Impressive Kerry put Cork to the sword in final

Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-9

Kerry 3-13 Cork 1-9

Kerry were crowned All-Ireland Senior football champions for the 35th time following their impressive victory over Cork this afternoon at Croke Park.

It was two goals from full-forward Kieran Donaghy in the third-quarter which proved to be the killer scores as Kerry ensured a first back-to-back of titles since Cork achieved likewise in 1989/90.

Nothing could separate the sides in the opening stages of the contest and after 10 minutes, the teams were level at 0-2 a piece with Bryan Sheehan equalising from a pointed free after early points from James Masters and Donnacha O’Connor.

However once Colm Cooper found the back of the net for the first time in the contest - midway through the opening half - Kerry wouldn’t trail in this game.

Gooch’s 17th minute goal came following a long ball in from Seamus Scanlon and the corner-forward had no problem sticking the ball in the net.

James Masters and Michael Cussen did their utmost to keep the Rebels in contention but Kerry finished the half strongly with a point from defender Tomás Ó Sé to ensure a 1-6 to 0-6 interval lead.

Despite scoring three points, the Cork management weren’t going to risk playing Masters in the second half and he was replaced by Daniel Goulding after the interval.

Kerry made a blistering start to the second half, with the first attack right from the throw-in.

However Cork centre-half-back Ger Spillane looked very comfortable as he tried to clear the ball from defence but the Ballygarvan man somehow dropped the ball as Kieran Donaghy capitalised and the towering full-forward blasted the ball to the net.

It was a perfect start to the second half for the Kingdom and points from Bryan Sheehan and Seamus Scanlon quickly extended Kerry’s advantage to a 2-8 to 0-6 lead.

Everything Kerry touched at this stage turned to gold as an inspirational point from their captain Declan O’Sullivan extended the gap to nine points inside five minutes of the restart.

Panic was beginning to set in on the Cork bench at this stage and Billy Morgan introduced Anthony Lynch and Fintan Gould at this stage in the hope that the Rebels could muster a comeback.

However Kerry once again responded well with a fine point from Colm Cooper, as the Dr. Croke’s player found himself in open space as he curled the ball between the posts.

Cork bounced back with a Donnacha O’Connor pointed free and although Morgan’s men were suddenly dominating possession they hadn’t much luck between the posts as Kieran Donaghy capitalised on a loose ball for his second goal, which ensured a 3-10 to 0-7 advantage.

Although there seemed to be no way back at this stage from the Rebels, they firmly answered their critics with a well-taken goal in the 53rd minue from Daniel Goulding following a long ball inside from Donnacha O’Connor.

O’Connor was certainly Cork’s best player and took two fine points in the closing 12 minutes, but it was the Kingdom who weren’t to be denied back-to-back titles as Declan O’Sullivan once again brought Sam Maguire back to the Kingdom.

KERRY: D Murphy; M Ó Sé, T O’Sullivan, P Reidy; T Ó Sé (0-1), A O’Mahony (0-1), K Young; D Ó Sé, S Scanlon (0-1); P Galvin (0-1), Declan O’Sullivan (0-1), E Brosnan,; C Cooper (1-5, 2f), K Donaghy (1-0), B Sheehan (0-2, 2f). Subs: S O’Sullivan (0-1) for Galvin (57); Darren O’Sullivan for Declan O’Sullivan (63); T Griffin for Young (65); MF Russell for Sheehan (67); T Lyons for Reidy (70)

CORK: A Quirke; M Shields, G Canty, K O’Connor; N O’Leary, G Spillane, J Miskella; D Kavanagh, N Murphy; C McCarthy, P O’Neill, K McMahon; J Masters (0-3, 3f), M Cussen (0-1), D O’Connor (0-5, 3f). Subs: D Goulding (1-0) for Masters (HT); A Lynch for Miskella (41); F Gould for McMahon (41); K O’Sullivan for McCarthy (46)

REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath)

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