Galway got their first win over Kerry in championship football since 1985 in Croke Park on Sunday by 1-13 to 1-10.
Galway have now made a perfect start to their Super 8 fixtures and will travel in high hopes knowing a win in Newbridge this coming weekend will surely see them through to the All-Ireland semi-final stages. On the other hand for Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Kerry they will need to knuckle down now as they face a difficult assignment against Monaghan in Clones, a loss there and they will more than likely not make the semi-final stages. The sides were level eight times in the opening 54 minutes of the game, very little to separate the sides in terms of speed and skills on show. Galway took control from 54 minutes until the final whistle which decided the game, they out scored Kerry by 1-5 to 1-2. Both sides indeed finished with 14 men. It was left to Patrick Sweeney to net the Galway goal on 74 minutes to seal a famous win for the Tribesmen.
The opening half was like the weather, dull and dreary, there was only six points shared in the opening half an hour which says it all really. Kevin McCarthy and Shane Walsh traded the opening scores of the game for either side, before points from Ian Burke and Paul Conroy, who incidentally went off after 23 minutes with a suspected broken leg, gave Galway the lead. David Clifford kept the Kingdom in touch with some nice scores also. Shane Murphy and the inspirational Damian Comer then traded points, before Geaney and Walsh traded further scores. Ian Burke had the final say of the half with a well taken score.
Geaney and Kelly traded scores at the beginning of the second half. The sides were once again level on 45 minutes, when Steven O’Brien kicked over Kerry’s seventh point of the game. David Clifford and Shane Walsh then traded scores, a two point margin appeared between the sides for the first time in the game then when Declan Kyne and Walsh, 0-1o to 0-08 after 56 minutes. Clifford kicked his fourth on the hour mark, however on 61 minutes Kerry were dealt a massive blow with Killian Young shown a red card for striking an opponent off the ball. Adrian Varley had the gap back to two with a well taken point, before that lead was extended to three when he scored again on 67 minutes. Walsh got the insurance point on the 70th minute, despite Kevin Walsh’s men having Eoghan Kerrin sent off on a second yellow card on 72 minutes. Sweeney topped off a fine team performance from Galway with a goal, however Clifford pulled back one late on for Kerry late on with the game effectively over.
Galway – R Lavelle; E Kerin, S A O Ceallaigh, D Kyne (0-1); C Sweeney, G Bradshaw, S Kelly (0-1); P Conroy (0-1), T Flynn; J Heaney, M Daly, E Brannigan; I Burke (0-2), D Comer (0-1), S Walsh (0-5, 4f). Subs: P Cooke for P Conroy, A Varley (0-2) for M Daly, G O’Donnell for G Bradshaw, P Sweeney (1-0) for D Comer, F Burke for I Burke.
Kerry – S Murphy (0-1’45); P Crowley, J Foley, B O Beaglaoich; P Murphy, K Young, G White; D Moran, J Barry; K McCarthy (0-1), S O Shea, S O’Brien (0-1); D Clifford (1-5, 0-1f), P Geaney (0-2), J O’Donoghue. Subs: T O’Sullivan for B O Beaglaoich, A Maher for J Barry, M Burns for J O’Donoghue, D Walsh for S O’Shea, B J Keane for K McCarthy, M Griffin for J Foley.