Munster Senior Football Championship: Kerry edge out battling Limerick
All-Ireland Champions Kerry were given a mighty fright by a fired up Limerick side who pushed the Kingdom all the way in a pulsating Munster Senior Football Championship final.
But experience won the day and Kerry lifted their 73rd Munster Senior crown with a 1-17 to 1-14 victory.
It was an incredible game of swaying fortunes with Limerick rocking Kerry back in the opening exchanges and leading 0-8 to 0-4 after 23 minutes, but the introduction of Micheal Quirke to shore up the Kingdom midfield led to Mike McCarthy and Bryan Sheehan grabbing points and Limerick’s lead at the interval was 0-10 to 0-7.
Limerick had played with the aid of a strong wind and they would live to regret shooting six first half wides.
Kerry were like vultures at the start of the second half and with Quirke now catching some mighty ball at midfield, the course of the game was changed utterly.
Kerry scored 1-7 without reply in the opening 15 minute spell on the resumption and lesser sides than Limerick would have surely thrown in the towel.
However Limerick’s John Galvin raced through to find the net after an error and three quick points followed. Suddenly the Kingdom’s followers were on tenterhooks as the momentum was with the Treaty lads who were trying to bridge a 114 year gap since they last won the Munster title.
Limerick keeper Brian Scanlon came upfield to try and convert a free and a 45 which he failed to do against the elements and a third wide in succession left the door ajar for Kerry which in the end proved fatal.
Kerry also kicked three bad wides but, with Quirke still dominant at midfield, the experience of the Kingdom shone through and three unanswered points from Colm Cooper, David Moran and Tomas O’Se saw them surge to victory but it was certainly a close run thing.
On Saturday night Galway, managed by former Armagh chief Joe Kernan, were stunned 0-16 to 1-14 by Sligo in the Connacht Senior Football Championship semi-final.