The Kerry players celebrate after victory over Galway in the All-Ireland Junior Football Final.
The Kerry players celebrate after victory over Galway in the All-Ireland Junior Football Final. 

Kerry crowned All-Ireland Junior Football Champions

All-Ireland Junior Football Championship Final

KERRY 2-13 GALWAY 2-11

By Daragh Small at Cusack Park

Niall Ó Sé scored 1-4 as Kerry won their fourth All-Ireland Junior Football Championship title in a row with a thrilling two-point win over Galway at Cusack Park in Ennis.

Jimmy Keane’s side held a 1-7 to 1-6 lead at half-time after Paudie Clifford scored their first half goal. Padraic Cunningham cancelled that out but Kerry stayed in front.

And after the interval Jonathan Ryan’s goal was only a consolation as Ó Sé scored the winning the penalty late on.

Kerry captain Kieran Murphy won the toss but chose to play against the breeze in the opening half. And Galway struck first from a free through Jonathan Ryan in the third minute.

But Kerry scored an unanswered 1-2 after that. Niall Ó Sé scored in the fifth minute, Lee O’Donoghue put them in front for the first time and then Clifford added their goal in the seventh minute.

Galway had difficulty retaining possession from their own kick-out and Clifford pounced on one mistake before he soloed straight through, unopposed, and finished low to the net.

But Galway kept in the game and Martin Coady crucially doubled their tally in the tenth minute. The teams went score for score but the holders always seemed to have the extra bit of class in attack.

Cunningham had missed a goal chance early on for Galway and they needed to convert every opportunity they could get. But the Headford man was emphatic in the 21st minute.

He shrugged off the sizeable challenge of Kerry full-back Dan O’Donoghue, held his composure and placed his shot into the bottom corner of Darragh O’Shea’s goal.

Galway now only trailed by 1-5 to 1-4 and Thomas Hickey quickly answered that score with a Kerry point up the other end.

Both teams racked up the wides as they went in search of a lead at half-time, and Galway drew level in the 31st minute after points from Ryan and Cunningham.

Cronin gave Kerry a 1-7 to 1-6 lead at the break, and O’Donoghue gave them a two-point lead eight seconds after the resumption.

Kerry scored the first three points of the second half and led by 1-10 to 1-6 but Michael Day had given a powerful display in midfield for Galway and scored an inspirational point in the 41st minute.

Despite the huge wides tally that continued to mount Galway got back in front in the 47th minute when Ryan latched onto a pass from Matthew Reddington and scored a second goal.

Galway looked to be on their way to victory but they had 15 wides and Seán Ó Currin fouled Clifford before Ó Sé slotted the winning goal with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Scorers for Kerry: Niall Ó Sé 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Thomas Hickey 0-4 (0-2f), Paudie Clifford 1-0, Evan Cronin 0-2, Lee O’Donoghue 0-2, Denis Daly 0-1

Scorers for Galway: Jonathan Ryan 1-2 (0-1f), Padraic Cunningham 1-1, Shane Gaffney 0-4 (0-4f), Martin Coady 0-1, Antaine Ó Laoí 0-1, Alan Molloy 0-1, Michael Day 0-1

KERRY: Darragh O’Shea; Trevor Wallace, Dan O’Donoghue, Paul O’Sullivan; Pádraig O’Connor, Andrew Barry, Seán Moloney; Kieran Murphy, Ronan Murphy; Evan Cronin, Paudie Clifford, Denis Daly; Thomas Hickey, Lee O’Donoghue, Niall Ó Sé. Subs: Cillian Fitzgerald for Murphy (52), Ronan Buckley for O’Donoghue (54), Conor O’Shea for O’Connor (57).

GALWAY: Maghnus Breathnach; Eddie O’Sullivan, Stephen Cunniffe, Cathal Reilly; Adrian Ward, Seán Ó Currin, Damien O’Reilly; Alan Molloy, Michael Day; Pádraig Éoin Ó Curraoin, Antaine Ó Laoí, Thomas Gleeson; Jonathan Ryan, Pádraic Cunningham, Martin Coady. Subs: Darren Hennessy for Day (11, blood), Day for Hennessy (13), Matthew Reddington for Gleeson (half-time), Thomas Rabbitte for Ward (40), Shane Gaffney for Coady (43), Hennessy for Ó Curraoin (50), Chris Farley for Ryan (58), Jack Kirrane for O’Reilly (63).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).