By Joel Slattery, In the Gaelic Grounds
Kerry were convincing nine-point winners in the All-Ireland MFC quarter-final as they were too strong for Roscommon in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
The performance of Paul Walsh was a highlight for the Kingdom as the Brosna man helped withstand a second-half rally from the Rossies to secure a spot in the last four.
The Kingdom flew out of the blocks scoring three points in the opening five minutes. Ruaidhri Ó Beaglaioch, Paul Walsh and Patrick D’Arcy all got on the board before Fearghus Lennon opened Roscommon’s account.
Heavy showers made conditions tough, but this didn’t stop some impressive Kerry shooting.
Mid-way through the first half, the Munster champions got the game’s opening goal. A long ball into the square was broken by Paul Walsh, who laid the ball off to Ó Beaglaioch who coolly slot the ball past Daniel Connolly to put the Kingdom 1-4 to 0-2 ahead.
Walsh also played a part in Kerry’s second goal. His pass put Dylan Geaney into space and Dingle man played the ball across the square where Killian Falvey punched in from close range to increase the lead to eight points after 27 minutes.
Walsh, Paul O’Shea, Darragh Rahilly and Geaney added points before the interval as Kerry took a 2-10 to 0-4 lead into the half time break.
A stand-out feature of Roscommon in their run to the Connacht final was their never-say-die attitude and they showed this again as Charlie Carthy finished off a fine team move to get a 38th minute goal.
They got a second goal six minutes later. Shane Cunnane caught a fine ball on the edge of the square. He then flicked it out to Fearghus Lennon who powered the ball home past Marc Kelliher to reduce the gap to seven points.
However, this was as close as the Connacht side got in the closing stages as D’Arcy and Walsh got late scores to seal the win.
Kerry are now just two wins away from a fifth All-Ireland minor title in a row.
Scorers for Kerry: P. Walsh 0-5 (2f), R. Ó Beaglaioch 1-1; K. Falvey 1-0, P. D’Arcy 0-3, D. Rahilly, D. Geaney (1f), P. O’Shea 0-2 each; M. Lenihan 0-1
Scorers for Roscommon: F. Lennon 1-1, C. Carthy 1-0; J. Fitzpatrick 0-3; Adam McDermott 0-2; R Walsh 0-1.
Kerry: M. Kelliher; C. Flannery, O. Fitzgerald, D. Mangan; C. Moriarty, D. Murphy , D. McCarthy; P. O’Shea, D. Lyne; D. Rahilly, P. D’Arcy, K. Flavey; D. Geaney, R. Ó Beaglaioch, P. Walsh.
Subs: J. O’Connor for Ó Beaglaioch (ht); S Quilter for Falvey (52); M. Lenihan for Geaney (59);K. O’Donoghue for Fitzgerald (60); J. Kennelly for D’Arcy (60); D. Dineen for Rahilly (60).
Roscommon: D. Connolly; C. Brogan, D. Gaughan, S. Trundle, R. Dolan, C. Walsh, J. Lohan; S. Cunnane, J. Hester; C. Carthy, F. Lennon, R. Walsh; E. Derwin, Adam McDermott, J. Fitzpatrick.
Subs: R. Garvan for Derwin (40); N. Moran for Walsh (42); Aaron McDermott for Hester (47); K. Gunning for Dolan (56); D. Cregg for Carthy (60); D. Wynne for Gaughan (60).
Referee: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary).
Meanwhile, Meath and Monaghan also booked their places in the semi-finals of the competition.
They enjoyed respective wins over Derry and Kildare.