Niamh Daly reports
A PERSONAL haul of 2-4 – including two points from frees – by Southern Gaels hotshot Siofra O’Shea gave Kerry the vital edge in a very tough contest with a gutsy Clare side in their National Football League Division 2 round two game at Austin Stack Park.
Kerry had to battle hard to register a 4-13 to 3-11 victory with both teams unbeaten after their respective first round ties.
Kerry joint manager, Declan Quill said afterwards: “We wouldn’t be very happy with the performance but we were happy with the win”
After Siofra O’Shea kicked Kerry’s first point in the opening minute, a fumbled pass from the Clare goalkeeper saw Megan O’Connor set up Hannah O’Donoghue for an easy finish to the back of Micaela Glynn’s net for the first of Kerry’s four goals.
Kerry led by two points at the water break, 1-3 to 0-4, but they then kicked four unanswered points from play from Louise Galvin, Megan O’Connor, Hannah O’Donoghue and Siofra O’Shea although Aisling Reidy notched an opportunist goal for Clare to leave Kerry 1-7 to 1-4 ahead at half-time.
Kerry piled on the pressure from the restart and they were awarded a penalty when Megan O’Connor was pulled down and Siofra O’Shea converted the rebound after a great first save by Micaela Glynn.
Siofra O’Shea then found the net for the second time in the afternoon but the Clare side was far from finished and scored three unanswered points to cut the lead to six.
Kerry had a lot to prove and remained comfortable with another two scores from Anna Galvin and Rachel Dwyer but Clare never gave up despite the score and again made their way through Kerry’s back line where Cathriona Callinan hit the net and that was quickly followed by another two points.
Just as Clare started to raise their tempo, however, Kerry’s Loraine Scanlon silenced the Banner with a fourth goal for the Kingdom. A last minute goal from Clare’s Siofra Ní Chonnaill left the final scoreline Kerry 4-13 Clare 3-11.
The win for Kerry will see them face their final group game against Wexford on Sunday.
Kerry team and scorers: Ciara Butler, Julie O’Sullivan, Aislinn Desmond, Ciara Murphy, Niamh Carmody, Cáit Lynch, Kayleigh Cronin, Louise Galvin (0-1), Megan O’Connell, Niamh Ní Chonchúir, Andrea Murphy (0-1), Emma Dineen, Megan O’Connor (0-10, Hannah O’Donoghue 1-2, Siofra O’Shea 2-4 (0-2F).
Subs: Ava Doherty for Niamh Carmody; Anna Galvin (0-2) for Emma Dineen; Mary O’Connell for Megan O’Connell; Lorraine Scanlon (1-0) for Louise Galvin; Rachel Dwyer 0-2 for Megan O’Connor; Caoimhe Evans for Andrea Murphy; Sarah Murphy for Kayleigh Cronin; Anna Clifford for Niamh Ní Chonchúir; Niamh Kearney for Hannah O’Donoghue; Caoimhe O’Sullivan for Siofra O’Shea.