Kiely and Kingdom cash in on Cork errors

Kerry 2-17 Cork 2-13

Kiely and Kingdom cash in on Cork errors

Kiely, one of those to profit from the toil and graft of his club colleague Michael Burns, profited from poor handling by a Cork defender to lob goalkeeper Colm O’Driscoll with 11 minutes remaining. The goal moved Jack O’Connor’s charges 2-13 to 1-9 in front – what appeared an insurmountable target for the hosts.

The Kingdom, so authoritative around the middle where both Cork midfielders were withdrawn, were enjoying the upper hand throughout the pitch, with Matthew Flaherty, Tomás Ó Sé, Cormac Coffey and Brian Rayle most effective. But instead of pushing on and closing out the fixture, Kerry eased off, inviting Cork back into proceedings.

Donal O’Sullivan’s troops graciously accepted and kicked three points on the hop — Michael Desmond and Sean O’Donoghue (0-2 frees) the providers.

Killian Spillane stemmed the tide with his fifth free of the afternoon. It made little difference. Cork tails were up and they continued to press. On 55 minutes a foul on Michael Hurley by corner-back Brian Sugrue inside the large parallelogram provided further opportunity to close the gap.

Shane Ryan produced a smart save to deny Hurley, but Gary Murphy pounced to fire home the rebound. 2-14 to 2-12, game on.

In the subsequent action, Hurley burst out in front of Sugrue to gather Alex Hassett’s delivery, turned and kicked one of the scores of the day. And so stood the margin at one.

Stephen O’Sullivan settled Kerry nerves with a fine point before another Cork faux pas let Kerry off the hook — Gary Murphy ploughed through the Kerry rearguard but instead of reducing the deficit to the minimum, he attempted to find the net 20-metres out. A superb block by Kerry’s Mark O’Connor ensured Cork would reap nothing from the move. Sweep up the field did the Kingdom, with Killian Spillane (free) and substitute Liam Carey copper-fastening the successful defence of their title.

The errors were not lost on Cork manager Donal O’Sullivan.

“I thought Tom Bushe (who spilled possession for Kiely’s goal) played very well, mistake happens to everyone,” he said. “These lads fought very hard and we were right in it until injury-time.

“Garry too had a fantastic game. From my perspective of course he should have put that ball over the bar. Hopefully we will learn from this.”

Cork had played second fiddle for most of the opening half, with Tómas Ó Sé capitalising on Kerry’s early spell of dominance with a goal on four minutes. Seamus Ronayne responded with a green flag on 17 minutes, the half-forward set-up by a superb Michael Hurley pass.

Killian Spillane’s accuracy from the placed ball, added to points from Jordan Kiely, Matthew Flaherty, Cormac Coffey and Liam Kearney, established a 1-9 to 1-6 interval lead.

Not for catching were Kerry thereafter, deserving winners even if Cork might consider themselves architects of their own downfall.

Game-changer

Tom Bushe’s mistake which allowed Jordan Kiely pilfer Kerry’s second goal on 49 minutes, moving the winners 2-13 to 1-9 in front. It left Cork with a mountain to climb and while they almost reached the summit, the final ascent proved too steep.

Talk of the town

There was a great deal of expectation surrounding this Kerry unit entering the contest and Jack O’Connor’s charges delivered on thepotential many believed to be there. Kerry’s underage factory not in as poor a condition as many claim.

Did that just happen?

Cork’s comeback effort. Were seven adrift and seemingly out of contention in the final quarter. Nine minutes later they had reduced the margin to a point and were dominating the central positions.

Best on show

Tomás Ó Sé was outstanding in the right corner-forward berth for the winners. May have only contributed a goal as far as the scoreboard is concerned, but his fingerprints were all over Kerry’s superb forward play.

Black card watch

None handed out although Kerry’s Brian Sugrue was hugely fortunate not to be shown black when hauling Michael Hurley to the ground for Cork’s penalty.

Sideline superior

Cork were far too slow in embarking on corrective surgery at midfield, an area where they were completely outplayed. Masterstroke by Jack O’Connor deploying Matthew Flaherty to wing-back for the second period.

The man in black

Somewhat fussy and perhaps could have let two or three calls go. Overall, though, didn’t impact on proceedings or the outcome. Was correct to disallow two Kerry goals for square ball and a foul on goalkeeper Colm O’Driscoll.

What’s next?

Cork and Kerry await the winners of the Leinster decider to learn their All-Ireland quarter-final opponents.

Scorers for Kerry: K Spillane (0-7, 0-6 frees); J Kiely (1-1); T Ó Sé (1-0); B Rayle, L Carey (0-2 each); M Burns, M Flaherty, C Coffey, S O’Sullivan, L Kearney (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: G Murphy (1-5, 0-3 frees); S Ronayne (1-0); S O’Donoghue (0-3, 0-2 frees); M Hurley (0-2); M Desmond (0-1 free), D Dineen, S Kingston (0-1 each).

Kerry subs: L Carey (Beaufort) for Rayle (44 mins); S O’Sullivan (Templenoe) for O’Sullivan (54), R Wharton (Renard) for O’Connor (56).

Cork subs: D Buckley (Ballyclough) for Ronayne (39 mins), E Ryle (Carrigaline) for O’Leary (45), A Hassett (Ilen Rovers) for Desmond (49).

Referee: R Moloney (Limerick).

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