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‘That looks a bad one’ – Jason Foley injury takes shine off Kerry win for Jack O’Connor


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The Kerry full-back was involved in a coming-together with Roscommon’s Niall Daly as the two players contested a 58th minute kickout at Dr Hyde Park. Foley damaged his right ankle in the process and his distress was immediately apparent before he was helped off the field.

“The only down out of today is losing Jason Foley. That looks a bad one now,” admitted O’Connor after his side’s 1-17 to 1-11 win.

Kerry still have a chance of reaching the Allianz FL Division 1 final, depending on their result against Galway next Sunday and also a favour from Tyrone against high-flying Dublin.

But O’Connor’s concern about Foley will obviously focus on whether his first-choice No 3 will be fit for the start of their championship campaign. Kerry’s Munster SFC opener is less than five weeks away, with a semi-final against Cork or Limerick pencilled in for Saturday, April 20.

Diarmuid O’Connor and Dylan Geaney weren’t involved in the match-day squad against Roscommon, but the Kerry boss described them as muscle injuries that are “not major”.

On the plus side, veteran Paul Geaney marked his playing return with two points and a late goal assist for Joe O’Connor during a lively fourth quarter cameo.

Meanwhile, Roscommon manager Davy Burke declared that key forward Ben O’Carroll will be back for their Connacht SFC semi-final against Mayo or New York on April 21.

The St Brigid’s attacker, a nominee for this year’s AIB club footballer of the year, won’t be ready for Roscommon’s final league outing in Derry as they plot an unlikely last-day relegation escape.

“It’s some type of groin injury. It’s overuse – Sigerson, us and Brigid’s. Everyone wants a bit of him,” Burke explained. “He’s a smashing fella and so young and decent that he’ll never say no to you. He’ll always tog out, train every day and wouldn’t even tell you.”

Burke is still confident that Roscommon can turn their season around if he gets more game-time into a host of recently injured players.

“Wasn’t it brilliant to see Cathal Heneghan back?” he said of a player who came off the bench to fist a second half goal.

“All we’re trying to do is find him minutes, find Ultan (Harney) minutes, find Tadhg (O’Rourke) minutes, find Ronan Daly minutes. It’s hard though, week on week.”

Compared to his first league campaign, this year had been “trickier,” he acknowledged. “A year ago, we had three quick wins on the board and our full squad. First round last year, I was able to bring on Enda Smith, Ciaráin Murtagh and Donie Smith with 20 to go.

“I haven’t been in that position to date, although today’s bench wasn’t far off that. It’s been different, which adds more pressure. I’m much happier where we are than being mid-table in Division 2 or second, because you fall over the line in some of those games and may have a false sense of yourself.

“I think we got a massive amount out of today. There were so many positives while being disappointed with the result. We’re moving in the right direction and getting getter.”

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