Joe McDonagh drama as Kerry books last spot at Offaly’s expense

KERRY got the win he needed over Antrim in Belfast and got the favor he needed from Carlow against Offaly to advance to his third consecutive Joe McDonagh Cup final.

odge Boyle scored with 15 points in a flawless display, while Eoin Ross contributed with four and Paudie O’Connor played as a captain to help fend off a late Antrim rally that nearly saw them off take something from this game that would have broken Kerry’s heart.

But as things stand, the Kingdom managed to find the answers when they had their backs to the wall to hang on and stamp their ticket to the decider.

The visitors got off to a great start with the first four points – three from Boyle – before a very different Antrim side started to settle in with James McNaughton, Neil McManus and Michael Bradley leading the way.

The teams were tied at 0-7 and again at 0-8 when Kerry pushed in the break where they were leading 0-14 to 0-11, although they were hurt a Shane Conway score was scored after the game was brought back for a free.

Despite playing against the wind in the second half, Kingdom started to pull away with Eoin Ross putting them on their way, while Boyle added to his tally as Kerry pushed the gap to seven, but Antrim began to fight back with substitute Keelan Molloy. , McNaughton and Bradley on target.

Kerry continued to stay ahead as Boyle, Ross and Gavin Dooley restored their seven-point lead, but this game then took a huge turn to Antrim in stoppage time as Conal Bohill exploded at the net and after a response of Jordan Conway, Neil McManus aimed to leave one.

Boyle’s 15th point of the day calmed Kerry down but a point from McKernan left a very jittery finish but as they did all afternoon Kerry found an answer with Paudie O’Connor sealing their victory and their place in the final.

Scorers for Antrim: J McNaughton 0-9 (1 free), N McManus 1-2, C Bohill 1-1, M Bradley 0-4, E O’Neil 0-1, C McCann 0-1, A Bradley 0- 1, K Molloy 0-1, D McKernan 0-1

Scorers for Kerry: P Boyle 0-15 (12 free), E Ross 0-4, F MacKessy 0-4, J Conway 0-2, C Walsh 0-1, P O’Connor 0-1, C Harty 0- 1, G Dooley 0-1

ANTRIM: R Elliott; D Kearney, N O’Connor, P Duffin; McGarry R, ​​Donnelly M, Bohill C; S Walsh, M Bradley; E O’Neill, R McCambridge, J McNaughton; N McManus, C McCann, A Bradley.

Subs: K Molloy for R McCambridge (49), D McKernan (0-01) for S Walsh (49), G Walsh for P Duffin (61), J Maskey for C McCann (61), S Rooney for D Kearney (70 )

KERRY: L Dee; P O’Connor, E Leen, C O’Keefe; S Weir, M Boyle, F MacKessy; M Leane, P Boyle; Walsh C, Conway S, Ross E; G Dooley, N Mulcahy, C Harty.

Subs: J Conway for N Mulcahy (26), M O’Connor for C Harty (56), B Lonergan for S Conway (68), F O’Sullivan for G Dooley (70), M Heffernan for C Walsh (70+) 5)

REFEREE: J Keenan (Wicklow)

Carlow 0-22 Carlow 0-17

A lethargic and disappointing Offaly crashed out of the Joe McDonagh Cup. Needing a win or draw at home to Carlow to progress to the final, Michael Fennelly’s men couldn’t get the job done and were deservedly beaten by a Carlow side who ended their Championship campaign in style.

They would still have made the final despite the loss if Kerry hadn’t knocked out Antrim at Corrigan Park, but Fennelly and his proteges can’t complain after their display of lameness.

Chris Nolan was the star of the show for Carlow with seven points and they were fully worth their five-point buffer at the end. The opening rallies were close but three points from Nolan helped them take a 0-6 to 0-3 lead after 14 minutes.

Offaly got back on track and with Eoghan Cahill’s free hold in the foreground; the home team led 0-10 to 0-8 at the break.

Carlow tied the game at 41 minutes with Conor Kehoe on target, but Cahill was on hand to edge Offaly two points clear with 25 minutes to go.

At 0-14 apiece with 18 minutes remaining, Carlow kicked home with Martin Kavanagh dispatching more than two free kicks to put them ahead. They held on to that lead as the Offaly challenge faded with Kavanagh, Kevin McDonald and Conor Kehoe all finding the lineup for Carlow’s men to take the lead to five in the closing stages.

Scorers for Carlow: C Nolan 0-7, M Kavanagh 0-6 (5f), K McDonald 0-4 C Kehoe 0-3, R Coady and D Byrne (f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Offaly: E Cahill 0-13 (11f), S Corcoran (f), K Sampson, D Nally (touchline) and P Clancy 0-1 each.

CARLOW: B Tracey; J McCullagh, P Doyle, M Doyle; F Fitzpatrick, D Byrne, J Kavanagh; R Coady, K McDonald; Murphy S, Coady P, Nolan C; C Kehoe, JM Nolan, M Kavanagh. Subs – J Nolan for P Coady (66m), F O’Toole for R Coady (74m).

OFFALY: S Corcoran; J Screeney, C Burke, D King; L Fox, B Conneely, P Cantwell; E Kelly, J Sampson; K Sampson, E Cahill, D Nally; Clancy P, Murphy J, Langton L. Substitutes – B Duignan for Langton (43m), A Cleary for Kelly (44m), L O’Connor for Murphy (56m), S Dooley for K Sampson (67m), J Keenaghan for Nally (72m),

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)