Conor Cox shines as Kerry junior footballers capture three-in-a-row

Conor Cox of Kerry in action against Michael Flood of Meath. Pic: Sportsfile.

Kerry 2-19 Meath 1-14

A tour-de-force performance from Conor Cox steered Kerry to a third consecutive All-Ireland JFC title at O’Moore Park this afternoon, writes Eoghan Cormican.

The Listowel Emmets man, who was part of the 2015 winning side, finished with 1-5 from play, and he was a large contributor in Kerry’s third-quarter surge which killed off the Meath challenge.

Kerry led by 1-8 to 0-7 at the break, the key score being the 14th minute goal gifted to Cox.

Meath goalkeeper Johnny Lynch kicked possession straight to the full-forward and he made no mistake from close range.

The opening major propelled the Kingdom into a 1-5 to 0-3 lead and while Cox and Meath’s Ben Brennan subsequently exchanged minors, the Royals landed the next three scores to bring it back to a two-point ball game, 1-6 to 0-7.

The winners finished the half stronger, however, with Philip O’Connor and Cox splitting the posts.

A pair of points from Cox stretched their lead to six shortly after the resumption and although Meath replied, Tomas Ó Sé's fisted goal on 43 minutes established considerable daylight between the sides. Indeed, with three of the next four scores going Kerry’s way, the scoreboard had them 2-15 to 0-10 in front on 48 minutes.

The losers did string four points in-a-row, thereafter and also managed an injury-time goal through Seán Reilly, but it was largely inconsequential.

They were left to rue the two goals chances they had in the first-half, Pa Kilkenny and goalkeeper Tomás Mac an tSaoir repelling the respective efforts.

The latter also made two important second-half saves.

Kerry, who finished with 14 men following a straight red card shown to Eanna Ó Conchúir, move ahead of Cork on the roll of honour with 18 titles.

Scorers for Kerry: C Cox (1-8, 0-3 frees); T Ó Sé (1-3); K Spillane, P O’Connor (0-3 each); E Ó Conchúir, I Parker (0-1 each).

Scorers for Meath: B Brennan (0-6, 0-2 ‘45s, 0-1 free); J Conlon (0-4); S Reilly (1-0); K Ross, D Rowe, D Healy, W Carry (0-1 each).

Kerry: T Mac An tSaoir (An Ghaeltacht); E Kiely (Brosna), J McGuire (Listowel Emmets), B Sugrue (Renard); J Walsh (Knocknagoshel), P Kilkenny (Glenbeigh-Gencar), D O’Brien (Glenflesk); R Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), B O’Sullivan (Valentia); P O’Connor (Cordal), J O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), E Ó Conchúir (An Ghaeltacht); K Spillane (Templenoe), C Cox (Listowel Emmets), T Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht).

Subs: L Carey (Beaufort) for O’Donoghue (38 mins); M Foley (Ballydonoghue) for Kilkenny (51); S O’Sullivan (Templenoe) for Cox (58); I Parker (Churchill) for O’Sullivan (58); PJ Mac Laímh (An Ghaeltacht) for Walsh (60); DJ Murphy (Gneeveguilla) for Kiely (63).

Meath: J Lynch (Moynalty); L Moran (Trim), M Flood (St Brigid’s) A Lynch (St Colmcille’s); D Toner (Curraha), W Carry (Drumbaragh), D Healy (Longwood); A Flanagan (Clonard), C Farrell (Dunderry); N Shorthall (Curraha), K Ross (Castletown), C McConnell (Bective); J Scully (Oldcastle), D Rowe (Syddan), B Brennan (St Colmcille’s).

Subs: J Conlon (St Colmcille’s) for Scully (19 mins); S Coogan (Dunderry) for Ross (41); S Reilly (Moylough) for Farrell (46); C O’Rourke (Trim) for Carry (49); C Moriarty (Curraha) for Shorthall (53); S Coogan (Dunderry) for Rowe (57);

Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).

More in this Section

Cabo go top after seeing off Wexford

Greene goal keeps Rovers well ahead of chasing pack

Cronin’s late heroics power Bishopstown to impressive win

Pochettino expects Manchester City to ‘fight’ for Premier League crown


5 chocolate-themed breaks to satisfy sweet-toothed travellers

See what’s under hammer at Ballea Castle

More From The Irish Examiner