Prolific pair seal win for Kerry hurlers

Kerry booked their first ever place in a Christy Ring Cup semi-final today, staging a storming finish to see off Derry at Mullingar.

Kerry 4-21 Derry 2-12

Kerry booked their first ever place in a Christy Ring Cup semi-final today, staging a storming finish to see off Derry at Mullingar.

This stylish victory was all about two players – Shane Brick and John M Dooley.

Dooley hit all four of the Kingdom goals, but he was left in the shadow by the brilliant Brick, who helped himself to a 15 points haul with an awesome display of finishing.

Kerry got off to a flier with a goal after just 30 seconds. It was centre back Tom Murnane who sent in a free from long range, and when a hesitant Derry defence failed to clear, John M Dooley nipped in to finish to the net from close range.

Derry struggled to get into the game in the early stages, but after Oisín McCloskey had opened their account from a free, they steered over a succession of points to go level by the 16th minute.

McCloskey and Ruiairi Convery both struck accurately from frees, with the latter hitting Derry’s first point from play.

They dominated for a 20-minute period, during which Kerry scored just one point, and it was McCloskey who edged the Ulster side in front for the first time in the 23rd minute.

Kerry came good in the final few minutes of the half however, with former Tipperary player Evan Sweeney hitting a couple of excellent points, and Shane Brick converting from a free to give them a 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead.

Derry went back in front within two minutes of the restart when Convery scrambled home a goal.

Kerry were forced to move corner forward Sean Young into goal when John Healy suffered an injury, and the stand-in ‘keeper was beaten within minutes when substitute Malachy Scullen flicked to the net.

Kerry turned on the power in the final 25 minutes however, with Brick firing over a series of wonderful long-range scores.

There was no way back for Derry when Dooley smacked home two goals in the space of a minute for his hat-trick, and he made it four when he booted to the net in stoppage time.

Kerry: J Healy, P O’Grady, A Healy, J Godley, C Harris, T Murnane, J Griffin, E Sheehy, J Fitzgerald (0-1), E Sweeney (0-4), S Brick (0-15, 6f, 1 ‘65’), J Casey (0-1), S Young, J McCarthy, J Dooley (4-0).

Subs: M Hanifin for Godley, G O’Brien for J Healy, Godley for Fitzgerald, S Maunsell for McCarthy, P Monson for Harris.

Derry: A McGill, R McCloskey, C Quinn, S McNicholl, P O’Kane, S McCullagh, M Craig, K Hinphey, O McCloskey (0-5, 2f , 3 ‘65’), C Murphy, D Leahy, B Dodds, A Kelly, P McCloskey, R Convery (1-7, 0-6f).

Subs: M Scullen (1-0) for P McCloskey, P McCloskey for Murphy, E McGuckin for McCullagh, G O’Kane for Scullen

Referee: S Whelan (Wexford).

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