Kerry beat Roscommon but will have concerns for Jason Foley 

webnexttech | Kerry beat Roscommon but will have concerns for Jason Foley 

Billowing sheets of rain greeted Kerry’s management for their pre-game walk of the pitch. As Roscommon emerged for their warm-up, a portion of the fencing in front of the renovations in the main stand cascaded over. Stewards strained to hoist it back up. It spelt winter’s football and a stressful afternoon for TG4’s exposed cameraperson. Then as the captains met in the middle, the skies miraculously cleared. Brian Stack won the toss and elected to make the most of the wind while it was still present. They failed in that endeavour. Kerry’s response was to starve them of the ball for the opening three minutes, Joe O’Connor eventually racing in along the endline and fisting over. The away side led 0-6 to 0-1 midway through the first half. A driving Gavin White breach opened the door for David Clifford for his first of four first-half points, including one penalty that was blazed over. Jack O’Connor’s side took issue with the decision to not award a goal to Sean O’Shea after he bundled in Darragh Roche’s short attempt, but a penalty was the verdict for a foul by David Murray and Clifford’s strike was high and left. Barry Dan O’Sullivan handpassed an early score. Sean O’Brien curled over a superb shot during that stretch. Darragh Roche got in on the act and Clifford finished an outstanding move instigated by a O’Shea stripe tackle on Niall Higgins. Roscommon had five opening opportunities of their own but only mustered one white flag from it. Diarmuid Murtagh missed with two long-range efforts, one of them a free. Higgins and Niall Daly were inaccurate with speculative shots. Conor Carroll drove forward to show them how it should be done. A thundering hit on Roche by Ruaidhri Fallon paved the way for Daire Cregg to finally give the home support in the 6, 464 crowd something to shout about. Enda Smith brought Roscommon within three at the start of the second half only for Kerry to kick on again. Having carefully worked every score early on, with no wides from play, they peppered the posts and kept it ticking over. The Kingdom turned down possible goal opportunities, such as an O’Shea free that hit the post and dropped in the square, in favour of simple points. At one point a Paudie Clifford handpass rebounded off the crossbar and O’Shea gathered the break only to fist back over the bar. Roscommon responded to that score by doing the opposite. Murtagh drove down a wide channel and went for broke. His handpass across the square was met by substitute Cathal Heneghan. The result was the game’s first goal and some treatment for Jason Foley. The full-back went down again shortly after and had to be carried off with Armin Heinrich coming on in his place. Despite the goal concession, Kerry were far from rattled. Stephen O’Brien and Paudie Clifford notched gimmes. Paul Geaney made his return in awesome fashion, kicking two points and laying on an injury time goal for O’Connor. Next up, Kerry face Galway and remain in contention for a league final. Roscommon travel to Derry fighting for their Division 1 status. Scorers for Roscommon: Cathal Heneghan 1-0, Enda Smith 0-3, Donie Smith 0-3 (2 free), Daire Cregg 0-2, Ronan Daly 0-2, Conor Carroll 0-1. Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-6 (0-1 penalty), Joe O’Connor 1-1, Barry Dan O’Sullivan 0-2, Paul Geaney 0-2, Stephen O’Brien, Paudie Clifford, Darragh Roche, Sean O’Brien, Dara Moynihan, Sean O’Shea 0-1 each. Roscommon: C Carroll; D Murray, N Higgins, B Stack; N Daly, C Hussey, R Daly; T O’Rourke, S Cunnane; R Fallon, E Smith, D Ruane; D Cregg, D Murtagh, D Smith. Subs: U Harney for O’Rourke (32), C Cox for Cunnane, P Gavin for Higgins (both half-time), C Heneghan for Hussey (45), C Connolly for Murtagh (55). Kerry: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, P Murphy; S O’Brien, T Morley, G White; B O’Sullivan, J O’Connor; A Spillane, P Clifford, D Moynihan; D Clifford, D Roche, S O’Shea. Subs: S O’Brien for Spillane (52), P Geaney for Roche (58), D Casey for O’Brien (59), A Heinrich for Foley (60 – inj), K Evans for Moynihan (68). Referee: N Mooney (Cavan)

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