Kerry proved far too strong for Limerick in their Munster Senior Football Semi-Final clash at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening. The Kingdom were a little slow to begin but once they asserted they proved in a different class to their opponents.
Limerick got off to a flyer with Jim O’Donovan pointing inside thirty seconds. Kieran Donaghy scored the equaliser a minute later. Kerry had the ball in the net after 3minutes but Kieran O’Leary’s effort was ruled out as he was in the square.
Limerick made their visitors work hard and it took until the eighth minute before the kingdom took the lead through Bryan Sheehan.His fellow South Kerry man Declan O’Sullivan then increased the lead to two points,before Darran O’Sullivan scored a goal. Colm Cooper added a point and suddenly Kerry led by six points after only 14 minutes.
Bryan Sheehan increased the Kerry lead with a fine effort and Limerick looked to be struggling. Donaghty and Cooper were winning every ball that came their way and the end result was not good for the home side. Declan O’Sullivan pointed his second score of the night on 22 minutes and already the game looked over. Kerry were running rings around Limerick at that stage and Cooper pointed. Darran O’Sullivan knocked the ball over with the goals at his mercy and Limerick were lucky to only trail by ten after 25 minutes.
Colm Cooper scored a further point before Seanie Buckley hit the goal that Limerick so badly needed. His strong solo run deserved a three pointer and he did not disappoint. The Kerry captain(Gooch) then added yet another point on 32 minutes and the kingdom were in cruise control. Glenbeigh man Darran O’Sullivan was having a fine game and he scored his second point close to the break. Limerick hit back with two in succession from Ger Collins and Johnny McCarthy as the game went into added time.
The former then tapped over another on the stroke of halftime to leave it 1-11 to 1-04 at the interval.
Kerry got the first point of the second half, but not for the first time Gooch appeared content to spare Limerick’s blushes and knocked it over with the goal at his mercy. Darran O’Sullivan then added his third point of the night, before Stephen Kelly pointed a Limerick free.
Kieran Donaghty was winning every ball that came his way and he added his second point after 41 minutes. Defender Killian Young then ran up field and got in on the act,with a fisted point. Declan O’Sullivan had a fine game and he got on the scoresheet again after 43 minutes. Colm Cooper pointed a free to make it 1-17 to 1-05 and the game was effectively over.
Ger Collins pointed a Limerick free to narrow the gap slightly and the same player then scored a goal to give his side a faint hope. However, Cooper then hit back with a Kerry point. His Dr Crokes teammate Kieran O’Leary did likewise on 58 minutes. The biggest cheer of the night came a minute later when Paul Galvin pointed for Kerry.
Barry John Keane and Ger Collins then swapped scores before Shane Gallagher scored for Limerick. David Geaney then got on the board for Kerry as the side in green and gold really stepped up the pressure. Eoin Brosnan raced forward and got his name on the sheet and Declan O’Sullivan added a further score for Kerry.
Seamus O’Carroll scored a late Limerick goal and Jack O’Connor certainly has worries in his defence. Three goals against Limerick is poor for any team to be conceding and the South Kerry man will be well aware of that. Mike Sheehan added a late consolation point for Limerick and Daniel Bohan got his score for Kerry. In truth it was all too easy for Kerry as they marched on to a Munster Final.