Waterford 0-04 Kerry 2-15

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 15:51

Pat O'Shea's Kerry were never in danger against Waterford in Dungarvan
Pat O'Shea's Kerry were never in danger against Waterford in Dungarvan

By Ger Canning

No surprises this time! Any chance of a repeat of Waterford footballers' famous 1957 victory over the Kingdom was quickly wiped out in Fraher Field in the semi-final of the Bank of Ireland Munster Football Championship.

Kerry had 17 points to spare at the finish. It was all deeply disappointing. This was arguably the biggest mis-match of the championship season.

Pat O'Shea, the Kerry manager, spoke afterwards about certain aspects of his team's game which will have to improve.

He probably had in mind the meagre tally of six points scored by his team after half-time, and the form of last year's 'Footballer of the Year' Kieran Donaghy, who was largely unimpressive at full-forward.

In fact, the towering Austin Stacks player failed to score. Could the second season prove far more difficult than last year's triumphant season?

Kerry won the toss and opted to play with wind assistance for the opening 35 minutes. They quickly settled into their stride, as the Deisemen looked anxious and nervous.

It took fully five minutes for the opening score to arrive. However, Kerry effortlessly built on the early pointed frees from Colm Cooper and Mike Frank Russell.

'The Gooch' enjoyed a productive afternoon, finishing with five points to his name. Mike Frank's opening salvo (an early free) was his only time to raise a white flag.

Plucky but fragile

Kerry were masters all over the park and the points came in rapid succession. Then, just after 19 minutes of play, Eoin Brosnan took a return pass from the edge of the square and blasted past the luckless Tom Wall in the Waterford goal. That was Brosnan's 14th goal in his 41st championship match.

Six minutes later his second goal shattered Waterford's plucky but fragile challenge. He again showed his nose for a vital score when arriving at pace into the danger area. His right-footed drive simply flew past the goalkeeper from The Nire.

Kerry had re-arranged their team to accommodate the retirements of Mike McCarthy and Séamus Moynihan.

Into the backline came Padraig Reidy (Scartaglin) and Killian Young (Renard). Both figured in the minor team three years ago which was beaten by Tyrone in the final.

On the evidence of this tie in Dungarvan, both players look well-suited to the rigours of championship. Bigger challenges lie ahead though, in particular a Munster final engagement on 1 July.

Waterford, the bottom team in Division 2A of the league, were never a match for Kerry. Local bookmakers were talking in terms of odds of 500-1 for a local victory. There were few takers!

Mick Aherne was Waterford's only scorer in the first half, a wonderful left-footed drive from 30 metres out with 30 minutes of play gone.

Kerry led by 2-09 to 0-01 at half-time and the firm favourites eased away in the second half. Paul O'Connor, one of five subs introduced by Pat O'Shea, scored two points after the break and can be well-pleased with his contribution.

Waterford manager John Kiely will rue the eleven wides his team were guilty of, but in truth, there was no stopping Kerry. And even in defeat, Thomas O'Gorman and Justin Walsh played with poise in the Deise full-backline, but elsewhere on the park, they  were hopelessly outclassed.