Rebels rock and roll

Rarely has a Cork minor football team displayed such excellent marksmanship and it augurs well for the team for the remainder of the championship.

A POWERFUL display of point scoring, allied to superb physical power, saw Cork brush aside the challenge of defending champions Kerry in a keenly contest ESB Munster MFC final in Killarney yesterday.

Rarely has a Cork minor football team showed such excellent marksmanship and it augurs well for the team for the remainder of the championship.

While it was essentially a team effort, Cork full back Rory Buckley never gave Kerry danger man Patrick Curtin a look in and with that threat gone, the home attack lacked leadership.

Midfielders Derry O’Callaghan and Chris O’Donovan won that key area comfortably but it was up front where Cork really sparkled. Ciaran Sheehan led the attack magnificently and apart from his four excellent points, he tormented the Kerry defence at every opportunity.

Cork won the toss and elected to play with the strong wind to their backs and made the best possible start. Four points inside the opening five minutes gave the visitors a tidy lead as Kerry struggled to get out of their own half. As Kerry struggled to cope with the incessant pressure, three more points were quickly added.

Kerry found it very difficult to cope with the tenacity of the Cork lads and it took them seven minutes to get on the scoreboard when Barry John Walsh pointed a free, but Cork were rampant all over the field, and, shooting on sight, tacked on two further points to lead 0-6 to 0-1 after 10 minutes.

In a rare attack Kerry got a point back and might have had a goal but for a great save by Cork ‘keeper Brian Walsh who was off his line quickly to deny JB Spillane. From that let off Cork hit back strongly and added three further points without reply to lead 0-9 to 0-3 after 25 minutes.

If the defending champions were to have any chance they needed a goal and it came courtesy of some sloppy play by Cork captain Chris O’Donovan who gave away possession with a careless clearance out of defence. The ball was quickly returned to the Cork defence where Barry John Walsh coolly slotted home a goal to give his side some chance as they were just three points adrift at half time, 0-9 to 1-3, after being comprehensively outplayed.

Cork again struck first after the break with an Aidan Walsh point but gave away possession far too easy and should have been made to pay but Eoin Kennedy shot wide when it looked easier to score.

Kennedy had another chance of a goal soon after but again wasted the chance and they were to pay the ultimate price for those misses when the Leesiders stretched their lead by the end of the third quarter with a succession of points leaving Kerry in need of a goal if they were to stay in the hunt.

Patrick Curtin came close but his shot went across the face of the Cork goalmouth and out wide. From that let off the visitors killed off the Kerry challenge with a goal. It came following excellent work by Barry O’Driscoll who floated the ball high into the Kerry share where Eoin Buckley won possession before slipping the ball home.

It was all Cork from there to the finish but the defending champions did manage a goal when Barry John Walsh blasted to the net from a 20 metre free.


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