|18 June 2023
|Sam Maguire Cup
Kerry trashed Louth by 28 points in O’Moore Park in Portlaoise to book their spot in the Quarter Finals of the Sam Maguire competition.
With Cork beating Mayo by three points in the other game in the group, Kerry moved to top spot and advance to the last eight, whilst Cork secured a home tie in the provisional quarter finals next weekend with Mayo having to travel to a second place team in seven days.
A sublime first 35 for Kerry put this to bed before it could really even get going. The Kingdom were moving the ball at speed and were not afraid to kick from distance, which the Louth defensive block could not deal with.
Both Clifford brothers and Sean O’Shea raised the green flag in the second half as Louth picked up a couple scores of their own as the intensity died off and time wound down.
The game started with a real high level of intensity, with both teams knowing this is proper knockout football and there’s no reason to hold anything back from here.
Kerry got the first score of the game through a Sean O’Shea free, despite the Kingdom striking the woodwork twice in the buildup.
Within a minute Conor Grimes cut through the Kerry defense to bring it back to a level game, but Kerry had the majority of the early ball with Louth set up to play defensively. The possession began to mirror the scoreboard with the next three points going the Kerry way.
Ciaran Downey pulled it back to a two point game, but that was well and truly that for Louth.
Kerry went on to score the next 2-10 unanswered. A ferocious performance from the Kingdom along with a whole host of Louth turnovers and poor shooting in their few chances left the game out of reach very quickly.
David Clifford got the first goal for Kerry, and he started the move that he would finish, coming from a turnover in midfield that the Fossa man would be on the end of for his second goal of the Sam Maguire group stages.
Defender Mike Breen popped up for the second Kerry green flag, after Louth failed to clear their lines with the Beaufort man latching onto the ball at the edge of the square making no mistake.
This was by far the best Kerry performance of the year, with five of the six forwards on the scoresheet at the break, along with midfield dominance from Jack Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor, with the latter notching three scores of his own.
Kerry held an eighteen point lead at the break, and were nothing short of phenomenal.
The Kingdom continued where they left off at the start of the second half, as they picked up the first four scores in the opening 10 minutes. The third goal came through Paudie Clifford midway through the half, who made no mistake tapping home.
David Clifford netted his second goal and the Kerry fourth of the game from the spot, before being replaced to a standing ovation with 15 minutes to go.
Sean O’Shea picked up a fifth goal for the Kingdom with just over 10 to go, moments after Louth sub McKeown picked up the first back to back points for the Wee county.
Tom O’Sullivan, Tony Brosnan and Sean O’Shea closed out the scoring for the Kingdom who now have a week's break and can watch the action next weekend and see who will await.
|Laois Hire O'Moore Park
|O'Moore Park, Father Brown Avenue, Portlaoise Rural ED, The Municipal District of Portlaoise, County Laois, Leinster, R32 EHP9, Ireland