U17 Airtricity League Southern Elite Division: Mervue United 6-3 Kerry

Report by Padraig Harnett.
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Goal-fest in the West:

It was only drizzling in Fahy’s Field in Galway but it was raining goals as Mervue and Kerry hit 9 between them. Sadly for Kerry they conceded 6 but to their credit the battled back on a number of occasions when it did look like things were going totally against them.

Kerry got off to a slow start as against the home side who were breaking at speed every opportunity they got and were 2-0 up after 20 minutes. The opener came in the 10th minute when Josh Quinlivan scored. Mervue doubled their advantage 10 minutes. Adam Rooney drilled a low ball across the box and the in-rushing Conor Powell scored at the back post.

Kerry were obviously hurting and started to play the ball around and Kevin Williams set up Thando Dube but Sam O’Gorman saved. Michael O’Gara then forced a fine save from the keeper in the 27th minute. O’Gara took the corner and Sean Carmody burst into the box to score to make it 2-1.

But this sparked a Mervue response and they hit two quick goals with Tommy Malley getting the first from distance and then another long range shot from Powell took a wicked deflection past Robert Osbourne to give Mervue a 4-1 lead.

Mervue must have thought the game was over as half time approached but Kerry had other ideas. Darren Loughnane, Thando Dube and Sean Carmody set up Dillon Robinson who showed great skills to leave the score at 4-2 at the break.

Kerry started the second half as they ended the first and on 53 minutes Robinson scored again after beating two defenders from an O’Gara pass. It was now 4-3 and then came a big moment in the game. A Martin Coughlan free kick beat the keeper but came back off the crossbar. Kevin Williams followed in but somehow between the defender and keeper they kept his header out and a follow up shot from Conor Standen. It was inches from 4 all and in fairness Kerry would have deserved this at that time.

However the fact that Mervue have the benefit of last season and a full pre-season behind them meant they were always going to finish strong. With Kerry still pushing for that fourth goal they were again caught on the break following a corner. Moloney made it 5-3 in the 67th minute and they wrapped up the win 10 minutes later again on a break-away. Osbourne saved but the attackers outnumbered the defenders and Eoin Broderick wrapped up the win.

Kerry can take some positives from the game but will certainly need to tighten up at the back. There is no doubt that the fact that Kerry have a large number of players a year younger than the opposition makes it hard. But if they can learn from games like this, continue to show the heart they showed in Mervue and possibly add a bit of steal in the right areas then the results will come in time.

Kerry will travel away to Cabinteely next weekend.


Kerry: Robert Osborne, Gearoid Dillane (Thomas Burke 80mins), David O’Connor, Sean Carmody, Conor Standen, Darren Loughnane (Shaagh O’Connor), Michael O’Gara, Thando Dube, Dillon

Robinson, Martin Loughnane, Kevin Williams. Subs: Dylan Fitzgerald, Ben Cooney, Niall Downey, Brian Lonergan.