Kerry were made to fight the whole way before getting the win over Cavan despite facing a last minute free that could have tied this senior football contest.
A full line of Kerry players were on the goal line, however, and they stopped the final last ditch Cavan effort.
Keelan Hickey opened the scoring for Kerry with a point from play, but Cavan replied with a very good Micheal Reilly goal. Gary Walsh followed with a point from a 45 while Enda Reilly cancelled out a Gary O’Driscoll score with a free to leave Cavan in a 1-2 to 0-2 lead. Enda Reilly had a brilliant point from play to push Cavan further ahead, but Kerry had three of the last four scores of the half to draw within two with Mike Jim Fitzgerald and Robbie Moran finding the target with long range efforts to lead the resurgence.
Cavan lost Mike Reilly to a red card to open the second half and it was a numerical disadvantage that they could not withstand on this occasion. They have had to contend with this occurrence in nearly all their games this season, but it is difficult to keep going back to the well.
Gavin Joyce was called to action in the aftermath to stop a Kerry goal chance, but he was powerless to stop two frees for points from Moran before Darren Moore had the net shaker to push Kerry finally into the lead.
It was followed by an excellent score from Moran but again Cavan fought back. They had their second goal from Richie Morgan from 21 yards out as they fought to get on level terms.
Peter Atkinson had a brace of Kerry points to help to extend the lead to three with time running down. Cavan did get a 14 yard free when the buzzer sounded. With the line full the effort was blocked and the Kingdom had done enough.
Kerry will be happy with the form of Kieran Quirke and his sidekicks O’Connor and Scannell. John Curran continues to excel, while Mike Jim Fitzgerald and Paddy Kelly both had good performances. Peter Atkinson and Robbie Moran were the scorers in chief, with Darren Moore doing well off the bench.
Gavin Joyce kept Cavan in the contest with his save. Sean Kelly, Micheal Reilly before his card, Enda Reilly and Mickey Sloan were others to shine on a tough day.
Kerry: 1 Ger O’Sullivan, 2 Kieran O’Connor, 3 Kieran Quirke, 4 Kieran Scannell, 5 Shane Coffey, 6 Daryl O’Brien, 7 John Curran, 8 Mike Jim Fitzgerald (0-1), 9 Paddy Kelly (0-1), 10 Keelan Hickey (0-1), 11 Gary O’Driscoll (0-1), 12 Mike Murphy, 13 Niall Farrell, 14 Robbie Moran (0-4), 15 Peter Atkinson (0-3). Sub: Darren Moore (1-2), Donal Hartnett (0-1) .
Cavan: 1 Gavin Joyce, 2 Dan King, 3 Mike O’Regan, 4 Mike Holahan, 5 Eoin Ward, 6 Sean Kelly, 7 Marty Carey, 8 Brendan O’Sullivan, 9 Micheal Reilly (1-0), 10 Conor Cosgrave, 11 Enda Reilly (0-4), 12 Ronan Fitzsimons (0-1), 13 Micheal Sloan (0-1), 14 Gary Walsh (0-2), 15 Richie Morgan (1-0).
Man of the match: Kieran Quirke (Kerry).
Champs Back on Track
Leitrim 4-16 Armagh 1-10
In a brilliant display, Leitrim returned to the winner’s inclosure with a dominating 11 point senior football win over Armagh. With a full plethora of stars on display they scored at will, and but for clemency from the line could have had a half dozen more goals.
While Armagh had the first point of the game from Caolan Treanor, Leitrim completely tore apart the Armagh back line in the following moments with four first half goals and the chance for many more.
Garth Bradshaw got the ball rolling with a pointy before Lonan Maguire followed with a brilliant goal for the winners.
Further majors followed from Eoghan Carew, Paul McComiskey and Gavin McParland, the latter against his home county.
Armagh did have a number of points from frees by Treanor and play, Sean McCreesh, but Leitrim were able to answer each time with a volley before retiring to the dressing rooms 4-4 to 0-7 ahead. They also won the scoring accolades in the second half, 0-10 to 1-3, and despite taking their points as it were they were never in danger.
Bradshaw and Meaney showed the danger they both possess with thrusting forward runs that accounted for scores for each, and assists for McParland and Adrian O’Connor who had a brace of the bench.
Armagh’s cause was not helped when Niall Roland was sent to the line in the second half. All in all, however, the marker was put down that anyone who hopes to rip the senior championship away from Leitrim will have their work cut out.
Stars galore for the winners. Maguire, Bradshaw and Meaney stood out at the back, while McComiskey, McParland, and Adrian O’Connor all had important roles in the attacking end of the field.
Armagh’s stars were few, but McCreesh, Raftery, and Caolan Treanor did have patches of positives.
Leitrim: 1 Pa Ryan, 2 Mike Creegan, 3 Declan McKenna, 4 Lonan Maguire (1-2), 5 Garth Bradshaw (0-2), 6 Kevin Meaney (0-1), 7 Cian Maher, 8 Kenny O’Connor, 9 Peter Carragher, 10 Paul McComiskey (1-2), 11 Eoghan Carew (1-0), 12 Danny Sullivan, 13 Ray O’Connor, 14 Rory Woods (0-1), 15 Gavin McPartland (1-5). Subs: Adrian O’Connor (0-2), Pat Glynn (0-1), Cathal Matthews, Rory Redican.
Armagh: 1 Aiden Morton, 2 Stuart Stokes, 3 Patsy Martin, 4 Seamus McDaid, 5 Paudi Crilly, 6 Niall Rowland, 7 Sean McCreesh (0-1), 8 Paul Raftery, 9 Conor Gough, 10 Eugene Creegan (0-1), 11 Paddy Smith, 12 Eddie English (1-1), 13 Collie Fearan (0-1), 14 Caolan Treanor (0-5), 15 Jack Kirwin. Subs: Kenny Cox (0-1).
Man of the match: Gavin McPartland (Leitrim).
Easy pickings for LIG
Long Island Gaels 5-29 Tipperary 3-13
FOR Long Island Gaels, the beat goes on. In their first year at the senior hurling level -- in fact at any senior grade -- the team from the Island keeps on winning and keeps on putting up big scores.
Tipperary were the losers this time, but the new boys have now defeated all three existing sides and stand as the outright favorites to take Offaly’s long held crown if this form persists.
By the time the halftime break arrived the winners had already built up a 2-18 to 1-07 advantage.
The goals came from corner forwards Kevin O’Loughlin and Shane Minton, but the real star was the outstanding Enda Barrett. The livewire had an excellent point from long range while also firing two frees over the lathe.
While Tipperary did have a Leo Quigley goal in the 20th minute, the intense pressure that was LIG was too much to overcome as the Gaels made every attack count.
It was more of the same in the second half, with the scoring duel in that 30 alone going to the winners 3-11 to 2-6.
The sides swapped points to open the half before Conor Hayes had a goal from a penalty for Tipperary, but it still left a daunting hill to climb for the Premier County who were now following their brothers in arms across the pond on the losing end.
Conor Glynn and the excellent Minton added to the Long Island total, with Barrett and Aiden Cash helping to negate any real Tipperary chances at the defensive end. They ran off five of the last six scores before Finbar Flood finally blew the full time whistle.
Tipperary: 1 Craig Harford, 2 Paul Casey, 4 Colin Gleason (0-1), 5 Fintan Meehan, 6 Paul Tracey, 7 Francis Kennedy, 8 Pat Egan, 9 Naoimh O’Riordan, 10 Leo Quigley (1-3), 11 Ger Morris (0-1), 12 Paul Loughnane (0-3), 13 Conor Hayes (2-5), 15 Eddie Hogan. Subs: Pa Ryan, Kevin Maher.
Long Island Gaels: 1 Ray Murray, 2 Tadhg Callaghan, 4 Dan Breen, 5 Enda Barrett (0-5), 6 Ed Kendrick, 7 Mike Elwood, 8 Jake McMahon (0-1), 9 Aiden Cash, 10 Ray McConglain (1-6), 11 Tadhg Slevin (0-3), 12 Bernard Dee (2-2), 13 Kevin O’Loughlin (1-4), 15 Shane Minton (1-5). Subs: Edna O’Connor, Liam Meehan, Conor Glynn (0-3).
Man of the match: Edna Barrett (Long Island Gaels).
Referee: Finbarr Flood.
Team of the week
A COUPLE of superb performances, with Shane Minton and Enda Barrett from LIG, Gavin McPartland and Caolan Treanor both from the Leitrim contest all having excellent Sundays. In different fashions at the end of course.
1. Gavin Joyce (Cavan), 2 Kieran O’Connor (Kerry), 3 Kieran Quirke (Kerry), 4 Lonan Maguire (Leitrim), 5 Enda Barrett (LIG), 6 Kevin Meaney (Leitrim), 7 John Curran (Kerry), 8 Peter Carragher (Leitrim), 9 Paddy Kelly (Kerry), 10 Ray McConglain (LIG), 11 Enda Reilly (Cavan), 12 Conor Hayes (Tipperary), 13 Caolan Treanor (Armagh), 14 Shane Minton (LIG), 15 Gavin McPartland (Leitrim).