FL1: Crowley's late winner fires Kingdom past Dubs

February 09, 2019

Kerry's Adrian Spillane and Brian Fenton of Dublin. ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Peter Crowley fisted the clinching point in the fourth added minute as Kerry outscored Dublin by 1-18 to 2-14 in a Tralee thriller.

Victory sees the Kingdom maintain their 100% record at the top of the Division One table, while the Dubs have been beaten for the second time in 14 days. The holders and reigning Leinster and All-Ireland champions – down to 14 men following the unlucky dismissal of Michael Fitzsimons – looked to have earned a draw when reeling off four late unanswered points but there was a sting in the tail as Crowley got forward to take a pass from substitute David Moran and fist over the deciding score, Brian Fenton subsequently driving a last-gasp Dublin effort left and wide.

A night of brilliant football in wet and windy conditions was marred somewhat by an untasteful bout of handbags on the Austin Stack Park pitch after the final whistle had signalled a wonderful Kerry win.

With a packed house of 11,982 looking on, Stephen O’Brien’s goal had the Kingdom ahead by 1-11 to 2-6 at the end of an epic first half, Con O’Callaghan and Paul Mannion netting for the Dubs.

O’Brien lashed the breaking ball first time to the roof of the net in the 22nd minute after a high delivery had caused consternation in the Dublin defence. That made it 1-6 to 0-5 but back came the holders two minutes later when O’Callaghan weaved through and saw his shot fortuitously deflected past Shane Ryan.

Four successive Kerry points from Tom O’Sullivan, Man of the Match Sean O’Shea (two frees) and Dara Moynihan pushed the gap out to five but Mannion drilled a magnificent shot to the bottom right corner of the Kerry net in the 32nd minute before Gavin O’Brien and James McCarthy traded the last two points before the break.

Full back Jack Sherwood signalled the hosts’ intent as he opened the scoring with a terrific strike but – with Dean Rock proving a handful – they failed to pull away until O’Brien pounced for his goal. With six different first-half scorers from play, the Munster champions were full value for their narrow interval cushion.

Darren Gavin halved the deficit with a classy strike at the start of the second half but O’Shea hit back with his fifth and sixth points (both frees) to make it a three-point game. Moynihan and half-time substitute Tommy Walsh stretched it out to a five-point game before McCarthy stopped the rot with his third.

Mannion and Rock (free) pulled back scores but O’Shea powered through for an excellent point from play as the hosts led by three with 17 minutes left. O’Shea’s eighth (free) provided the insurance point on 57 minutes and the visitors were harshly reduced to 14 men six minutes from the end when corner back Fitzsimons was shown a second yellow card – and a red – for very little indeed.

Fenton, Mannion (free) and Cormac Costello left the minimum between the teams going into five minutes of injury time and Costello (free) equalised in the third added minute before Crowley stole forward and received possession from Moran under the crossbar to win it for the Kingdom.

Kerry - S Ryan; P Crowley (0-1), J Sherwood (0-1), B O Beaglaioch; T Morley, P Murphy, T O’Sullivan (0-1); J Barry, A Spillane; D O’Connor, S O’Shea (0-8, 7f, 1'45), D Moynihan (0-2); P Geaney (0-2), G O'Brien (0-1), S O’Brien (1-1). Subs: T Walsh (0-1) for D O'Connor, M Griffin for A Spillane, G Crowley for P Geaney, D Moran for T Morley, M Geaney for G O'Brien.

Dublin - E Comerford, M Fitzsimons, E Murchan, J Small; E Lowndes, J Cooper, J McCarthy (0-3); B Fenton (0-1), D Gavin (0-1); B Howard, C O'Callaghan (1-0), N Scully; D Rock (0-5, 4f), C Costello (0-2, 1f), P Mannion (1-2, 0-1f). Subs: P Andrews for E Lowndes, J McCaffrey for J Cooper, M D Macauley for D Gavin, K McManamon for D Rock, P Flynn for N Scully.

Referee - M Deegan.

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