In-form O’Callaghan fires Kerry to victory

A strong second half performance from Kerry earned them the Munster JFC title at Hennessy Memorial Park, Miltown Malbay last evening against a Clare side that led at half-time but had to play with 14 men for much of the time after the break.

Corner-back Darren Hickey was sent off for a second yellow card offence in the 54th minute. It coincided with a period in the game that Kerry began to assert themselves and with the extra man in tow the Kingdom ran out easy winners in the end. Two goals by the in-form David O’Callaghan inside a minute just as the game headed into the third quarter affirmed the visitor’s supremacy that was tested manfully by an eager Clare in the opening half.

Goals by Noel Downes and Killian Malone gave the home-side the upper hand early on, but a goal and two points inside two minutes, late in the half by Kerry, ensured that the half-time score-line was close, with the Banner leading by 2-5 to 1-7 at the break.

From the resumption, Kerry overtook the Claremen with points by O’Callaghan and wing-forward Paul O’Donoghue and forged ahead from there. O’Callaghan’s pair of goals were well taken with the first coming in the 56th when his powerful shot rattled Pierse DeLoughrey’s net.

Thirty seconds later the St Pats Blennerville clubman was put in a good scoring position from a Niall Ó Sé pass and once more his blistering strike gave the keeper no chance. In the second half, good performances by two Kerry forwards in particular, Paul and Mike O’Donoghue, in conjunction with O’Callaghan, helped Kerry to dominate and come out with a deserved 10 points lead at the final whistle. Clare did pull back a consolation goal late in the game through sub David Ryan but by this stage the cup was destined for a trip across the Shannon, accompanied by the Sean Moynihan managed victorious Kerry side.

Scorers for Kerry: D O’Callaghan (2-2), M O’Donoghue (0-6), P O’Donoghue (1-2), C Cox (0-5) 2 f’s, N Ó Sé, N O’Mahony (0-1) each.

Clare: K Malone (1-2) 0-2 f’s, N Downes (1-1), D Ryan (1-0), P Reidy

(0-2), S Malone (0-1). P McMahon (0-1) ‘45.

KERRY: S Óg Ciardubháin, K Quirke, P Corridan, K O’Dwyer, M Mangan (Capt), J Sherwood, M Brennan, A Garnett, A O’Sullivan, N O’Mahony, N Ó Sé, P O’Donoghue, D O’Callaghan, M O’Donoghue, C Cox.

Subs: J Hickson for Cox (48), B Poff for O’Mahony (54), B O’Mahoney for Quirke, (55), N Fitzgerald for Mangan (55), E Walsh for Garnett (56).

CLARE: P De Loughrey, D Hickey, S Hickey (Capt), E Ralph, M “Ogie” Murphy, P O’Connor, S Tierney, K King, C Ryan, I McInerney, P Reidy, S Malone, P McMahon, N Downes, K Malone.

Subs: E Talty for Ralph (Half-time), C Dunning for S Malone (35), D Ryan for McMahon (39), C Cormican for D Ryan (45),

Referee: B Tyrell (Tipperary)

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