Kerry hit 3-22 to sweep past Clare and get Munster campaign off to strong start

Kerry 3-22
Clare 1-11

OPENING NIGHT IN Killarney got the home side up and running, Kerry ticking a box against Clare in the Munster championship as they go in search of a productive summer.

Sean O’Shea fires home Kerry’s first goal.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The goalscoring treat served up against Tyrone a fortnight ago to round off the league had illustrated Kerry’s attacking capabilities. Clare’s resilience and organisation held them at bay for long stages but the scores flowed towards the end to leave Kerry 17 points clear.

Colm Collins’ team faced a familiar onerous task in heading to Kerry’s backyard, the knockout nature of the game making this prospect that bit harder.

Ultimately Kerry’s class up front told with predictable names to the fore. David Clifford hit 1-6 before he limped off near the end, moments after smashing home Kerry’s second goal. Sean O’Shea just bettered him with a tally of 1-7. Killian Spillane weighed in with 0-3 off the bench, Micheál Burns crashed home the third goal in injury-time.

Eoghan Cleary did his bit for the Clare cause, showcasing his marksmanship with a haul of 0-6. David Tubridy slotted home a fine left-footed goal in the 63rd minute but ultimately Clare saw their season shut down, a victim of the knockout nature in 2021.

Kerry’s Diarmuid O’Connor and Clare’s Darragh Bohannon.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The game began with a personal demonstration of O’Shea’s skillset as he rattled off the first four points of the evening. The breakdown was instructive – three from play, two kicked with the right and one off his left, and his solitary free stemmed from a foul on himself.

But his most critical score arrived later in the half, drilling a shot to the net in the 34th minute for Kerry’s first goal. The concession was a sobering one for Clare as they were in control of the play around the middle, before Conor Jordan popped a handpass that Paudie Clifford intercepted.

His pass execution was wonderful, a smoothly-struck kick that travelled over the entire stretched Clare reaguard into the arms of O’Shea. The Kenmare man did the rest and it helped Kerry move 1-11 to 0-5 clear by the interval.

Kerry were glad of that input as their play had become ragged for a patch midway through that period. Clare profited with the Collins brothers pushing them on from their different berths and Eoin Cleary swept over three superb points between the 21st and 27th minutes.

The last of those left Clare only four adrift but any flare of hope was extinguished by the nine-point deficit at the break.

David Clifford and Podge Collins.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

In the third quarter Clare stayed competitive on the scoreboard but the floodgates opened in the closing stages with Clifford in the 66th minute and Burns in the 75th, raising those green flags. They’ll travel to Thurles with a pep in their step in two weeks time.

Scorers for Kerry: Seán O’Shea 1-7 (0-3f), David Clifford 1-6 (0-2f), Micheál Burns 1-0, Killian Spillane 0-3, Gavin White, Paudie Clifford 0-2 each, David Moran, Paul Geaney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 0-6 (0-2f), David Tubridy 1-1 (0-1f), Darragh Bohannon 0-2, Podge Collins, Emmet McMahon 0-1 each.

Kerry

1. Kieran Fitzgibbon (Kenmare Shamrocks)

2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Mike Breen (Beaufort), 6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe), 7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys), 9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), 12. Paul Geaney (Dingle).

13. David Clifford (Fossa), 14. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 15. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

Subs 

18. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe) for O’Sullivan (53)

20. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Moynihan (53)

21. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) for O’Brien (56)

17. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for Moran (58)

23. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for David Clifford (inj) (68)

Clare

1. Stephen Ryan (Kilrush Shamrocks)

5. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora), 2. Ciaran Russell (Éire Óg), 3. Cillian Brennan (Clondegad)

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21. Conor Jordan (Austin Stacks) 6. Sean Collins (Cratloe), 20. Conal Ó hAiniféin (Ruan)

8. Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg), 12. Darragh Bohannon (Shannon Gaels)

10. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), 11. Eoin Cleary (St Josephs Miltown), 17. Podge Collins (Cratloe)

13. Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg), 9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen), 15. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)

Subs

23. Emmet McMahon (Kildysart) for O’Connor (inj) (15)

24. Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon) for Ó hAiniféin (17)

14. Joe McGann (St Breckan’s) for Podge Collins (inj) (half-time)

7. Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry-Ibrickane) for Jordan (44)

25. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry-Ibrickane) for Cooney (49)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

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