Kerry 0-13 Cork 0-11
Keryr remain on course to qualify for the semi-finals of Division 1 of the Allianz Football League after they overcame neighbours Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh today.
Never trailing, the Kingdom made the most of a poor Cork first-half performance to build up a sizeable lead, and though the Rebels improved in the second period, they had left themselves too much of a gap to bridge.
Despite playing against the stiff breeze, Kerry were easily better than their hosts in the first half, the end of which they led by 0-8 to 0-2.
It was a strange period of football, with a subdued atmosphere, and Cork never got going, not registering a score from play until Aidan Walsh’s point in the 34th minute.
Far too often, the home side were putting passes astray as moves broke down needlessly.
In contrast, Kerry were playing controlled football, benefiting from a dominance in the air, and the ease with which they were able to build moves gave the game the air of a training match.
Paul Galvin orchestrated matters, rarely put under pressure when in possession, and, while Donncha O’Connor’s free answered Anthony Maher’s second-minute opener, from there Kerry had things as they liked.
Kieran Donaghy, playing despite the death of his father on Friday, scored a good point on 14 after a nice Darran O’Sullivan pass to put them 0-4 to 0-1 ahead, and three impressive frees, two by Declan O’Sullivan and one from Bryan Sheehan, left them in a strong position.
Walsh was not being used to his fullest potential at full-forward by Cork but he did manage to get on the scoresheet from a Pa Kelly pass near the end of the half, but another long-range Sheehan free ensured that Kerry retained their six-point advantage at the interval.
Cork improved upon the resumption, as they scored four of the first five points, Donncha O’Connor with two frees as Graham Canty – who had missed a good first-half goal chance – and Mark Collins got the others.
Kerry looked to have things weathered, however, as they reeled off three in a row, Sheehan with his third free, Declan O’Sullivan scoring a brilliant point from play and Paul Galvin rounded off a move involving Darran O’Sullivan and Patrick Curtin.
The introduction of Noel O’Leary, who went straight to mark Paul Galvin, was greeted with a roar by the home crowd, and when Fintan Goold pointed on 53 the gap was down to five points again, 0-12 to 0-7.
Two more, another O’Connor free and Walsh’s second, narrowed it further, the tension rising as O’Leary and Galvin become embroiled in an incident though referee Maurice Deegan did not issue any cards.
With five minutes left, Canty had another chance of a goal but Brendan Kealy saved well with his feet, and shortly after that Sheehan scored a fine point from long-range to settle Kerry.
Another O’Connor free and a shot from distance from corner-back Eoin Cotter which flashed over brought Cork closer, but they could not find a winning goal.
Cork: D O’Connor 0-5 (0-4f), A Walsh 0-2, G Canty, F Goold, E Cotter 0-1 each.
Kerry: Declan O’Sullivan (0-2f), B Sheehan (0-3f) 0-4 each, BJ Keane, K Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan, P Galvin, A Maher 0-1 each.
CORK: K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter; E Cadogan, P Kissane, G Canty; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; F Goold, M Collins, P Kelly; C O’Neill, A Walsh, D O’Connor.
Subs: P Kerrigan for Kelly (blood, 23-29), Kerrigan for O’Neill (49), N O’Leary for P O’Neill (52), L Shorten for Collins (62), B O’Driscoll for Kelly (66).
KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, K Young; P Crowley, E Brosnan, B McGuire; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, BJ Keane, K Donaghy; Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, P Curtin.
Subs: T Ó Sé for Crowley (44), K O’Leary for Curtin (56), D O’Callaghan for Keane (65).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).