Irish World Senior Football Championship Rnd 1
Tir Chonaill Gaels 6-10
Kingdom Kerry Gaels 1-6
By Damian Dolan
At McGovern Park, Ruislip
Adrian Hanlon helped himself to a hat-trick as Tir Chonaill Gaels eased their way into the championship campaign with a comfortable and commanding victory over Kingdom Kerry Gaels at McGovern Park on Sunday.
The Gaels were never in danger from the moment David O’Donnell arrived at the far post to turn Ryan Elliott’s inviting ball in to the net. The problem for the Kingdom was that that came after just 19 seconds.
Hanlon tagged on a couple of points before the Kingdom’s afternoon took another turn for the worst with the black carding of their influential London county man Marcus Mangan.
Mangan’s involvement lasted just 11 minutes and his loss was a serious blow for the Kingdom.
But they rallied well, led by Timmy O’Sullivan who gave Philip Butler, and the Gaels defence at large, a testing afternoon. He was also unlucky with a couple of lovely strikes which were adjudged wide.
The Gaels moved clear on the scoreboard when Michael McWiliams’ pin-point ball over the top found Hanlon in space and he drilled it past Dan McDonagh for his first.
The Gaels led by 2-7 to 0-4 at the break and had already done enough to ensure a winning start to their campaign.
But the Kingdom had no intention of making life easy for them and they started the second half superbly.
Timmy O’Sullivan smashed one against the Gaels’ crossbar and then Michael Jennings forced Gavin McEvoy into a flying save.
A goal was coming for the Kingdom and it duly arrived. Gearoid Kerins’s ball in picked out Timmy O’Sullivan and he buried it past McEvoy.
It was well-deserved for Timmy O’Sullivan, who was a constant nuisance for the Gaels defence.
The Kingdom wouldn’t be allowed to build on it though. A fine move involving Killian Butler and Brian Mullen ended with a penalty being awarded against McDonagh for a foot-block, as Hanlon pulled the trigger.
Eoin Murray stepped up to convert from the penalty spot, although McDonagh did get a hand to it.
Six minutes later Killian Butler was again in involved as his cheeky ball released Brendan Friel, and the midfielder fed Hanlon to goal.
That made it 4-9 to 1-5 in favour of the Gaels and there was still 13 minutes left to play.
The Kingdom spurned a chance from the penalty spot of their own after Timmy O’Sullivan was brought down. Unfortunately, Jennings fired high, wide and not very handsome.
To compound matters, the Gaels went straight down the other end and Hanlon completed his hat-trick, set up by John McGrath.
Eoin Mageen wrapped things up by adding goal number six late on.
Tir Chonaill Gaels: Gavin McEvoy; Philip Butler, Shaun Burke, Michael McWilliams; Marty McCoy, Anthony McDermott, Gary Magee; Brendan Friel, Brian Mullen (0-1); Eoin Murray (1-0, Pen), Mark Gottsche (0-1), David O’Donnell (1-0); Ryan Elliott (0-1), Adrian Hanlon (3-6, 2f), Adam Askin (0-1). Subs: Killian Butler for Askin, Ronan Breen for Philip Butler, Eoin Mageen (1-0) for Elliott, John McGrath for O’Donnell, Liam Monaghan for Magee, Shane Murney for Gottsche.
Kingdom Kerry Gaels: Dan McDonagh; Michael O’Sullivan, Conor O’Neill, Cian Griffin; Michael Jennings (0-1), Caoimhin Carty, Jason O’Connor; Stephen Browne, Marcus Mangan; Shane O’Connor, Stephen Kilcoyne, Kevin Crehan; Alan Kenny, Timmy O’Sullivan (1-2, 1f), David O’Sullivan (0-2f). Subs: Alan O’Leary (0-1) for Mangan (black card), Gearoid Kerins for Griffin, Colm Middleton for David O’Sullivan, Dara Collins for O’Connor, Keith Sheehan for Jennings.
Referee: Gavin Dixon.