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Roscommon's Darran O'Sullivan hails Kerry's power

Kerry 3-15 - Roscommon 0-14

By John Campbell

It was man of the match Darran O'Sullivan who perhaps sent out the sharpest reminder to those sides with aspirations of forging a close acquaintance with the Sam Maguire Cup this year as to just how difficult their task will be following Kerry's 3-15 to 0-14 triumph over Roscommon in the league semi-final.

If O'Sullivan's blistering pace and subtle scoring technique did much to provide Roscommon with another reality check, his clinical assessment of Kerry's playing resources will have struck a chord.

"The best thing about the league for us is the impact that every substitute has made," declared O'Sullivan. "Those boys make the rest of us who are just happy to be on the field even more driven."

Roscommon may have flirted with progress earlier in the league but when O'Sullivan joined Colm Cooper and Donnchadh Walsh in the ascendency, they were all at sea.

Ahead by 3-8 to 0-5 at the break, Kerry strolled through, the occasional Roscommon venture out of defence nothing more than a pin-prick in their opponents' towering morale.

Shane Enright, Aidan O'Mahony and Peter Crowley formed a defensive cordon that the Connacht side never really penetrated, while Kieran Donaghy and David Moran bossed midfield and the attack ran riot.

Conor Devaney, Joe McDermott and Neil Collins managed to rescue a modicum of western pride by registering a mini-blitz of late points but it was merely token resistance against an irresistible force.

Kerry's victory was their sixth on the trot and in terms of a warm-up for yet another assault on the big one, things get no better than this.

Kerry: B Kelly; M O Se (0-1), M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, A O'Mahony, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy, D Moran; J Buckley (0-1), P Murphy (0-2), D Walsh (1-0); D O'Sullivan (1-4), C Cooper (1-5, 0-5f), S O'Brien. Subs: B Sheehan for J Buckley, K Young for F Fitzgerald, A Fitzgerald for S O'Brien, BJ Keane (0-1) for D Walsh, B O'Sullivan (0-1) for D Moran, P O'Connor for P Crowley.

Roscommon: G Claffey (0-1'45); S McDermott (0-1), N Collins (0-2), N McInerney; D Murray, S Purcell, S Mullooly; N Daly, C Shine; F Cregg, C Murtagh (0-4, 3f), C Devaney (0-1); D Murtagh (0-4, 3f), S Kilbride, C Cregg. Subs: D Shine (0-1'45) for C Shine, R Stack for S Purcell, D Keenan for S Mullooly, N Kilroy for C Cregg, R Daly for C Devaney, J McDermott for N Daly.

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).


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