Kerry storm past Cork to claim Munster title

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Kerry has put all questions to bed after last years shock loss to Cork – storming past the Rebels to claim the Munster title.

Claiming their 82nd Munster championship title, the Kingdom demolished rivals Cork 4-22 (34) to 1-09 (12) at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney.

Pulling out a statement to the rest of the teams left in the championship with a 22-point win – reaching another All-Ireland semi-final.

The opening five minutes were madness – Cork had a three-point lead with scores from Michael Hurley (2) and Daniel Dineen giving his side the opening spoils.

At the other end of the pitch, Kerry broke with pace, with David Clifford and Sean O’Shea missing guilt edged chances – although Michael Martin made some crucial saves to keep the Kingdom at bay.

By the 16th minute, the scoreline read 0-03 to 0-05 to Cork, with Kerry looking sloppy in their play, often giving the ball away from overly eager hand passing – mainly due to Cork’s rough tackling.

Cork’s only goal of the game came after Kerry captain Paul Murphy was dispossessed, leading the Rebels to quickly counter-attack with Ian Maguire handing it off to Brian Hurley who cut inside to finish past Shane Ryan.

The goal gave Cork the boost of confidence they so badly needed – ahead at the water break by 1-05 to 0-04.

The break itself did no favours for Cork, and seemingly gave Kerry a much-needed break and mental rest to regroup.

Coming out with six unanswered points to get a foothold in the game.

Luke Connolly kicked Cork’s first score in 12 minutes after Kerry’s assault, with the score now 0-10 to 1-06, defender Brian O’ Beaglaoich ran through the right-hand side of the Cork defence and slotted the ball home for Kerry’s first goal – and his second-ever championship goal.

At the start of the second half, Kerry was leading 1-12 to 1-07.

Sean O’Shea ran brilliantly through the middle of the park to lay it off to Paul Geaney, who finished calmly to give Kerry a further 8-point lead.

Paudie Clifford laid it off for Sean O’Shea for Kerry’s third goal of the game to make it 3-14 to 1-07.

Geaney got his second goal of the game after some quick passes around the Cork box saw a scuffle before the Dingle man tapped the ball into the net from close range.

Thankfully for Cork, the game ended soon after that, only scoring 0-02 points in the second half, losing Ruairi Deane to a red card – sustaining their biggest ever losing margin to Kerry in championship history.

Now, Kerry will turn to either Tyrone or Monaghan, with an All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks time – capturing the 82nd Munster title will give them unbridled confidence going forward.

Kerry Scores

Kerry: Shane Ryan, Brian Ó Beaglaoich (1-00), Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan (0-02), Paul Murphy, Mike Breen (0-01), Gavin White, David Moran (0-01), Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen O’Brien (0-01), Sean O’Shea (1-06, 3fs), Jack Barry (0-02), David Clifford (0-01,1f), Paul Geaney (2-01), Paudie Clifford (0-03).

Subs: Killian Spillane (0-02) for D O’Connor (inj, 18), Tommy Walsh (0-01) for O’Brien (blood, 45), Graham O’Sullivan for O Beaglaoich (blood, 53), Adrian Spillane for J Barry (56), S O’Brien for T Walsh (blood reverse, 57), T Walsh for P Geaney (57), O Beaglaoich for G O’Sullivan (blood reverse, 59), Gavin Crowley for T O’Sullivan (64), Tadhg Morley (0-01) for G White (66).

Cork Scores

Cork: Micheal Martin, Kevin O’Donovan, Sean Meehan, Kevin Flahive, Cian Kelly, Sean Powter, Mattie Taylor, Ian Maguire (0-01), Brian Hartnett (0-01), John O’Rourke, Ruairi Deane, Michael Hurley (0-02), Luke Connolly (0-01), Brian Hurley (1-03, 1f), Daniel Dineen (0-01, 1m).

Subs: Mark White for M Martin (ht), Mark Collins for L Connolly (41), Colm O’Callaghan for D Dineen (43), Kevin O’Driscoll for M Hurley (47), Kevin Crowley for O’Donovan (50).

 

 

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