Donal Barry watched Kerry secure a place in the Division 2A final with a comprehensive second half display at Fitzgerald Stadium in which a little bit of history was made with the introduction on Tralee Parnell’s Tadgh Brick for his senior inter county debut
Kerry 3-15 Meath 0-8
A devastating second half display by Fintan O’Connor’s men ensured a 16 point win over a Meath team who failed to score in the second half.
In a game, which was played with snowfall throughout, Kerry managed the conditions much to the better in the second period as both sides struggled to come to terms with them in the opening half.
Indeed it was Meath that finished that period much the better with late points from James Toher and a pointed free from Padraig O’Hanrahan giving the visitors a half point 0-8 to 0-7 lead.
Kerry controlled the opening exchanges and led 0-5 to 0-2 after 18 minutes with Fitzgibbon hero Shane Conway showing great assuredness from placed balls as he hit four with Mikey Boyle chipping in the extra point.
Meath however pulled themselves back into the contest with Jack Regan in particular proving a handful with a brace of points from play.
The second half saw a number of officials on the pitch inspecting the blanket of snow, which was now beginning to settle but the game carried on regardless and it seemed to affect Meath more as Kerry through Shane Conway pushed ahead by the 50th minute (0-10 to 0-8) with a Shane Conway brace and a point from Jordan Conway.
Maybe it was the weather conditions or simply the fact that the Kerry defence had stand out performers in James O’Connor, Paud Costello and Tomas O’Connor but Meath forward force who were sprightly in the open half just simply never showed in the second.
Kerry were 0-13 to 0-8 clear by the time replacement Jordan Brick found the net in 53rd minute and moment later, it was another replacement in Padraig Boyle that added another goal. Kerry were now 2-14 to 0-8 clear and with players playing for place in the upcoming league final anxious to shine it was yet another replacement in Jordan Brick that raised the last green flag.
Scorers for Kerry: S Conway 0-8 (6 frees), J Conway 1-3; P Boyle 1-1 (1-0 free); J Brick (1-0), M Boyle (0-2); P Costello (0-1).
Scorers for Meath: P O’Hanrahan (0-5, frees); J Regan (0-2); J Toher (0-1).
KERRY: M Stackpoole; E Leen , J O’Connor, J Buckley; P Costello, J Diggins, T O’Connor; D Collins, M Boyle ; M O’Leary, D Griffin, S Conway; C Harty, F MacKessy, D Goggin.
Subs: P Boyle for D Griffin (44), J Conway for E Leen (48), E Murphy for C Harty (55), J Brick for D Goggin (61), T Brick for S Conway (63).
MEATH: C O’Riordan; G Murphy, D Kelly, S Whitty; K Keoghan, J Toher, J Kelly; J McGowan, S Morris; D Healy C McCabe, J Regan ; P O’Hanrahan, C Ó Méalóid, E Ó Donnchadha.
Subs: K Keena for C Ó Méalóid (47), A Douglas for P O Hanrahan (52), M O’Grady for D Regan (60), J O’Sullivan for J McGowan (69).
Referee: C McAllister (Cork)