Christy Ring Cup semi-final: Kingdom come good

May 21, 2011

Down's Brendan Ennis and Kerry's Eamon Fitzgerald during the Christy Ring Cup semi final at Newry
Thirteen-man Kerry recorded a superb 1-18 to 1-17 victory over Down at Pairc Esler.

The Kingdom dominated the first half and they led by 1-12 to 1-6 at the interval, with Mike Conway registering their goal.

They had a scoring run of 1-7 during this commanding period and were practically across the winning line before Gary O'Brien and Tom Murnane were both sent off.

John Meyler's charges now came under immense pressure and Down landed seven successive points to tie up the scores, Paul Braniff knocking over an injury-time leveller.

The Ardsmen looked like certain victors but Shane Nowlan booked Kerry's place in the June 4th Croke Park decider with a late, late clinching free.

As well as their storming finish, Down had also started impressively and led by 1-3 to 0-1 thanks to Brendan Ennis' fourth-minute goal and some tidy points from Gareth Johnson, but the Munster county gradually took over to deservedly advance despite the late wobble.

Kerry: B Rochford; J Godley, T Murnane, E Fitzgerald; C Harris, J Casey, A Keane; D Dinneen (0-1), J Griffin; D O'Connell (0-7), M Boyle (0-4), G O'Brien; J Flaherty, S Nolan (0-4), J Egan (0-1). Subs: M Conway (1-1) for Flaherty, P Boyle for Conway, L Boyle for O'Connell

Down: G Clarke; M Hughes, F Conway, S Ennis; K McGarry, C Woods (0-1), M Ennis; A Savage (0-1), E Clarke; S Clarke (0-1), G Johnson (0-3), C O'Prey; J Coyle, P Braniff (0-7), B Ennis (1-2). Subs: C Coulter for McGarry, A Clarke for Coyle, S Nicholson (0-2) for O'Prey

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