Kerry Victorious At Meath In Joe McDonagh Cup

Kerry overcame a two point half time deficit to defeat Meath in the Joe McDonagh Cup.

The Kingdom won by 18 points to 16, making the most of their opponent having to play the second half with 14 men.

Shane Conway opened the scoring for Kerry after 3 minutes, with Meath replying and then going ahead. Conway made it 2 points all 9 minutes in.

Jack Goulding put Kerry in front but Meath responded with a point of their own. It was then the turn of the Kingdom to hit back after falling behind, goalkeeper Stephen Murphy putting over for Kerry from inside his own 45. That made it 4 points all at the midway point.

Meath had 3 of the next 4 points to open up a 2 point lead before their midfielder Alan Douglas received a second yellow card to bring his game to a very premature finish.

7 to 5 in Meath’s favour became 8 to 5 before Brendan O’Leary brought Kerry within 2 with the final point of the half.

Kerry had 7 wides in that opening period and trailed by 2 points at the short whistle; 0-8 to 0-6.

3 points in a row from the restart, all from Padraig Boyle, meant Kerry were in front. Shane Conway doubled the advantage but Meath halved the deficit and it was Kerry by 10 points to 9 ten minutes into the half.

Kerry had a narrow escape soon after, a James Kelly effort for Meath hitting the crossbar.

The Kingdom responded by hitting the next 6 points, going 7 up by the 52nd minute.

Kerry led by 17 points to 10 entering the final 13 minutes but Meath had the next 4 points to reduce the gap to 3 four minutes from time.

A Shane Conway free 2 minutes later gave Kerry some breathing space. That proved to be the last score for the Kingdom, who conceded the final two points of the encounter. David Sheehan of LMFM describes those closing minutes

Westmeath are the first team into this year’s Final.

Late points from Allan Devine, Aonghus Clarke and Liam Varley saw Michael Ryan’s side edge out Antrim by 2-19 to 1-20 in Mullingar.

Division Two A League champions Carlow are up to second place following a 10-point, 2-25 to 2-15, victory at their neighbours Laois.