Kerry finished with a flourish to edge out Derry and advance back into the All-Ireland senior football championship final against Dublin on July 30th.
It ended 1-17 to 1-15 at Croke Park, where the Ulster champions had led for long portions and had been up by two points down the home stretch before the holders hit five points in-a-row to clinch victory.
It was a cracking start at headquarters as underdogs Derry had the ball in the Kingdom’s net after five minutes thanks to Gareth McKinless, but their opponents immediately responded in kind through Gavin White’s major.
The Oak Leafers would kick on from there as points late in the half from Brendan Rodgers and Shane McGuigan (2) sent them towards a 1-11 to 1-8 interval lead.
Points from David Clifford and Sean O’Shea had the holders back within one just two minutes into the restart and they’d get level prior to Ciaran McFaul steadying the Derry ship.
Ciaran Meenagh’s men bumped the lead back out to two but, as champions so often do, Kerry came with a spirited finish that saw points from O’Shea, Clifford and Stephen O’Brien sending them in front with two minutes left in normal time.
The victors rode their momentum with further points from Clifford and O’Shea that ended up ensuring the win prior to what proved a consolation free from McGuigan at the other end.Tweet