NHL 3A: Late goals secure promotion for Kingdom

April 11, 2010

Kerry hurling manager John Meyler
Fourteen-man Kerry made an instant return to Division 2 of the NHL after late goals from James Flaherty and James McCarthy helped them to the Division 3A title at Derry's expense in Woodmount, Co. Roscommon.

Kerry 2-18
Derry 1-15

Young gun Darragh O'Connell also made a huge contribution to the Kingdom's success by firing over 12 points, including nine frees and one '65'. John Meyler's Kerry side looked to be cruising to victory when they led by eight points early in the second half, but Derry closed the gap to three points with five minutes remaining. It then took a superb goal by Flaherty and another moments later from the long-serving McCarthy to secure the title for the Munster side.

Kerry suffered a blow before the throw-in when their talisman Shane Brick was ruled out. However, his 19-year-old replacement O'Connell went on to have a fine game with a number of his scores coming from long distance.

Kerry had raced into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead before their full forward Gary O'Brien was red-carded. Despite their numerical disadvantage, they led by 0-12 to 0-5 at the interval, but Derry fought back in the second half and the free-taking of Ruairi Convery and Paddy McCloskey's 52nd minute goal saw them close the gap before Kerry finished with a flourish.

The final score could have been a lot different, however, had Derry not missed two penalties.

Scorers - Kerry: D O'Connell 0-12 (9f, 1 '65); J Flaherty 1-1; J McCarthy 1-0; J Egan 0-2; T Murnane, M Conway and M Boyle 0-1 each. Derry: R Convery 0-5 (4f, 1 '65); P McCloskey 1-2; M Craig 0-3; P Henry 0-2f; K Hinphey 0-2; O McCloskey 0-1.

Kerry: JB O'Halloran; C Harris, A Healy, J Fitzgerald; J Godley, L Boyle, T Murnane; E Sheehy, J Griffin; J Egan, M Boyle, D O'Connell; M Conway, G O'Brien, JM Dooley. Subs: J Flaherty for JM Dooley, J McCarthy for E Sheehy, J Casey for J Egan.

Derry: D McDermott; S McCullagh, E McKeever, R McCloskey; A McCloskey, L Hinphey, C Brunton; P O'Kane, K Hinphey; M Craig, R Convery, P McCloskey; P Henry, M Conway, F Kelly. Subs: O McCloskey for F Kelly, S Henry for C Brunton, S McNicholl for P Henry

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).

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