Second half majors help send Kerry minors to All-Ireland semi-final as Paddy Lane scores 1-7 against Kildare


Kerry 2-13

Kildare 1-11

Some free advice for Wayne Quillinan: book a suite in a Tralee hotel, rent a storage unit in Monavalley, bring the lad home with you – just do whatever it takes to keep Paddy Lane safe and out of harm’s way between here and the All-Ireland semi-final in a fortnight.

There is simply no overstating how important – critical, in fact – Lane is to this Kerry minor team and their chance of winning the Tommy Markham Cup. And if that sounds like too much to put on a 17-year-old’s shoulders, it seems a burden the young Austin Stacks man is only too happy to shoulder.

Actually, come to think of it, the Kerry manager would do worse than do put his and Lane’s club mate, Ben Murphy, into cold storage too for the next couple of weeks. It would be unfair to say this Kerry team is going nowhere without Lane and Murphy, but it is a team most definitely going places with the pair of them in it.

Lane finished with a goal and seven points – 1-3 from play – and Murphy chipped in with a goal and a point; that’s all but five points of Kerry’s total of 2-13, enough to get the recently minted Munster champions past the challenge of beaten Leinster finalists, Kildare, and into the last four of the All-Ireland Championship.

Seven points clear just after three-quarter mark, Kerry were never quite home and safe until Murphy slalomed through a parting Kildare defence and finished with coolness personified past Cathal Moore to put the Kingdom seven up again, after Kildare had halved the deficit through points from sub Jack McCabe and two from the excellent Joey Cunningham.

They would be talking about Murphy’s goal around Rock Street for months to come only for one inescapable fact: it was completely overshadowed by Lane’s goal, a slice of Cliffordesque magic in the 36th minute.

Kerry had got to half time one point ahead, 0-7 to 1-3, and were getting nothing for free from a sticky Kildare team that had just seen Leinster champions Dublin come from the death to beat Cork at the death in the first game at Nowlan Park.

Lane had scored from a free and from play either side of a pair of Kildare points to leave the score at 0-9 to 1-5 after 35 minutes. Aaron Kennelly – only on the field a minute as a substitute – played the ball down the line for Lane to gather. The Stacks man, oozing confidence, turned, stepped inside and, spotting Moore a metre off his goal line, executed a brilliant lob to the far corner of the goal.

That pushed Kerry four clear, with points from Murphy and Tomás Kennedy quickly putting the Munster champions six clear. Cunningham pointed for Kildare, but Lane converted a free after drawing the foul himself and then goalkeeper James Hoare fired over a 50-metre free to put Kerry those seven points ahead.

Still four ahead in the 58th minute, Quillinan would have swallowed hard when Kennedy was black carded for a deliberate pull down on Cunningham, and when five additional minutes were signalled Kerry still had work to do. But cometh the hour, cometh that other Rockie, Ben Murphy, whose goal restored the seven-point margin and allowed Kerry make it safely to shore.

Kerry had lost Daniel Kirby to illness before the game, but Murphy, who has been playing much more advanced than the no.3 on his back suggests, fell in seamlessly beside Evan Boyle at midfield, and the pair had the better of the midfield contest throughout.

Lane signalled his intent to dominate from the get go with the game’s first score after eight seconds, and Kerry were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead by the 20th minute after an opening quarter that was cautious and cramped and not without errors.

Then, in the 21st minute, Harry Redmond, almost to his own surprise, saw the field open up in front of him and he drove on with the ball before driving a perfectly placed low show past Hoare to give Kildare the lead, 1-2 to 0-4.

Kerry hit back with the next two scores, from Lane and club mate Dara Hogan, and in the 28th minute Lane cut inside his marker to fizz a rising shot that needed a fingertip save from Moore to push the ball up on to the goalpost.

It wasn’t long before Lane was on target, his goal finally and firmly titling the contest Kerry’s way, opening the route for the Munster champions to move on to the penultimate stage of the competition in a fortnight.

We’re not joking: Kerry need to get their goal scorers into bubble-wrap and away from everyone and everything until that All-Ireland semi-final. Paddy doesn’t need to be living in the fast lane until it’s absolutely necessary.

KERRY: James Hoare 0-2 (2f) (Dingle), David Mulvihill (Tarbert), Gearoid Evans (Keel), Isaac Brosnan (Castleisland Desmonds); Padraig Moynihan (Rathmore), Keelan O’ Shea (Kilcummin), Pa Walsh (Listowel Emmets), Ben Murphy 1-1 (Austin Stacks), Evan Boyle (Ballyduff), Paudie Fitzgerald 0-1 (Castlegregory), Tomás Kennedy 0-1 (Kerins O’Rahillys), Sean Ó Cuinn (An Ghaeltacht); Dara Hogan 0-1 (Milltown/Castlemaine), Oisin Healy (Asdee), Paddy Lane 1-7 (0-3f) (Austin Stacks).

Subs: Aaron Kennelly (Listowel Emmets) for S Ó Cuinn (35), Stephen Gannon (Laune Rangers) for D Hogan (44), Darragh O’Keeffe (Moyvane) for O Healy (44), Ruairi O’Connell (St Senans) for P Fitzgerald (48), Aodhna O Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht) for P Walsh (57).

KILDARE: Cathal Moore 0-1 (f), Liam Kelly, Colm Moran, Ruaidhri Lawlor, Alex Tilly, James Donnelly, Liam O’Connor, Paul O’Dea 0-1, Rob Murray, Seanan Murphy, Tadhg Conlan, Joey Cunningham 0-8 (4f), Harry Redmond 1-0, Evan Boyle, Evan Donnelly.

Subs: Jack McCabe 0-1 for L O’Connor (44), Donnchadh Kinch for E Donnelly (48), Michael Chambers for L Kelly (50), Cian Keaveny for T Donlan (50), Daniel Colbert for S Murphy (55).

REFEREE: Chris Maguire (Clare)

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