Mike O’Halloran was in Wexford to see Kerry suffer a big defeat to the model county in their Allianz National League Division 1B match on Sunday…
Some 2,600 people turned up to see Kerry pit their wits against against the might of Wexford, about ten of them were from Kerry perhaps.
Those hardy folk who travelled from Kerry were well pleased with the Kerry display in the first half.
Kerry led twice in the first half and went in at halftime level, seven points each. The Kerry points came from Brian Murphy, Padraigh Boyle, Jack Goulding, Jordan Conway, Paudie O’Connor and two from John Buckley.
Wexford did spurn four goal chances – great saves from Martin Stackpoole denied them twice and over elaboration cost them two more.
Kerry were tackling like rabid dogs in the first 35 minutes and one hoped that they would be able to keep this up for a further 35, unfortunately that was not the case.
For the second half, Wexford had the aid of a fairly strong wind to their backs and I presume a stern dressing down from Davy Fitz ringing in their ears.
Within 12 minutes of the resumption, Wexford were 2-10 to 0-8 ahead. The goals were gifted to them by Kerry attempting to pass their way out of defence for the first one and by sloppy defending for the second.
Two minutes later Kerry were down to fourteen when Patrick Kelly was dismissed.
But in fairness to this resilient bunch, they kept up the challenge and battled away to the end, confining Wexford to 1-8, , the third goal coming from the returning Jack Guiney.
Wexford could perhaps have another two goals but again Martin Stackpoole came to Kerry’s rescue.
Kerry can take huge positives from their first half performance and some great individual displays from Martin Stackpole, Darren Dineen, Jack Goulding and Paudie O’Connor.
Colum Harty was very industrious in the second half, Jordan Conway and John Buckley were very busy and worked hard in both corners.
Daniel Collins needs a bit more time to return to full fitness, Padraigh Boyle was double and triple marked all day and found it hard to get into the game.
The return of Brendan O’Leary is also a positive, Daniel O’Carroll was impressive on his introduction.
A big test awaits against Galway but on today’s performance Kerry can face into the last game against Offaly with a degree of confidence.
Scorers for Kerry:
Colum Harty (3pts), John Buckley (3 pts 1f) Paudie O’Connor (1pt), Bryan Murphy (1pt), Jack Goulding (2pts), Jordan Conway (1pt), Padraig Boyle (1pt f).
Mark Fanning; Simon Donohoe, Liam Ryan, James Breen (Willie Deveraux) Damien Reck Matthew O’Hanlon, Diarmuid O’Keeffe (Eanna Martin) Shaun Murphy, Jack O’Connor; Aaron Maddock, David Redmond (David Dunne), Harry Kehoe, Conor McDonald (Gary Moore), Lee Chin, Paul Morris (Jack Guiney)
Martin Stackpoole; Keith Carmody, Rory Horgan, Sean Weir; James O’Connor, Bryan Murphy, Darren Dineen; Jack Goulding (Tomas O’Connor), Paudie O’Connor (James Godley) Daniel Collins, Patrick Kelly, Colum Harty; Jordan Conway (Daniel O’Carroll), Padraig Boyle (Brendan O’Leary), John Buckley (Jason Wallace).