So near and yet so far for Kerry

Donal O’Sullivan was the outstanding player on view for Kerry

KERRY’S odyssey in the All-Ireland Under 17 Football Championship is over after Peter Keane’s side fell to a driven Roscommon outfit in a pulsating semi-final tie at Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon.

Despite demonstrating true grit and a never-say-die attitude Kerry were always chasing the game and they just didn’t have enough firepower, losing out on a 1-13 to 2-15 scoreline

A goal at the death from Roscommon’s Peter Gilhooley put a gloss on that final scoreline but, truth be told, Roscommon were good value for this win and they now face Tyrone in the All-Ireland final on August 27.

The Rossies raced into a three-point lead but it was cancelled out in one slick movement when Michael Kelleher of John Mitchels finished to the net after eight minutes, with Kerry’s first attack.

It was very much nip and tuck as the half progressed but Roscommon’s advantage was greatly enhanced by a converted penalty, the excellent Paul Carey slotting the ball low to the left of Deividas Uosis.

Kilgarvan’s Donal O’Sullivan – a great young player – was the star man for Kerry and he accounted for seven points throughout the afternoon, the bulk from frees.

Kerry boss Peter Keane: disappointment in Ennis

Carey’s goal gave Roscommon a slender 1-6 to 1-5 half-time lead and, although there was precious little between the sides as the game progressed, Roscommon managed to retain a slight edge until a Franz Sauerland score brought them level at 1-11 each t set the scene for a grandstand finish.

The pendulum swung in favour of Roscommon, however, and by the time Gilhooley banged in his injury time goal, the matter had already been sealed.

It was a disappointing day for Peter Crowley and his young side but a number of them can take consolation from the fact that they will be involved in the All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final in Croke Park next Sunday.

Kerry scorers: Donal O’Sullivan 0-7; Michael Kelliher 1-0; Luke Brosnan 0-1, Micheál Devlin 0-1; Dáire Cleary 0-1; Franz Sauerland 0-1; Eddie Horan 0-1.

Kerry squad: Deividas Uosis (Dingle); Gearóid Lyne (Annascaul); Dylan Casey (Austin Stacks); Fergal Barry (Na Gaeil); Luka Brosnan (Castleisland Desmonds); Eddie Horan (Scartaglen); Thomas Devane (Dingle); Seán O’Connell (Cordal); Franz Sauerland (An Ghaeltacht); Donagh McMahon (Austin Stacks); Michael Kelleher (John Mitchels); Sean Doherty (Glenflesk); Barry Keane (Listry); Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan); Micheál Devlin (Killarney Legion).

Subs: Brian Lonergan (Ballymacelligott); Darren Looney (Killarney Legion); Seán Keane (Listowel Emmets); Dáire Cleary (Laune Rangers); David Shanahan (Castleisland Desmonds); Muiris Fitzgerald (St Mary’s); Shay Walsh (Scartaglen); William Goodwin (Castlegregory); Oisín O’Connor (Glenbeigh-Glencar).

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