Kerry played into the wind for the first half into the graveyard end and straight away with possession was won by Na Gaeil’s Diarmuid O’Connor. A free was awarded and moved forward by the referee for dissent. David Clifford received the ball from Diarmuid O’Connor’s kick and from point blank range, the Fossa man put it over the bar when a goal was on.
More early pressure from Kerry when Kevin McCarthy had a chance for a goal as well but Roscommon’s defence cleared their lines. There was a great sense of urgency in the manner of Kerry’s attacking play putting Roscommon on the back foot.
Eventually when Roscommon cleared their lines Tadhg O’Rourke put the ball into the hands of Niall Kilroy who opened the scoring.
Kerry won possession from the kick-out and worked the ball up the field towards their forward line and David Clifford marked his return to the Kerry jersey with a levelling point.
Roscommon 0-01 Kerry 0-01 after 4 minutes.
There was an early blow for Kerry when Kevin McCarthy picked up an injury and was replaced by Killian Spillane.
Kerry limited the Roscommon goalkeeper’s kick-out options by hugging the sidelines and closing off the midfield area. Peter Crowley, named at corner back seemed to be the one given the task to mark Conor Cox who won a free and tailed his shot to the left and wide to leave the sides at a point a piece after 8 minutes.
Tommy Walsh won the ball from the kick-out and he laid it off to Diarmuid O’Connor who found David Clifford. His pass to Tom O’Sullivan proved fruitful as the wing-back popped the ball over the bar to give Kerry the lead for the first time.
Roscommon managed to work the ball into their forward line where Niall Kilroy was fouled and Conor Cox made amends from his previous miss to level the score at 0-2 to both sides.
Jack Sherwood took the ball out of his defence, but he was turned over some distance out from his position and it necessitated Peter Crowley to clear the danger back up to the Kerry forward line. David Clifford off-loaded to Killian Spillane who was turned over in a scoring position and Roscommon cleared their lines.
Fast play from Roscommon, passing Gavin Crowley and over the bar from the boot of Cathal Cregg.
Sean O’Shea’s first mention came after 14 minutes when he pulled, soccer-style, on the ball but it was cleared by Roscommon for a sideline kick to Kerry. Peter Crowley’s effort was further cleared for another line-ball, taken by Jack Barry but Kerry gave up possession to Roscommon again after “fiddle-faddle” passing, as described in commentary by Ambrose O’Donovan.
A free for Donie Smith allowed Roscommon to double their lead to 0-4 to 0-2. Shane Ryan, the Kerry goalkeeper put himself under pressure only to be rescued by his colleagues in the Kerry back-line. When they sent it to the returning David Clifford, the young player of the year struck the ball beautifully but his shot hit the bar and went over for his second point of the game.
Roscommon 0-04 Kerry 0-03.
A short kick-out put David Murray under pressure in the Roscommon “D” area but they struggled to get the ball past the Kerry 45″. When they did, Ultan Harney had a chance to put two points between the sides again but the pass was overhit and it went wide.
Shane Ryan’s kick-out was broken to Conor Cox who found the target to put Roscommon ahead by 0-05 to 0-03.
Conor Daly, to Donie Smith for Roscommon and on to Niall Daly. Roscommon were passing freely with Kerry forward Stephen O’Brien falling back to help out his defence, which he succeeded in doing. Kerry went back on the attack but David Clifford’s latest effort was thwarted by the yellow jersies.
Roscommon used the wind to their advantage by moving the ball directly from defence to attack and Shane Killoran added to Roscommon’s tally to lead 0-06 to 0-03.
Dara Moynihan burst into action with a good attacking move to David Clifford when he possibly had the chance to go himself but in winning the free, Sean O’Shea put his name on the scoreboard for the first time after 24 minutes.
Roscommon 0-06 Kerry 0-04.
David Clifford’s return had led to Kerry creating more goal chances in today’s game than in all of the previous six matches. The kick-out was claimed by Kerry near the midfield and when it was sent forward for and the resultant score made it a one point game.
Roscommon 0-06 Kerry 0-05
Finally, after a couple of minutes of inter-play, Kerry’s Sean O’Shea received the ball in great position and when everyone expecting him to pass it to David Clifford, the Kenmare man rifled the ball to the top corner of the net to score his and Kerry’s second goal of the National League.
Roscommon 0-06 Kerry 1-05
Kerry’s pressure on Roscommon was maintained from the restart and David Clifford gave Conor Daly a difficult time to draw the free for Sean O’Shea to convert. Kerry were well worth their lead while playing into a stiff breeze.
Colm Lavan won the kick-out for Roscommon but it broke to Kerry’s Dara Moynihan who was fouled and again, Sean O’Shea fired Kerry into a four point lead heading towards the end of the first 35 minutes.
The next time the ball was kicked-out, Roscommon won possession again and Sean O’Shea was deemed to fouled his man to pick up the first yellow card of the game for a clumsy challenge.
Roscommon punished Kerry for the foul and the free was scored by Conor Cox.
Roscommon 0-07 Kerry 1-07
Four minutes of time were added to the 35, mainly resulting from Kevin McCarthy’s injury earlier. Roscommon did well to defend a throw-ball and after moving the ball forward to the 45 metre line where the home side were awarded a free. Donie Smith made no mistake to narrow the gap to two points.
Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 1-07
Kerry weren’t phased by that and the next man to show his mettle was Dara Moynihan who side-footed the ball over the bar to return Kerry to a three point lead with all six forwards finding the scoreboard.
It was the last action of the first half.
Half-time – Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 1-08
Right from the start, Kerry used the wind to their advantage by winning a free from the restart. Sean O’Shea made no mistake to score and put Kerry four points ahead.
Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 1-09.
The kick-out led to a halt in play after Sean O’Shea got involved in a tustle with a Roscommon man, but thankfully for him, being on a yellow card, no action was taken by the referee. The next play brought Jack Barry into some difficulty after he fouled his man but again, no card was shown.
Roscommon were happy to win the free and relieve some pressure on their defence. Direct football from Kerry into the Roscommon 45 – three 40 yard kicks led to the mark being won by David Clifford who put it over the bar.
Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 1-10
Eventually Roscommon moved the ball up to the Kerry 35 metre line where Diarmuid O’Connor brought down his man and from the free, the Rossies couldn’t capitalise only for Kerry to clear it for a sideline to Roscommon.
The long-ball into the Kerry defence was cleared by Jack Sherwood. Up the field to Jack Barry who found Sean O’Shea to put it over to extend Kerry’s lead to six points.
Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 1-11
Ronan Daly was pressurised by Dara Moynihan from the kick-out. Roscommon’s main focus was to find Conor Cox who turned quickly to shoot but his effort came off the upright and out of play.
Peter Crowley and Graham O’Sullivan were performing well in the Kerry defence to limit Roscommon to less possession than they had enjoyed earlier in the first half. When it was kicked-out by Kerry the ball was moved quickly up the field to Tommy Walsh, David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Stephen O’Brien who between them blitzed the Roscommon defence to find the back of the net. GOAL FOR KERRY!
Roscommon 0-08 Kerry 2-11
Kerry were in a commanding lead with their two goals, which could have been more if some first half efforts were converted.
Despite it being a long way back for Roscommon, the home team pulled a point back from a free from the boot of David Murtagh, his first of 2019.
Roscommon 0-09 Kerry 2-11
There was a chance of a third goal for Kerry but a chance from David Clifford went wide. The kick-out was won by Roscommon and like in previous games, the Kerry defence struggled to cope with fast attacking play from the opposition. Roscommon won a free for Conor Cox to reduce Kerry’s lead to seven points.
Roscommon 0-10 Kerry 2-11
Roscommon weren’t giving up and continued to press forward. They won a free and Conor Cox put it over to leave two goals between the sides.
Roscommon 0-11 Kerry 2-11
Kerry made a few changes with the win firmly in sight – Tommy Walsh was replaced by James O’Donoghue and Jason Foley came in for Jack Sherwood in defence.
Jack Barry harried well in the middle of the field leading to a rushed pass from his opposing number for Roscommon into Conor Cox but it was dealt with easily by the Kerry defence. Up the field it went to the Kerry forward line and a free was awarded to the Kingdom, taken and scored by David Clifford.
Roscommon 0-11 Kerry 2-12
Sean O’Shea added another point before Mark Griffin came into the Kerry defence in place of Peter Crowley. Tom O’Sullivan moved into the full-back line for the remaining 10 minutes of the game.
Roscommon’s Conor Cox scored again before Kerry’s forwards showed their class again. Sean O’Shea to David Clifford to James O’Donoghue – point for Kerry. Ronan Daly closed the gap on Kerry again with a point for Roscommon.
Roscommon 0-12 Kerry 2-14
Diarmuid Murtagh scored another consolation point for Roscommon who were now destined for a return to Division 2 despite their good start to this game.
Roscommon 0-13 Kerry 2-14
If Roscommon found Conor Cox more often throughout the game, perhaps the scores might have been a bit closer than the actual totals on the scoreboard. Prior to the free, Peter Keane made another change for Kerry with Conor Geaney coming on for David Clifford. Conor Cox’s free landed in the Kerry defence and despite a wobbly moment or two, the lines were cleared.
Sean O’Shea took the ball in hand and skied it wide. Despite the miss, “Kerry’s forwards are giving a master class this afternoon,” was the assertion of Radio Kerry analyst, Ambrose O’Donovan.
Stephen O’Brien won the ball from the kick-out and his overall play was rewarded with another point to extend Kerry’s lead to eight points.
Roscommon 0-13 Kerry 2-15 with 34 minutes gone.
The scoring wasn’t over yet…Dara Moynihan, despite going down with a leg injury, found the target for another Kerry point to wrap things up for the Kingdom and confirm their place in the Division 1 final of the Allianz Football League.
Roscommon 0-13 Kerry 2-16 with 2 out of 4 minutes of added time played.
Kerry never let up with their attacking play but Conor Geaney wasn unable to complement the good play with another score only for Roscommon to clear the ball to the midfield area. Again, Kerry came forward and just when we thought the scoring was finished, Diarmuid O’Connor had the last say with a point.
FINAL SCORE: Roscommon 0-13 Kerry 2-17.