Beaufort (Kerry) 3-17
Easkey (Sligo) 0-05
Michael Corry reporting from Croke Park
Beaufort came to Croke Park this afternoon and left as All-Ireland junior football champions after thrashing Sligo’s Easkey in a one-sided encounter.
Beaufort looked the more dangerous side from the get-go with Liam Carey opening the scoring for the Kerry champions after two minutes before full forward, Ciarán Kennedy, had a goal chance blocked down when really a point should have been taken.
It took eight minutes for the games opening goal and it was the Kerry side who scored it through Ronan Ferris who pounced on the ball after it came off the post before tucking it in the corner.
At this point, Beaufort’s tails were up as captain, Nathan Breen, rose highest to claim Shane Kilgannon’s kick out following the goal. With the mark, he found Carey who twisted and turned before firing over the bar. Kennedy added to Easkey’s woes with another score immediately leaving Beaufort in front 1-03 – 0-00 after the opening ten minutes.
Easkey needed a score to settle the nerves and who better to calm those nerves than the captain, Eugene Mullen who stormed through the middle before taking an off-load from Joe McHugh and firing over to get the Sligo champions off to the races.
However, their revival was short-lived as it went from bad to worse for Easkey on 17 minutes when a poor kick out was collected by Ferris who fed the ball inside to Ciarán Kennedy who made no mistake finishing expertly to the corner.
The Kerry men were totally dominant at this point as Easkey seemed to have no answer for their firepower up front as Fergal Hallissey found himself all alone underneath the Cusack Stand to score unchallenged before late-replacement, Danny Healy added his first fo the day to put Beaufort into a ten-point lead.
Ferris could have had a third goal for Beaufort but had to settle for a point before.
Easkey tried to claw their way back into the game but the Beaufort defence stood strong, in particular, centre-back, Mike Breen who was dominant in defence but also a threat going forward. It was Breen who overturned Easkey in attack before sending Padraig Doona free down the left-wing, Doona kicked a beautiful pass to Healy who added yet another point.
The misery continued for Easkey as Liam Carey capped off a classic first half performance with Beaufort’s third goal right on the half-time whistle. Carey fired to the net after Kilgannon saved well from Ferris. Beaufort led by 16 points at half-time and it looked like the game was up.
Easkey came out in the second half with a bit more bite and determination, however, it was Beaufort who scored first through wing-forward Doona who kicked the score of the day, curling over with the inside of his right foot from underneath the Hogan Stand.
Liam Carey continued to torment the Sligo champions scoring his third point of the day following a strong run from Nathan Breen. Two free kicks in quick succession from Hallissey put the nail in Easkey’s coffin as Beaufort stretched to 20 points in front.
Easkey were able to add to the score tally through Kevin Duffy and Joe McHugh, but this game was long over. Carey continued to chip away at the scoreboard in a man of the match performance that sees Kerry’s Beaufort win the 2019 All-Ireland junior football crown.
1. Michael Moriarty
2. Michael John O’Connor
3. Ger Hartnett
4. Sean Kelliher
5. Jeremiah O’Sullivan
6. Mike Breen
7. Jonathan Kissane
8. Nathan Breen (c) 0-01
9. Ronan Murphy
10. Padraig Doona 0-01
11. Liam Carey 1-05
12. Fergal Hallissey 0-05
20. Danny Healy 0-02
14. Ciarán Kennedy 1-01
15. Ronan Ferris 1-01
17. Cormac O’Connor for 7. Jonathan Kissane
21. Dara Coffey for 20. Danny Healy
23. Seamus O Raghallaigh for 5. Jeremiah O’Sullivan
13. Niall O’Connor 0-01 for 15. Ronan Ferris
18. Padraig O’Sullivan for 8. Nathan Breen
22. Ian McGillycuddy
1. Shane Kilgannon
2. Ian Barrett
3. Noel McGuire
4. John Feeney
5. Eanna Moylan
6. Rory McHugh
7. James Lindsay
8. Eugene Mullen (c) 0-01
9. Mikie Gordon
10. Dylan Sloyan
11. Joe McHugh 0-01
12. Emmet Healy
13. Andrew Kilcullen
14. Ryan McKenna
15. Kevin Duffy 0-01
19. Bernard Feeney for 7. James Lindsay
28. Brendan McGrath for 13. Andrew Kilcullen
22. Jonathon Conway 0-01 for 14. Ryan McKenna
27. Jack Scott 0-01 for Eanna Moylan
20. Hayden Gilroy for Dylan Sloyan
17. Joseph Duffy for Emmet Healy