All-Ireland SFC quarter-final: upwardly-mobile Tribe stun mediocre Kingdom

July 15, 2018

Kerry's Peter Crowley and Shane Walsh of Galway.
©INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Galway powered to a convincing 1-13 to 1-10 victory over a very disappointing Kerry at dark, damp Croke Park.

By defeating the Kingdom in the championship for the first time since 1965 and securing their first win at HQ since 2001, Galway have made a perfect start to their Super 8s programme, with two precious points in the bag ahead of their trip to Newbridge next weekend.

Meanwhile, Eamonn Fitzmaurice's charges will need to beat Monaghan in Clones in Phase 2 to keep their semi-final hopes alive. If they are to do so, they'll need to improve on this showing…

The football in this one was at times duller and drearier than the weather.

The sides were level eight times up to the 54th minute but the Connacht champions kicked on and outscored their hapless opponents by 1-5 to 0-1 in the next 20 before the losers bagged 1-1 at the death via David Clifford, both teams finishing with 14 men. Substitute Patrick Sweeney hammered the ball to the net at the second attempt in the 74th minute to seal a famous result for the men in maroon.

With an attendance of 30,740 trying to stay dry, the Tribesmen led by the odd point from eleven at the end of a dreadful first half that lasted 43 minutes due to a suspected leg break sustained by Paul Conroy.

The floodlights were on from the start but there was little in the way of quality fare to light up the occasion. Just six points were shared in the opening half an hour. Kevin McCarthy's opener was cancelled out by a Shane Walsh free before Ian Burke and Conroy pointed in between a couple of Clifford efforts.

Galway's Johnny Heaney skips away from Sean O Shea of Kerry. ©INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Shane Murphy and Damien Comer traded points, as did Paul Geaney and Walsh (free) before Burke closed the first-half scoring deep into stoppage time.

Geaney and Sean Kelly traded the first two scores when the action resumed and the sides were level for the seventh time in the 45th minute when Stephen O'Brien popped over the Munster champions' seventh point. Clifford punished some Galway wastefulness by cancelling out Walsh's third converted free and a two-point margin appeared for the first time with 56 minutes played courtesy of Walsh and corner back Declan Kyne, 0-10 to 0-8.

Clifford snaffled his fourth on the hour, 90 seconds after the Kingdom were reduced to 14 men as Killian Young, who had been a late addition to the starting XV, received a straight red card for striking off the ball. Substitute Adrian Varley doubled the difference with six minutes left and then flashed over another to make it 0-12 to 0-9 after 67 minutes.

It was effectively done and dusted when Walsh (free) drilled over his fifth in the 70th minute and Kevin Walsh's charges kicked on despite having Eoghan Kerin dismissed for a second yellow card in the second of five additional minutes.

Sweeney rattled the net and, with the game long since over, Clifford (1-5) - Kerry's only ray of light on a sobering afternoon in Dublin 3 - pulled back a late goal and point at the death.

Galway - R Lavelle; E Kerin, S A O Ceallaigh, D Kyne (0-1); C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly (0-1); P Conroy (0-1), T Flynn; J Heaney, M Daly, E Brannigan; I Burke (0-2), D Comer (0-1), S Walsh (0-5, 4f). Subs: P Cooke for P Conroy, A Varley (0-2) for M Daly, G O'Donnell for G Bradshaw, P Sweeney (1-0) for D Comer, F Burke for I Burke.

Kerry - S Murphy (0-1'45); P Crowley, J Foley, B O Beaglaoich; P Murphy, K Young, G White; D Moran, J Barry; K McCarthy (0-1), S O Shea, S O'Brien (0-1); D Clifford (1-5, 0-1f), P Geaney (0-2), J O'Donoghue. Subs: T O'Sullivan for B O Beaglaoich, A Maher for J Barry, M Burns for J O'Donoghue, D Walsh for S O'Shea, B J Keane for K McCarthy, M Griffin for J Foley.

Referee - B Cassidy.

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