By Eoghan Cormican, Fitzgerald Stadium
Kerry 0-32 Clare 0-10
Kerry cruised into a sixth consecutive Munster SFC final, Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s side routing Clare to the tune of 22 points.
This was a new-look Kerry side, with the starting team containing seven players - goalkeeper and stand-in captain Shane Murphy, Jason Foley, Ronan Shanahan, Gavin White, Micheál Burns, Seán O’Shea and David Clifford - making their championship debut.
The latter three contributed 0-11 between them, O’Shea accounting for seven of that haul.
Paul Geaney, mind, was the pick of their forwards, the Dingle man kicking seven over the course of afternoon. All but one of that tally came from play.
The bench, too, did their bit, with Barry John Keane, Darran O’Sullivan, Anthony Maher, Michael Geaney on the mark
It was game over at half-time, the home side ahead by 0-16 to 0-4. James O’Donoghue’s point in the 22nd minute meant all six starting forwards had scored from play.
That point put Kerry 0-10 to 0-3 in front, their pace and incessant running down the channels causing numerous problems for a Clare defence that simply could conjure up no answer.
The Banner had started brightly, Eoin Cleary (free) and Pearse Lillis sending the visitors two clear inside a minute and a half.
Kerry, though, landed the next six scores, as three championship debutants - Micheál Burns, Seán O’Shea (0-3, one free and ‘45), David Clifford - and Stephen O’Brien wrote their names onto the scoresheet.
David Tubridy, having been set-up by the hardworking Gary Brennan, stemmed the tide on the quarter-hour mark, but Colm Collins charges would not score again for another 20 minutes, during which, the Kingdom landed 10-in-a-row.
The second-half was a non-event, Kerry at their ease in seeing off a most disappointing Clare side.
Next up for Kerry is a Munster final date with Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Scorers for Kerry: S O’Shea (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘45), P Geaney (0-7, 0-1 free); J O’Donoghue (0-4, 0-2 frees); S O’Brien, BJ Keane (1f) 0-3 each, M Burns, D Clifford (1f), 0-2 each, A Maher, J Barry, M Geaney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: E Cleary (0-5, 0-4 frees); D Tubridy (0-1 free), J Malone (0-2 each); P Lillis (0-1).
Kerry: S Murphy; P Crowley, R Shanahan, T Morley; J Foley, P Murphy, G White; D Moran, J Barry; M Burns, S O’Shea, S O’Brien; D Clifford, P Geaney, J O’Donoghue.
Subs: M Geaney for Burns (45); BJ Keane for O’Donoghue (52); B Ó Beaglaoich for Shanahan, A Maher for Moran (both 57); D O’Sullivan for Clifford (59); K Donaghy for O’Shea (64)
Clare: E Tubridy; C O’Dea, C Brennan, G Kelly; C Ó hAinifein, J Malone, A Fitzgerald; G Brennan, C O’Connor; K Malone, E Collins, P Lillis; E Cleary, D Tubridy, K Sexton.
Subs: G O’Brien for K Malone (45); E Courtney for Tubridy (51); G Cooney for Sexton (57); E O’Connor for Ó hAinifein (59); C Finucane for O’Dea (66).
Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).