As Kerry led 0-11 to 0-6, MacGearailt calmly converted with a low shot in the 50th minute after a surging run by midfielder Gary O’Driscoll.
The first half was a tightly contested affair. Eamonn Hickson and Eoin O’Neill drove Kerry on from the half-backs, while the twin threat of Michael O’Donoghue and Aodán MacGearailt showed up well down the centre of their attack.
MacGearailt’s freetaking was spot on as he converted an early brace, O’Donoghue registered a beauty from play and Hickson stole forward for another point from play.
By the 17th minute Kerry were deservedly 0-4 to 0-2 in front with only Andy Concannon’s freetaking keeping Cork in the hunt.
However Cork rallied before the Firstly in the 19th minute Mark Harrington blazed over after being well-placed by David Goold and then in the 26th minute Conor Brosnan fired over the bar after Harrington’s initial effort was blocked. A terrific point by O’Donoghue edged Kerry 0-5 to 0-4 ahead but Harrington tied matters at the interval.
In the second half Kerry held Cork scoreless for a 19-minute period as Hickson grabbed his second point of the game, Gary Sayers swung over a free, O’Driscoll lobbed over a point, Alan O’Sullivan shot over another and when John Buckley split the posts in the 48th minute, Kerry led 0-10 to 0-5. The MacGearailt strike stretched their advantage and although Cork responded with two Goold frees and a score by Stephen Keohane, Sayers rounded the action off with a closing score for Kerry.
Scorers for Kerry: A MacGearailt 1-2 (0-2f), M O’Donoghue 0-3, G Sayers (0-1f), E Hickson 0-2, G O’Driscoll, A O’Sullivan, J Buckley 0-1. Scorers Cork: A Concannon (0-2f), D Goold (0-2f), M Harrington 0-2, C Brosnan, M Kelleher, S Keohane 0-1.
KERRY: S Óg Ciardubháin; G O’Connor, F Griffin, A Cahill; E Hickson, A Greaney, E O’Neill; G O’Driscoll, D Murphy; B Poff, M O’Donoghue, A O’Sullivan; G Sayers, A MacGearailt, J Buckley. Subs: M Murphy for Poff (46), T McGoldrick for Buckley (50), M Coakley for D Murphy (53), D Doyle for Cahill (60).
CORK: S Murphy; D O’Riordan, D Lynch, K Harrington; S Kelleher, C O’Connell, B Daly; M Kelleher, O Mulrooney; A Concannon, M Harrington, F O’Shea; J O’Connell, D Goold, C Brosnan. Subs: E Manning for Concannon (38), S Keohane for Kelleher (45), T Clancy for Mulrooney (47), B Coughlan for O’Shea (54), L Shorten for Brosnan (54).
Referee: Michael McGann (Clare)