Kerry have not lost a Munster minor game since the quarter-final defeat against Cork in 2013. Facing an attack spearheaded by top gun David Clifford, Clare were under the cosh from the outset.
Donal O’Sullivan converted a free inside the opening minute and then added a point from an assist by Fiachra Clifford. Centre forward Brian Friel, a survivor from last year’s All-Ireland final winning side, then carved open the Clare defence to make it 0-3 to 0-0 inside the opening four minutes.
Clare’s Colin McNeilis and wing-forward Sean Rouine were trying to curb the Kingdom but Kerry’s defence were able to cut out any Clare attack in the opening quarter with Ryan O’Neill, Sean O’Leary, and Michael Potts particularly effective.
Kerry controlled the middle as well thanks to Barry O’Mahony and Diarmuid O’Connor while Adam Donoghue fetched some good ball at wing-forward. Kerry struck for two goals in a two-minute spell when a sweeping move started by Michael Potts saw Fiachra Clifford feed David Clifford who slipped the ball to th Clare net in the sixth minute. A minute later Donal O’Sullivan was on hand when Donncha O’Sullivan’s shot was parried by Clare keeper Mark Lillis and he finished to an empty net.
Clifford them made it 2-4 to no score and another O’Sullivan free had Kerry in cruise control by the end of the opening quarter, leading 2-5 to 0-0.
Clare got their only score of the opening half in the 16th minute when a free from midfielder Danny Griffin was knocked down by Danny Cooney on the edge of the square into the path of Gearoid Cahill who found the Kerry net.
That was as good as it got for Clare, who had three more efforts before the break but they were all collected by Kerry keeper Devidas Uosis while Kerry tacked on five more points, a ’45 and a superb effort from play by David Clifford and one each from Barry O’Mahony, Donncha O’Sullivan and a free from Donal O’Sullivan, to leave Kerry 2-10 to 1-0 ahead at half-time.
Donal O’Sullivan (1-6, 4 frees), D Clifford (1-4, 1 ’45), E Horan, B O’Mahony, B Friel, F Clifford, D O’Sullivan, and N Donohue (0-1 each).
G Cahill (1-0), G Cooney (0-3, 2 frees), D Coughlan (0-2, 1 free), D Ryan (0-1).
D Uosis ( Dingle); R O’Neill (Na Gaeil), C O’Donoghue (Glenflesk), S O’Leary (Kilcummin); M Potts (Dr Crokes), E Horan (Scartaglen), P Warren (Gneeveguilla); B Mahony (St Senans), D O’Connor (Na Gaeil); A Donoghue (Castleisland Desmonds), B Friel (Rathmore), F Clifford (Laune Rangers); Donnchadh O’Sullivan (Firies), D Clifford (Fossa), Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan).
M Slattery (Austin Stacks) for B Friel(h/t), N Donohue (Firies) for P Warren (45), C O’Reilly (Austin Stacks) for S O’Leary (47), J Griffin (Dr Crokes) for F Clifford (50), C Ferriter (Annascaul) for Donnchadh O’Sullivan (52), M O’Leary (Renard) for M Potts (57).
M Lillis (Cooraclare); J Sheedy (St Breckans), J O’Sullivan (Wolfe Tones), J Miniter (Kilrush); F Donnellan (Cooraclare), K White (Inagh Kilnamona), C McNeilis (Clondegad); D Griffin (Eire Óg), P Kelly (St Breckans); S Rouine (Ennistymon), C O’Donoghue (Cooraclare), D Ryan (Cratloe); G Cooney (Kilmurry Ibrickane ), D Coughlan (Corofin), Cahill (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield).
Rian Considine (Cratloe ) for Ciaran O’Donoghue (38), A McNamara (Ml Cusack’s) for G Cahill (48), C McMahon (Cratloe ) for P Kelly ( 50), A O’Brien (St Breckans) for K White (55), R O’Doherty (Ennistymon) for D Griffin (58), R Phelan (Kilrush) for D Ryan (60).
D Murnane (Cork).