A round-up of Saturday’s National Football League action, as intercounty Gaelic football resumed after a seven-month hiatus.
Monaghan 0-14 Kerry 0-17
David Clifford led the line for Kerry as they kept their title ambitions very much alive in Division 1 with a three-point win in Inniskeen.
Peter Keane will be pleased with his side’s defensive solidity, as they kept Monaghan largely frustrated for a win which keeps the Ulster side in relegation danger.
The Farney County struggled to deal with Clifford in the early stages, with the Kerry captain scoring the opening two points and creating another for Tony Brosnan. While the Kingdom were the more impressive in the opening exchanges, the home side kept in touch.
With Conor McManus starting on the bench, Seamus McEnaney’s charges relied on a wider array of scorers, with Andrew Woods, Dessie Ward, Fintan Kelly, Micheál Bannigan and Kieran Hughes all raising white flags.
It was Kerry who led 0-10 to 0-6 at the break, with both sides failing to convert goal chances.
McManus was sprung in the second half, and made a huge impact contributing 0-5.
The three-time All-Star did inject into his team’s attack, with some well-taken scores, and looked a threat every time he gained possession.
The Munster outfit looked in control for the bulk of the contest, and had enough to weather a late comeback by their hosts to seal the victory.
Monaghan: Rory Beggan (0-1 – 0-1 ’45); Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie; Ryan McAnespie, Fintan Kelly (0-1), Karl O’Connell; Darren Hughes, Kieran Hughes (0-1); Dermot Malone, Micheál Bannigan (0-1), Dessie Ward (0-1); Conor McCarthy, Andrew Woods (0-1), Shane Carey.
Subs: Conor McManus (0-5 – 0-2 frees) for Conor McCarthy, Christopher McGuinness (0-2 – 0-1 mark) for Dermot Malone, Stephen O’Hanlon (0-1) for Andrew Woods, James McKenna for Karl O’Connell, Drew Wylie for Ryan McAnespie.
Kerry: Shane Ryan; Jason Foley (0-1), Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan (0-1); Paul Murphy (0-1), Peter Crowley, Gavin White (0-1); David Moran (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1); Micheál Burns, Sean O’Shea (0-2 – 0-1 ’45), Ronan Buckley; Tony Brosnan 0-3, David Clifford (0-6 – 0-2 marks, 0-1 free), Dara Moynihan.
Subs: Jonathan Lyne for Micheál Burns, Brian Ó Beaglaíoch for Dara Moynihan, Paudie Clifford for Ronan Buckley, Killian Spillane for Tony Brosnan, Tommy Walsh for David Moran.
Westmeath breathed fire into their promotion push, as a Jamie Ganoud goal helped them to a 1-18 to 0-13 win over Leinster rivals Laois. The O’Moore County could now find themselves in a relegation fight, ahead of their final game against Fermanagh.
Down were handed a walkover by Leitrim, after the Connacht county were unable to field a team as several players were awaiting coronavirus test results.
Wicklow vs Antrim was the first match of the day, marking the return of intercounty action after a seven-month break.
🔙🏐Intercounty GAA is back!🔙🏐 Throw-in for Wicklow vs Antrim heralds the return of intercounty action after a seven-month absence! #GAA
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And it was the Garden County who ran out comprehensive winners, beating the Saffrons 7-11 to 0-7.
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