Hurling & Camogie

Daithi Sands red card proves costly for Down in Tralee

The home side outscored their visitors by nine points to one after the Portaferry man was sent off

Down's Daithi Sands has a shot as Meath's James Toher attempts to block during Joe McDonagh Cup match at McKenna Park, Ballycran
Down's Daithi Sands was red-carded in the defeat to Kerry in Tralee

Joe McDonagh Cup round two

Kerry 0-26 Down 2-12

KERRY made it two wins on the trot in this Joe McDonagh cracker at Austin Stack Park on Sunday, but at halftime it looked extremely unlikely as they retired on level terms with the visitors having played against a strong breeze.

The second half was nip and tuck as the sides traded points all the way to the hour mark when the game turned in Kerry’s favour.

Paul Sheehan, who had converted three from three in the second half, had a chance of sending his side in front with a scoreable free but it dropped short and as Daithi Griffin gained possession, Daithi Sands was guilty of a careless  pull that saw him pick up a second yellow.

Kerry took full advantage of the extra man. From there to the finish, the home side outscored Down by nine points to one, with the first seven of that coming without reply as the home side showed incredible fitness and teamwork to emerge eight-point winners.

Kerry had the wind to their backs in the opening half but failed to take full advantage, shooting 12 wides to Down’s four.

Kerry had opening points from Ronan Walsh and Maurice O’Connor but also shot four wides in as many minutes.

Down struck for their first goal in the 10th minute when a long-range free from Caolan Taggart dropped in the Kerry danger zone and Daithi Sands found the net with a deft flick ahead of keeper Louis Dee.

Eoghan Sands added a point for Down but Kerry added five more wides in another seven-minute barren spell before Down struck for a second goal. It came after Eoghan Sands was allowed to race through the Kerry defence to place Caolan Taggart, who blasted the ball past Dee.

It was now 2-2 to 0-4 but three Maurice O’Connor points and one from sub Dan Goggin levelled the game at 0-8 to 2-2, with both sides adding two points each before half-time, as they went in level at 0-10 to 2-4.

But the sending off and Kerry’s more productive finish proved decisive.

Down manager Ronan Sheehan was not making excuses in the aftermath

‘‘I suppose we were disappointed with the first 20 minutes of the second half because we didn’t use the ball and we gave Kerry a lot of frees,’’ said Sheehan.

‘’It was good pressure from Kerry but needless turnovers that put us under pressure. We expected to be a lot more fluid with the ball but we weren’t.

‘’Then, unfortunately, we have a chance to go a point up and Paul ( Sheehan) has a fairly simple free for a man of inter-county level, mishits it, drops low into the square, Daithi goes for it, it was a yellow card, he is off and Kerry used the spare man very well.’'


Kerry M O’Connor 0-13 (0-7f); D Goggin 0-4; F Mackessy (1f) & R Walsh 0-2 each; C Walsh, K Hayes, B Barrett, D Woulfe & G Dooley (0-1 each).

Down D Sands 1-1; C Taggart 1-0; P Sheehan 0-3f; T Prenter, E Sands & C Egan 0-2 each; D Hughes & F Turpin 0-1 each

Round two

Offaly 2-23 Westmeath 1-20

Meath 1-16 Laois 7-29

Round three

Saturday, May 4 (3pm)

Down v Westmeath (Ballycran)

Kerry v Laois (Austin Stack Park)

Meath v Offaly (Trim)