Dublin 3-10 Kerry 1-15
Dublin had to battle hard before overcoming a determined Kerry side in their Division 1 encounter at Croke Park on Saturday night.
For the second week running, Dublin scored three goals, with Tomas Quinn, Kevin McManamon and substitute Michael Dara Macauley all finding the Kerry net.
However, Kerry refused to go down without a fight and Colm Cooper led the comeback that almost saw the Kingdom steal the points.
Bernard Brogan was once again the Dublin hero scoring the winning point to defy Jack O’Connor’s men, who saw Bryan Sheehan miss a free with the last kick of the game.
Sheehan hit the long range well but it curled away at the last minute, leaving the Dubs to claim the points.
Dublin started strongly and scored 2-02 in the opening 14 minutes, but had to wait 21 minutes before adding their third point of the night.
The home side went ahead thanks to Tomas Quinn’s goal in the third minute. Bernard Brogan created enough space to break in along the end line and pass to Quinn who fired to the top left corner of the net.
Kerry were slow to get going and a penalty awarded in the eighth minute got them up and running. Killian Young was whistled up for a foul on Brogan, just before Cooper slammed a ground shot into the net.
Sheehan stepped up to fire the penalty low to the bottom right corner, giving Stephen Cluxton no chance. Brogan and Cooper then swapped points, with Kerry, and Seamus Scanlon in particular, beginning to dominate midfield.
Dublin then had a breakaway that led to their second goal in the 14th minute. After Brogan scored his second free, Kerry lost the ball and Dublin ran hard at the visitors. Eoghan O’Gara took possession, and although his initial effort was blocked, McManamon turned brilliantly onto his left to fire past Kealy for a 2-02 to 1-01 scoreline.
Kerry fought back with points from Cooper (0-02), whose second came from Eoin Brosnan’s pass, and David Moran, who scored a great point from distance.
Kerry played the route one ball into Kieran Donaghy, but Sean Murray was doing a good job of marking the big target man, and his colleagues swept up the breaking ball.
However, the visitors were the ones with the upper hand coming up to half-time. Sheehan landed a free from close to the left touchline to level the sides at 2-02 to 1-05.
O’Gara Dublin’s third point soon after. The lead did not last long though, as Cooper won an injury-time free which Sheehan pointed to send the sides in level at the break, 2-03 to 1-06.
Sheehan scored again with a point off his right just after the restart, following good work by Marc O Sé. The same player added another placed ball for a 1-08 to 2-03 advantage. Dublin then took over for the next seven minutes. Defender Declan Lally fired over when a goal was there for the taking.
Darran O’Sullivan’s point was quickly followed by Macauley’s goal. Alan Brogan was brought on and was involved in the build-up, along with his brother, before Macauley’s drop-kick finish soared past Kealy and nestled in the right corner of the net.
It was Dublin’s eighth goal in three games and was topped off by a fisted point from Alan Brogan and a free from his brother Bernard.
3-06 to 1-09 ahead, the Dubs looked likely to add more scores. But they could not maintain the intensity and Kerry soon found their rhythm again. Scores from Sheehan and Donnacha Walsh sandwiched a McManamon point, and Sheehan teed up Cooper for a goal-bound shot which Cluxton did well to save.
Flynn and Macauley both scored points to move Dublin’s lead to 3-09 to 1-11, but Kerry had more left to come. Cooper kicked a point from play, Darran O’Sullivan hit his second and Cooper kncoked over another after good work by O’Sullivan and Donaghy.
Dublin suddenly looked in trouble, and Cooper turned onto his left to point the equaliser in the 70th minute, and the momentum was most definitely with the Munster champions.
Sheehan was wide with a huge effort before Brogan managed to score off his left under pressure from Marc O’Sé, for what turned out to be the clinching point.
Dublin: S Cluxton; A Hubbard, S Murray, M Fitzsimons; D Lally, J McCarthy, P Casey; D Bastick, B Cahill; P Flynn, K McManamon, D Connolly; T Quinn, E O’Gara, B Brogan.
Subs used: MD Macauley for Bastick (half-time), A Brogan for Quinn, B Cullen for Connolly (both 49 mins), G Brennan for McCarthy (52), P Andrews for Flynn (64).
Kerry: B Kealy; P Reidy, M O Se, K Young; T O Se, E Brosnan, A O’Mahony; S Scanlon, B Sheehan; D Moran, Darran O’Sullivan, D Walsh; C Cooper, K Donaghy, D Geaney.
Subs used: K O’Leary for D Geaney (21 mins), J Lyne for T O Se (54), A Maher for Brosnan (58), A O’Connell for O’Mahony (66).
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)