Oscar Traynor Cup 2013/14 , Kerry DL v Defence Forces
By Tommy Naughton
On a very wet night in Mounthawk Pak Tralee Kerry made it two wins from two with an excellent team performance in terrible playing conditions.
Kerry started the game in a very comfortable manner, passing and spreading the ball around the wet greasy pitch with ease but without creating any real goal chance early on.
The first real chance off the game fell to the Defence Forces after 12 minutes. Steven Fisher played a short corner with Aidan Friel who whipped in a cross that Con Barrett glanced away at the back post with Michael Comerford lined up to head home from close range.
Kerry continued to dominate the possession stakes and Fergal Maunsel had their first chance on the 15 minute mark when his snap shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Tommy Culhane.
The Defence forces then had an excellent spell with three good opportunities. Gerry Walsh played in Michael Comerford who beat the offside trap but couldn’t get the better of Keeper David Hennessey who saved at the expense of a corner. From the resulting corner Steven Fisher’s cross was flicked goalwards at the near post by Scott Delaney but Wayne Guthrie rose quickly to head the danger away.
The Defence Forces were doing very well on the wings with Fisher and Friel looking to take on the full backs at every chance they got.
Kerry stuck to their game plan and with the midfield three of Kelly, Sugrue and O Sullivan getting more into the game they began to pull the strings and it finally paid off just before the half hour mark. Kelly played Poketarus in who took the defender on along the side of the box. His perfectly placed pass across the box found the on rushing O’Sullivan at the back post to finish of a great move to give Kerry the lead.
Minutes later O Sullivan nearly grabbed his and Kerry’s second when from a John McDonagh cross he headed into the side netting . The remainder of the half saw the Kerry Back four dominate and never let the Defence Forces in on goal to see them lead by one at the break.
As the rain got heavier in the second half the conditions became even harder and great credit must be given for the style of football played.
It only took Kerry two minutes to double their lead. Sean Kelly dispossessed Gerry Walsh and a superb through ball from his own half sent Poketarus away. He shrugged of the last defender and rolled the ball calmly passed the advancing keeper.
From here on Kerry were happy to play keep ball without causing much treat on the opposition but at the same time never letting their opponent ever getting a grasp on the match and with Shane Guthrie and Con Barrett marshaling the defence they never looked in to much trouble at the back.
David Hennessey made a great save low down into the corner from a Fisher header on the hour mark to prove that he is still the best keeper at this level in Kerry. Kerry’s full backs, Burrows and McDonagh now were well on top of the Defence Forces wingers who were their main danger men all night and with the excellent work rate form Watson and Maunsel they easily snuffed out any danger.
Both teams made use of their bench in the time remaining with the heavy conditions taking its toil on everyone as the game slowed sown in the last twenty.
The final chance of the game feel to Poketarus who battled hard all night up front. He worked his way passed Robert Ryan and just when his shot was heading goalward Ryan made a last ditch tackle to send the ball out for a corner.
Kerry will be very please with this performance and rightly so. They now sit top of their group and have the Cork AUL to visit Mounthawk Park in the coming weeks where the management team of James Sugrue and Karl McMahon will be looking to continue this great start and see them into the knock out stages of the competition.
Kerry: David Hennessey(Mitchels Avenue) , Jonathan Burrows (Tralee Dynamos), Shane Guthrie (Tralee Dynamos) , Con Barrett (St Brendans Park), John McDonagh (Killarney Celtic), Robert Watson(Killarney Celtic), Sean Kelly (Tralee Dynamos), James Sugrue(Tralee Dynamos), Mark O Sullivan( St Brendans Park), Fergal Maunsel(St Brendans Park), G Poketarus(Killarney Celtic) . Subs; Aaron Houlihan(Tralee Dynamos) 60 mins for Robert Watson, Gary Keane(Killarney Celtic) 72 Mins for Mark O Sullivan, Paudie Quinn(Listowel Celtic) 83 mins for Sean Kelly, Danny Roche (Tralee Dynamos), Bryan Murphy(Listowel Celtic), Kevin McCarthy(Listowel Celtic), Kevin Quirke(Shanakill Athletic), Gary Sugrue (Spa Road) .
Defence Forces: Ronan O Reilly, Jamie Enright, Scott Delaney, Tommy Culhane, James Kelly, Gerry Walsh, Trevor Gethins, Michael Comerford, Aidan Friel, Steven Fisher, Ian Cleary. Subs; Robert Ryan 45 mins for Tommy Culhane, Sean Gannon 60 mins for Jamie Enright, David O Riordan 60 mins for Gerry Walsh , Tony Clarke, Jamie O Neill, Sean Poutch, Oliver Shepherd