Kerry withstand Cork fightback to win Munster MFC final

Kerry withstand Cork fightback to win Munster MFC final

Kerry 3-14 Cork 3-8

A topsy-turvy Electric Ireland Munster MFC final in Killarney had a fair outcome in the end, but while Kerry could and probably should have won by more, they could easily have been caught by a Cork side which recovered well from an early start.

At half-time, Peter Keane’s side held a 2-7 to 1-6 advantage but they could almost have been out of sight after assembling an early 2-3 to 0-2 lead.

However, Cork came out with renewed impetus for the second period and Colm O’Callaghan’s deflected shot was adjudged to have crossed the line before Kerry goalkeeper Billy Courtney saved it.

Mark Buckley levelled following a good catch and though two points from man of the match David Clifford eased Kerry clear again, a third Cork goal put them ahead, Nathan Walsh’s clearance bouncing favourably to elude Niall Collins and allow Buckley a clear run before firing home.

Unfortunately for Cork, that was the only time they led and it was to be a brief experience as Clifford profited from a quick free and carried the ball in along the line before shooting past Mark White.

Cork would only score one more point as Kerry augmented their advantage.

Wing-back Micheál Foley scored two nice points and probably should have had a goal but they didn’t need it as Clifford brought his final tally to 1-5, with six separating the teams at the final whistle.

Clifford only scored one point in the first half but he was central to the two Kerr goals in the opening 12 minutes. The Kingdom led by 0-2 to 0-1 in the sixth minute when Mike Breen’s delivery was won by Clifford, whose pass allowed Bryan Sweeney an easy task to finish.

Dara Moynihan almost had another immediately after, his shot after a mazy run hitting the angle of post and bar, but they didn’t have long to wait as Moynihan and Clifford combined to allowed captain Seán O’Shea to finish well.

Cork were overly reliant on Damien Gore frees but they came back to 2-5 to 0-5 and then Rory O’Driscoll set up Buckley for his first goal on 25, giving them hope as they turned with a four-point deficit.

They would reel that in, but Kerry had an extra couple of gears and they now play the Ulster runners-up in the All-Ireland quarter-finals while Cork meet the northern province’s champions.

Scorers for Kerry: D. Clifford 1-5 (2 frees), S. O’Shea 1-4 (2 frees, 1 45), B. Sweeney 1-0, D. Moynihan, M. Foley 0-2 each, B. Friel 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: M. Buckley 2-2, D. Gore 0-4 (frees), C. O’Callaghan 1-0, C. Maguire 0-2.

KERRY: B. Courtney (Dr Crokes); G. O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), N. Collins (Listowel Emmets), M. Reidy (Ballymacelligott); M. Potts (Dr Crokes), M. Foley (Ballydonoghue), D. O’Brien (Glenbeigh-Glencar); M. Breen (Beaufort), M. Ryan (Rathmore); D. O’Connor (Na Gaeil), S. O’Shea (Kenmare), D. Moynihan (Spa); B. Friel (Rathmore), D. Clifford (Fossa), B. Sweeney (Listowel Emmets).

Subs: D. Naughton (Dr Crokes) for Reidy (half-time), C. Linnane (Beale) for Sweeney (41), D. Shaw (Dr Crokes) for Friel (44), C Teahan (Glenbeigh-Glencar) for Ryan (58), F. O’Brien (Austin Stacks) for O’Connor, S. Okunbar (Na Gaeil) for Foley (both 60).

CORK: M. White (Clonakilty); A. McCarthy (St Finbarr’s), A. Browne (Trinity Gaels), L. O’Donovan (Clonakilty); R. O’Driscoll (Garnish), N. Walsh (Douglas), T. Ó Corcra (Cill na Martra); J. Ryan (Ballymartle), S. Ryan (Ballinascarthy); S. O’Sullivan (Mitchelstown), K. O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), C. Maguire (Castlehaven); D. Gore (Kilmacabea), C. O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), M. Buckley (Dohenys).

Subs: C. Foley (Kilmichael) for J. Ryan (half-time), S. O’Driscoll (Glanmire) for O’Sullivan (48), G. O’Donoghue (Ballincollig) for S. Ryan (53), S. Minihane (Ilen Rovers) for R. O’Driscoll, C. O’Mahony (Mitchelstown) for K. O’Donovan (both 59).

Referee: A. Kissane (Waterford).

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