A late goal from Paul Geaney helped Kerry to deny the Roscommon Senior Footballers their first point of the 2017 Allianz League season.
Played in ideal conditions it was Kerry, aided by the breeze, who took the early initiative and scored the first two points of the afternoon. Roscommon’s opening score came through Fintan Cregg in the 5th minute and when Enda Smith’s goal-bound shot was saved Cian Connolly popped over the equaliser. Kerry then kicked three without reply before it was Roscommon’s turn to do likewise – courtesy of two Donie Smith frees and a Cian Connolly point from play. Once again Kerry took control, grabbing six of the next seven points. A Darren O’Malley free in the 25th minute was Roscommon’s only response. Ciarain Murtagh added another for Roscommon just before half-time but it was cancelled out just before the interval. The first half was scrappy and error-ridden and not helped by Referee Barry Cassidy’s inconsistent decisions. This came to ahead just before the break when Kevin McStay entered the field to question one of the Derry man’s decisions. The debate resumed as the team’s left the field at half-time.
The introduction of Diarmuid Murtagh at half-time gave Roscommon an added sharpness up front and the St Faithleachs man scored in the opening minute. Kerry responded but a third pointed free from Donie Smith left just four between the sides again. The Boyle man was replaced by Niall Kilroy moments later following a tackle by Shane Enright. Kerry stretched their lead to six points after 46 minutes but Fintan Cregg fired back for Roscommon. Scores were at a premium during 10 minutes that followed – the only white flag came following a Kerry free. Roscommon’s cause was not helped in the 57th minute when John McManus received a straight red card. The 14 men rallied however and two points from Diarmuid Murtagh and one from brother Ciarain made it Roscommon 0-13 Kerry 0-17 with five minutes remaining. Moments later Enda Smith was fouled on the edge of the square and Ciarain sent the ball to the back of the net. Kerry won the resulting kick-out and pointed a free in the passage of play that followed. In the second minute of additional time Paul Geaney put the game beyond doubt and Kerry added another point to wrap up the game.
It ended Roscommon 1-13 Kerry 1-19.
Darren O’Malley (0-1, 1f);
Fintan Cregg (0-2),
Donie Smith (0-3, 3f),
Ciarain Murtagh (C) (1-2, 1-0 pen),
Cian Connolly (0-2).
Subs used: Ciarán Cafferkey for McDermott (32), Diarmuid Murtagh (0-3, 2f) for Connolly (HT), Niall Kilroy for D Smith (44), Brian Murtagh for Cregg (58), Paddy Brogan for Murray (65).