King Con breaks Kerry hearts in Croke Park

In what was set to be a clash of the titans, the clinical Dub’s had other plans for the 2022 all Ireland champion’s, as Con O Callaghan’s hattrick in this division 1 clash was enough to see off the Dub’s close rivals. This could prove a confidence boost for Dublin when the two sides likely meet over the summer. 

Dublin opened the scoring through Sean Bulger who expertly shifted the ball to his right and sailed over his first of the day from just outside the D, and then shortly after in almost identical fashion Ross McGarry made it 0-2 on the bounce for the blues. Then shortly after, Kerry’s Sean O’Shea got their first point of the game, the merciless O’Callaghan cut through the Kerry defence from the left side and thundered it into the top right corner, clipping the post on its way in. 

After the white flag was raised for two close range efforts from Sean O’Shea and David Clifford, as well as an O’Callaghan free, Kerry man Dylan Gainey points a tidy score from the right side to make it 1-3 to 0-4. But just as Kerry seemed to be getting themselves into this game, a beautiful left-footed effort from Paddy Small from just inside the 45 reminded them how tough it was going to be and then the same player was pulled down in the box for Con to grab his second goal of the game from the penalty spot, creating a six point gap to take the wind out of Kerry sails. 

O’Callaghan, Kilkenny and P. Small all pointed for the capital before Kerry’s eventual reply which came from a Clifford free from the top of the D, which Niall Scully answered when he took advantage of some weak coverage in the final third for his first point of the game. Not long after, King Con found himself faced up with the Kerry fullback Foley, after some quick feints and a convincing dummy bounce O’Callaghan lost his man and pointed over another fantastic score. 

25 minutes in, Cillian Burke pointed a lovely right-footed strike on the pivot to give the kingdom a well needed point from play which once again was met with an immediate reply as Bulger pinched his second point of the night. Two more points were shared between the sides before a massive Kerry goal chance was squandered when Paudie Clifford was baring down on goal and lost control of the ball, the wing back Gavin White was still able to salvage a score from the glorious goal opportunity to make it 2-11 to 0-8 at half time. 

After a thrilling first half Kerry was going to need to dig deep to salvage something from this fixture, O’Shea understood that as he started the half off with a fantastic score on his right after coming off the loop from the left side of the pitch. The Kingdom added another score from a close-range O’Shea free, and as Kerry were growing with confidence the midfielder Joe O’Connor caught Dublin on the counter attack and found the back of the net from close-range after some silky handpassing to make it a four-point game. 

And after a perfect start to the second half for Kerry, scoring 1-2 with no reply, Kilkenny answered back with a superb left-footed point from a tight angle to extend the Dub’s lead. Three of the next four points came from Kerry men, with fullback Foley getting up the other end to make a difference as well as an accurate O’Shea 45 and O’Connor furthered his tally too, then it was once again a four-point game with everything to play for. Lee Gannon found himself in space at the edge of the box for an easy score which was followed by a comfortable O’Callaghan free to gnaw at the hope of the Kerry supporters. 

But just as hope was fading for the Kerry men a Dublin defensive blunder offered the back-to-back footballer of the year David Clifford a wonderful goal chance on his famous left foot, but Clifford chose power, and his shot was blazed over the bar for a humble point. Clifford’s effort was Kerry’s last score of the game and from then Dublin showed their dominance with points from Tom Lahiff, Brian Fenton and Sean Bulger for his 3rd of the match. As well as King Con completing his emphatic hattrick cutting through the middle and finishing in the left bottom corner, he was awarded Man of the Match, and this strong Dublin display brings them level with Mayo and Kerry on 4 points in the Allianz division 1 league. To see more about the division 1 standings, click Here.

Dublin: D O’Hanlon, S MacMahon, T Clancy, E Murchan; C Murphy, J Small, L Gannon 0-01; B Fenton 0-01, P Ó Cofaigh Byrne; R McGarry 0-01, S Bugler 0-03, C Kilkenny 0-03 (1m); P Small 0-03, C O’Callaghan 3-04 (1-00 pen, 0-02f), N Scully 0-01. 

Subs: T Lahiff 0-01 (0-01m) for Ó Cofaigh Byrne (46), B Howard for MacMahon (53), L O’Dell for McGarry (57), G McEneaney for Murchan (59), Daire Newcombe for J Small (temp, 70-ft), Killian McGinnis for T Clancy (71) 

Kerry: Shane Ryan, Graham O’Sullivan, Jason Foley 0-01, Dylan Casey, Damien Bourke, Tadhg Morley, Gavin White 0-01, Diarmuid O’Connor, Joe O’Connor 1-01, Paudie Clifford, Dylan Geaney 0-01, Cillian Burke 0-01, David Clifford 0-03 (1f), Seán O’Shea 0-06 (0-02f, 1 ‘45’), Dara Moynihan 

Subs: Paul Murphy for D Bourke (ht), Tony Brosnan for D Geaney (50), Keith Evans for Burke (57), Barry ‘Dan’ O’Sullivan for J O’Connor (59), Sean O’Brien for D Moynihan (64). 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *