Meath Give Kerry a Royal lesson

All -Ireland Minor B Hurling - quarterfinal
Meath 2-12 Kerry 0-6 
By Murt Murphy for
A stronger Meath side, outclassed a very disappointing Kerry team, forced to play without their top marksman and best player Padraig Boyle, in this All-Ireland Minor B Hurling quarterfinal played at the Austin Stack Park Tralee, on Saturday afternoon.

Goals in either half by Aaron Ennis and Cillian O'Sullivan ensured a facile Meath victory that also shot fifteen wides!

Meath were in charge from the very outset with a very strong spine, all the way from fullback James Kelly to man of the match and full-forward Aaron Ennis who top scored with 1-3, and the Kerry defence just could not put the shackles on him.

This was a poor display by this talented Kerry side, as near as a no show as one is ever likely to see as Kerry were lifeless from the throw in, lacked any intensity or hunger and the teamwork that the side had shown earlier in the Munster Minor Championship was absent.
This was in truth head scratching stuff from a team who had played in the Munster Minor Championship, and also played in the Harty Cup and to see players like Daniel Collins, Muiris Delaney and Tommy Barrett struggle was puzzling in the extreme.

In fact it was one most disappointing days watching a Kerry hurling side and lets hope it was a once off and Kerry senior boss John Meyler had a puzzled look, watching the events unfold in front of him.

Kerry hurling has come a long way and it's not the time to panic because there has been so much good work done in recent years by a lot of people in the clubs, Causeway CS and coaches like Maurice Leahy and John Griffin but the work must continue.

There is always the club v county debate in Kerry hurling but it would be reasonable to state that all the players that were fit were made available by the clubs, except the two injured players Podge Boyle and Dougie Fitzell.

So once the squad assembles, it's up to management to motivate them and the players to perform when they cross the white line. However this game was won and lost in the opening quarter when Meath imposed themselves on the game and Kerry just could never play catch up.

Let's also not lose sight of the fact, that Meath were a very good side and a full strength and hungry Kerry side would have found it difficult to beat them. My theory on the game , for what it is worth is that Kerry came up against a physically stronger Meath, who had in Aaron Ennis , player Kerry could not handle and when they fell behind, they looked up for their Henry Shefflin like figure, Podge Boyle and unfortunately, he was not there, so heads dropped.

It was such a bad day at the office for Kerry that only a handful of players played anywhere up to their normal standard with Pa Jo Connolly, Ricky Heffernan, Shane Dunne, Mikey O'Halloran and Paul McGrath ( when he moved into the attack). Indeed seeing McGrath playing at wing back was strange but maybe the management had no other option.

Meath thanks to an Ennis, who found the Kerry net in the 11th minute were always in control but shot seven wides in the opening half as Meath led 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval.

Kerry did not open their account until Shane Dunne pointed in the 10th minute after Pa Jo Connolly was fouled. Then came the Meath goal by Ennis after a defensive error left him through on goal.

The same player followed up with a 14th minute point before Ricky Heffernan scored Kerry's solitary first half point from play.
Four unanswered points from Meath saw them move 1-6 to 0-2 clear by the 23rd minute and it was really game over that this stage.

Kerry were playing second fiddle to Meath all over the field but two Shane Dunne frees gave Kerry some hope. However a fine point from centre forward James Toher had Meath 1-7 to 0-4 in front at half time and Kerry needed a good start to the second half or a miracle to save the game.

Instead it was Meath who put Kerry away with a James O'Reilly point inside the opening minute and when Cillian O'Sullivan shot to the Kerry net, a minute later, it was game over as Meath coasted to victory despite shooting eight more wides.

Frustratingly Kerry only managed two points in the second half, points in the 35th minute from the excellent P J Connolly and then in the 55th minute from Paul McGrath who scored a superb point off his favoured left side.

So we will never know what would have happened if Padraig Boyle had been fit to play, but on reflection, it is doubtful if he would have been able to save Kerry on this occasion!

A Ennis 1-3, C O'Sullivan 1-1, J Toher 0-3 (0-1 free), C Fitzsimmons and J Reilly 0-2 each, D Healy 0-1

S Dunne 0-3 frees, P McGrath, P J Connolly and R Heffernan 0-1 each

Kerry Team
K Fitzgibbons, T B McElligott, C Savage, K O'Sullivan, P McGrath, T Barrett, M O'Halloran, L Fitzell, D Leahy, P J Connolly, M Delaney, D Collins, S Dunne, V Savage, R Heffernan.
Subs: T Moore for V Savage (26), D Goulding for D Leahy (h/t), D Lynch for D Goulding (48), E O'Connor for T B McElligott (44), T Casey for M Delaney (56)

Meath Team
C Murray, G Foley, J Kelly, B Wright, S McGee, D Healy, D Foley, C Fitzsimmons, K O'Brien, J Andrews, J Toher, C McCabe, C O'Sullivan, A Ennis, J Regan
Subs: J Reilly for J Regan (15), A Fagan for J O'Reilly (60)

Referee: J O'Connell (Cork)


The Garveys Supervalu Senior County Hurling Championship will take place next weekend. There is extra time in all games
The schedule of games is as follows:

Round 2A (Winners Group)

Friday Aug 12 @ 7pm


  • Ballyheigue v O'Dorney in Austin Stack Park

Saturday Aug 13 @ 7pm



  • Ballyduff v Kilmoyley in Austin Stack Park

The winners go to the semi finals
The losers play the winners of Group 2B


Round 2B (Losers Group) Sunday 14th August in Austin Stack Park


  • Causeway v Crotta at 2pm
  • Lixnaw v St Brendans at 3.30pm
The winners play the losers of Group 2A
The losers exit the championship 2011