled matters with a 65, before Shane Conway put Kerry back in front on 23 minutes, it was nip and tuck from there to the end of the first half with Shane Conway scoring two points and Jack Goulding tapping over one.

Allan Devine responded to those scores with three points, Derek McNicholas added one to leave the halftime score Westmeath 0-10 Kerry 0-9.

Kerry were hanging in there while not playing as well as they can, Jack Goulding picked up a yellow card about fifteen minutes into the half and that card would prove costly before games end.

Kerry supporters at the game in Mullingar. Photo by Mike O’Halloran

Allan Devine added two points for Westmeath within three minutes of the restart, Shane Conway and Padraig Boyle replied with a point each in the next three minutes to leave the score Westmeath twelve points Kerry eleven.

Allan Devine and Conway swapped points before Devine struck for the only goal of the game to put clear daylight between the teams for the first time.

Allan Devine brought his tally to one goal and ten points when he increased the Westmeath score to 1-14 extending their lead to five points.

Shane Conway got one back for Kerry, then disaster for Kerry as Jack Goulding received a second yellow.

Kerry introduced Darren Dineen for Tomas O’Connor, Shane Nolan for Daithi Griffin and Barry O’Mahony for Jordan Conway.

Shane Conway and Killian Doyle exchanged points and on 27 minutes Shane made it a one score game 1-15 to 0-15.

Colum Harty replaced Paudie O’Connor and a minute after his introduction Harty bore down on goal he was fouled, Padraig Boyle stood over the free. He went for glory in an attempt to level the game, but his shot flew past the upright wide. Tom Murnane replaced Brendan O’Leary.

Shane Conway reduced the margin to two with a pointed free, Westmeath added all the scores to the end with points from Killian Doyle, Cormac Boyle and Niall O’Brien adding one each and Daragh Clinton pushing over two.

Speaking to a very disappointed bunch of Kerry followers after the game, there seemed to be a consensus that too many players were below par, there was also some debate on the team selection and the positioning of key players.

I suppose it is impossible to speculate on what would have happened if Padraig Boyle’s goal had been allowed or if he had tapped over the free rather than going for the goal and if Kerry had a full complement of players to the end.

The inability of the team to win pucks out or any primary possession certainly did not help their cause.

There is no doubt that Westmeath were rattled until they went ahead at the end of the first half.

Kerry are obviously very disappointed but they can look back on a round of games where a large number of players were tried in various positions and that will stand them in good stead for the Joe McDonagh Cup.

While Daniel Collins and Michael Boyle played well in defence perhaps Collins could be better utilised at centre forward and Michel Boyle put in a position to win a few pucks out.

These two changes would release Padraig Boyle to the edge of the square where he is at his most dangerous, this would also enable Darren Dineen to return to bolster the defence.

Kerry’s chances of winning The Joe McDonagh Cup have in no way been dented by this defeat, I’m pretty sure that with a dry sod and top of the ground conditions the skilful young guns will come into their own.

1 Martin Stackpoole,
2 John Buckley,
3 Bryan Murphy,
4 Sean Weir,
5 Tomás O’Connor,(Darren Dineen)
6 Michael Boyle,
7 Daniel Collins,
8 Brandon Barrett,
9 Paudie O’Connor,(0.01) (Colum Harty)
10 Dáithí Griffin,(Shane Nolan)
11 Padraig Boyle (captain), (0.02)
12 Brendan O’Leary,(0.01) (Tom Murnane)
13 Jordan Conway,(0.01)(Barry O’Mahony)
14 Shane Conway,(0.10)
15 Jack Goulding (0.01)

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