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Kerry sweep Down aside to earn first points

By Orla Bannon at Páirc Esler | Updated: Sunday, 28 Feb 2016 20:06 | Comments

Down's Peter Fitzpatrick with Kerry's Kieran Donaghy
Down's Peter Fitzpatrick with Kerry's Kieran Donaghy

Down 0-06 Kerry 0-22

Kerry hardly broke sweat in strolling to a first Allianz League Division 1 win of the season in an embarrassingly one-sided game which sunk Down deeper into relegation trouble.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice manager could not have asked for a more comfortable outing to reintroduce Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper for their first appearances of 2016, Donaghy starting in place of the injured David Moran in Páirc Esler, while Aidan Walsh made his debut.

Bryan Sheehan top-scored with 0-06 in a game played at pedestrian pace and Down, who offered no resistance, went 30 minutes without scoring either side of half time.

Kerry started brightly with Darran O'Sullivan chipping over the first of his three first-half points after 30 seconds.

Full-forward Alan Fitzgerald landed a second Kerry point in the eighth minute and Bryan Sheehan put the visitors 0-03 ahead when he converted a free, having missed from an identical position moments earlier.

Down struggled to convert their shots at goal, hitting three first-half wides and dropping the same number short into Brendan Kealy's hands.

Connaire Harrison missed a simple free but made amends in the 14th minute to get Down on the scoreboard.

It was the start of Down's best spell in the game – they landed three points in four minutes to draw level with another Harrison free and a superb left-footed point from Barry O'Hagan.

However Kerry reeled off six unanswered points before the break to go in 0-09 to 0-03 up.

O'Sullivan's pace wreaked havoc in the Down defence and he landed two with Sheehan also scoring from a free and from play.

Stephen O'Brien and Alan Fitzgerald (free) were the Kingdom's other scorers and the damage could have been greater for Down, had Paul Murphy not fluffed an easy goal chance just before the interval.

Sheehan nailed a '45' after the restart before Conor Maginn ended a 30-minute scoring drought for the Mournemen in the 45th minute.

Kerry brought on Colm Cooper for his first appearance of 2016 and within seconds, tapped over a close-range free to get his season up and running.

O'Sullivan and O'Hagan traded points before the former almost found the net, his shot well blocked by goalkeeper Michael Cunningham with the rebound also cleared off the line.

Sheehan continued to punish Down indiscretions with frees, points and '45's while Kerry also had the luxury of giving relaxing runouts to Tommy Walsh and Barry John Keane, who scored 0-03.

Brendan O'Sullivan also scored two late points after coming off the bench. 

DOWN: M Cunningham; L Howard, G McGovern, D O'Hagan; C McGovern, A Carr, D O'Hanlon; P Turley, M McKay; J Murphy, M Poland, K McKernan; C Maginn (0-01), C Harrison (0-02), B O'Hagan (0-02)

Subs: J Flynn for Carr (27), R Mallon (0-01) for Murphy (37), R Boyle for Howard (41), M Magee for O'Hagan (43), H Brown for Turley (53), D O'Hare for O'Hagan (57) 

KERRY: B Kealy; M O Se, M Griffin, S Enright; P O'Connor, A O'Mahony, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy, B Sheehan;(0-06) A Walsh, P Murphy, D Walsh; D O'Sullivan (0-04), A Fitzgerald (0-03), S O'Brien (0-01)

Subs: C Cooper (0-02) for Walsh (43), P Crowley for O'Connor (48), BJ Keane (0-03) for A Fitzgerald (59), P Kilkenny for O Se (60), T Walsh for Donaghy (63), B O'Sullivan (0-02) for D Walsh (64)

REFEREE: Marty Duffy (Sligo)


 

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