Cork outclassed by Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Cork 2-4 Kerry 3-18

It’s Galway next for Kerry as they eased to a sixth consecutive Munster SFC title, their eighth in nine years.

Suffering their largest defeat to their rivals in possibly 80 years, Cork were no match for Kerry's dynamism in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and were beaten as early as the half-time break when they were 1-11 to 2-1 down in front of a sun-kissed 27,674 attendance.

While the Kingdom have a Super 8 July 14 or 15 clash with the Connacht champions in Croke Park to look forward to, the severity of this admonishment is likely to have an impact on their chances of joining them in the All-Ireland quarter-finals phase.

Picking themselves up for a fourth round qualifier will be an onerous task given how distant a second they were here as Kerry kept their foot on their necks throughout the second half, Paul Geaney’s first goal just over a minute into the second half, ending any doubt about the result.

It seemed we were in for a game on the evidence of the opening 10 minutes.

Cork found the net first in the second minute when a Ruairí Deane run was unchecked and he square the ball to Jamie O’Sullivan to palm the ball home.

Kerry reacted quick via a David Clifford pass and were ahead in the fifth minute when, from the following kick-out, David Moran seized possession and set Stephen O’Brien on his way to goal.

Another Kerry point followed but not before Seán O’Shea blasted the ball off the crossbar after Clifford, who had given Sam Ryan a torrid time before the young Cork defender was black carded, had stolen possession back for Kerry.

Cork came back with another goal in the ninth minute as Deane again ran without challenge from the left wing and, similar to his first assist, put the ball across with Mark Collins this time adding the finish touch.

Luke Connolly added a classy point a minute later and Cork appeared to be up for the battle.

Yet they did not score for the remainder of the half - a full 28 minutes - as Kerry clicked into gear and had transformed a two-point deficit into a one-point lead by the 16th minute.

They were seven up in the 35th minute as the sharp Geaney sent over his third point, Kerry’s ninth point without reply.

Deane, after Ryan and O’Brien, was dismissed for a cynical foul in first-half additional time although the Bantry Blues man’s punishment for a third-man tackle appeared harsh.

Scorers for Cork: M. Collins (1-1); J. O’Sullivan (1-0); L. Connolly (0-2, 1 free); P. Kelleher (0-1).

Scorers for Kerry: P. Geaney (2-5); S. O’Shea (0-4, 1 free, 2 45s), J. O’Donoghue (0-3, 1 free); S. O’Brien (1-0); D. Clifford, P. Murphy (0-2 each); G. White, B.J. Keane (0-1 each).

CORK: M. White; K. Crowley, J. O’Sullivan, S. Ryan; K. Flahive; S. White, S. Cronin, T. Clancy; A. Walsh, I Maguire (c); K. O’Driscoll, J. O’Rourke; M. Collins, R. Deane, L. Connolly.

Subs for Cork: J. Loughrey for S. Ryan (black, 21); P. Kerrigan for R. Deane (black, 35+1); P. Kelleher for J. O’Rourke, B. Hurley for K. O’Driscoll (both h-t); B. O’Driscoll for S. Cronin (58); C. O’Neill for A. Walsh (59).

KERRY: S. Murphy (c); J. Foley, P. Murphy, T. Morley; B. Ó Beaglaoich, P. Crowley, G. White; D. Moran, J. Barry; M. Burns, S. O’Shea, S. O’Brien; D. Clifford, P. Geaney, J. O’Donoghue.

Subs for Kerry: K. McCarthy for S. O’Brien (black, 26); D. O’Sullivan for M. Burns (h-t); M. Griffin for J. Foley (54); K. Donaghy for D. Clifford (55); B.J. Keane for J. O’Donoghue (59); K. Young for T. Morley (64).

Referee: C. Branagan (Down).

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