GAA: KINGDOM TOP BUT FORWARDS FAIL TO SPARKLE; DIVISION 1A: Kerry........1-8 Roscommon..0-9.
This was a game played with championship-like fervour but Kerry were fortunate in the extreme to come out on top.
The home side's forward division were guilty of reckless shooting and their squandermania in front of goals almost cost them the points. In fact only for the superb goal scored by their captain fantastic Seamus Moynihan in the fourth minute then Kerry could have been counting the cost of this Jekyll and Hyde performance.
John O'Keefe a Kerry selector confessed after the match that the Kingdom's display was: "Workmanlike, spirited while lacking in the finer points of finishing.
"We wasted too many chances in the first half despite having 60 per cent of the play.
"Fair play to Roscommon they defended brilliantly and are a tough side. We have a lot of physical work done but we have very little done with the ball and I think it should out there today."
Kerry in fact kicked eight first half wides to Roscommon's three while they added a further seven in the second half to have Paidi O'Se and his fellow selectors reaching for the valium in the final quarter.
Roscommon, fielding a young side, were tigerish at the back where Rowens Ownens, Brendon Burke and Basil Mananion were outstanding.
They were beaten at midfield while Derek Duggan, Fergal O'Donnell and Frankie Dolan tried hard up front but found the Kerry defence in a mean mood.
Kerry had the best possible start after three bad wides when Seamus Moynihan was on the end of a fine move involving Mike Frank Russell and Dara O'Se.
He blasted the ball into the Roscommon net in the fourth minute.
They then proceeded to shoot some bad wides with Liam Hassett and John Crowley the main culprits.
Roscommon eventually got themselves on the scoreboard in the 12th minute when Frankie Dolan pointed.
Denis O'Dwyer restored Kerry's lead in the 15th minute before Derek Duggan converted a free to keep Roscommon in touch.
Mike Frank Russell punched a Kerry point in the 21st minute but that was to be Kerry's last score of the first half.
Derek Duggan reduced the deficit for Roscommon while Fergal O'Donnell reduced the deficit to a single point in the 26th minute.
Kerry were guilty of three dreadful misses in this period.
First Liam Hassett missed in front of goal then Russell misplaced a pass to Moynihan and finally John Crowley blazed wide when put through by Russell in the 30th minute.
Roscommon made a spirited start to the second half and within a minute Stephen Lohan landed the equalising point, then Derek Duggan put Roscommon in front for the first time in the 39th minute but within a minute Aodhen MacGearalit landed a fine point for Kerry.
Mike Frank Russell sent over a 45 and Kerry moved clear but it was obvious that the Kingdom's attack was struggling.
Then Kerry introduced Darra O Cinneide for the out of sorts and this was to prove a match winning switch.
Kerry moved three points clear following another MacGearalit point followed by a Russell free.
Roscommon put in a renewed effort with Fergal O'Donnell proving the inspiration reducing the deficit in the 55th minute while Frankie Dolan and O'Donnell had the sides on level terms with 12 minutes to go.
However, Kerry finished the stronger and with their defence outstanding it was left to Russell to restore their lead before O'Cinneide applied the coup-de-grace with a memorable point.
It happened in the 66th minute when Kerry were awarded a free 68 yards from goal and O'Cinneide directed a mighty kick in William Tell-like fashion for Kerry's insurance point.
Roscommon never look like breaching the Kerry rearguard and Kerry hung on for a deserved win but in the final analysis they made very hard work of going clear at the top of the table.
SCORES: Kerry: Michael F Russell 0-4, Shamus Moynihan (1-0), O'Dondmagind 0-2 , Denis O'Dwyer & Dara O Cinneide 0-1 each.
Roscommon: Derek Duggan & Fergal O'Donnell 0-3 each, Frankie Dolan 0- 2, Stephen Lohan 0-1.
Declan O'Keefe, Michael McCarthay, Barra O'Shea, Enda Galvin, Seamus Moynihan, Eamon Firtzmaurice, Mike Hessett, Dara O'Se, Donald Daly, Aodhen Macgearalit, Noel Kennelly, Denis O'Dwyer, Michael F Russell, Liam Hassett, John Crowley. Subs: Dara O'Cinneide for Denis O'Dwyer, Tom O'Sullivan for Barry O'Shea, Liam Murphy for John Crowley, Thomas O'Se for Noel Kennely.
Derek Thompson, Enon Gavin, John Whyte, Ronan Owens, Basil Maion, Brendan Bourke, Clifford McDonald, John Gilhooly, Donal Casserly, Derek Dugan, Francie Grehan, Sean Casey, Fergal O'Donnell, Stephen Lohan, Frankie Dolan. Subs: Dennis Gavin for John Whyte, Michael Ryan for Basil Mannion, Conor Connelly for Sean Casey, Eddy Lohan for Derek Duggan, Alan Nolan for Donal Casserly.
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 6, 2000|
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