By DAN KEARNEY
A performance full of power and pace propelled Kerry to an 11-point victory over Dublin at Austin Stack Park as they remain in the ascendency in Division 1 of the Lidl NFL with four wins out of four.
Once again, Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh was the scoring star for the Kingdom with a total of 0-11 but she had able back up from captain Siofra O’Shea with 1-2, while the third of the lethal full forward line, Hannah O’Donoghue, chipped in with a fine goal.
A blistering first half full of fast flowing attacking football saw Kerry, playing with the aid of a strong breeze race into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead with Ní Mhuircheartaigh scoring five for the Kingdom, two from play, with O’Shea adding another and Carla Rowe slotting over two frees for the Dubs.
The visitors were growing into the game though and after Eilish Dowd scored a lovely point Kate Sullivan struck for a splendid goal in the 14th minute after a fine move involving Rowe and Jodi Egan.
Kerry responded well through Niamh Ní Chonchúir and Ní Mhuircheartaigh with another free, but Dublin hit back once more when Danielle Lawless came from centre half back to slot over the bar.
Then came Kerry’s first goal. Lorraine Scanlon fed Ní Mhuircheartaigh who in turn found sharpshooter O’Donoghue who made no mistake to shoot low and hard past Emer Ní Eafa.
Kerry were rampant and Ní Mhuircheartaigh added another free following a foul on O’Donoghue. Goal number two came straight afterwards. Niamh Carmody gathered the Dublin kickout and found O’Shea driving through. The full forward had only one thing on her mind and she showed no mercy to shoot to Ní Eala’s top corner and Kerry led by 2-10 to 1-4 at half time.
Dublin made a decent effort at getting back into the game in the second half but the Kerry defence was ravenous and limited their opponents to a six points.
The icing on the cake for Kerry was corner back Ciara Murphy’s goal in the 55th minute when, after being fed by the outstanding O’Shea, she finished to the back of the net to crown an excellent Kerry victory.
Kerry goalkeeper Mary Ellen Bolger had made an outstanding save a couple of minutes earlier to deny impressive sub Niamh Hetherton but in truth Kerry were the much better side and can now dream of making the top two.
Scorers – Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-11 (9f), S O’Shea 1-2, H O’Donoghue 1-0, C Murphy 1-0, A Galvin 0-1, N Ní Chonchuir 0-1. Dublin: C Rowe 0-4 (3f), K Sullivan 1-0, O Nolan 0-2, N Hetherton 0-2, E O’Dowd 0-1, D Lawless 0-1.
KERRY: ME Bolger; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, C Lynch, L Galvin; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; N Carmody, N Ní Chonchúir, C Evans; H O’Donoghue, S O’Shea, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Subs: A Galvin for Evans (38), F Tangney for O’Donoghue (40), C O’Brien for L Galvin (53), A Harrington for Scanlon (53), E McGlynn for Ní Chonchuir (57), C Butler for Bolger (58), R Dwyer for Ni Mhuircheartaigh (59), A Dillane for Murphy (59), C McCarthy for A O’Connell (59).
DUBLIN: E Ní Eafa; T Quinn Corbally, M Byrne, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, O Nolan; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; K Sullivan, C Rowe, E Gribben; C O’Connor, J Egan, S Wylde.
Subs: O Nolan for Lawless (ht), N Hetherton for Wylde (ht), C Darby for Egan (39), K Owens for Quinn Corbally (45), H Timothy for Sullivan (47), O Martin for O’Connor (53).
Ref – Patrick Smith (Waterford).