Cork survive late scare to set up Kerry clash

Cork 2-11 Kildare 1-11

Cork 2-11 Kildare 1-11

Cork survived a dramatic finish to deservedly beat Kildare and set up a repeat meeting with Kerry in the All-Ireland Football semi-final.

Two goals inside the opening sixteen minutes had Cork in cruise control, but in the dying minutes Kildare launched a series of attacks.

At the end the Lillywhites will bemoan their failure to score from the first of two second-half penalties as they clawed their way back into contention after a landslide Cork win seemed a possibility at one stage.

Cork had the opening point, a free by Daniel Goulding, after five minutes and Pierse O’Neil had another, from play, four minutes later despite Kildare making the livelier start, but they had to wait for 20 minutes for their opening point.

In between, Cork had a superb opening goal by John Hayes after ten minutes and the same player added a point a minute later as the Kildare defence seemed to fall apart.

Three times Cork had floated in high balls for Michael Cousins and each time the ploy failed.

But a sudden change of tactics saw James Masters create the chance for Hayes who shot brilliantly past Enda Murphy.

Cousins was in the right spot to get a touch for a second Cork goal after 16 minutes and he tacked on a point to make it 2-3 before Eamonn Callaghan finally opened the Kildare account with a point.

Alan Smyth and John Doyle, with a free, further boosted Kildare who then had an inspirational point from Dermot Earley who broke through from midfield and brushed off several tackles.

James Masters and Alan Smyth exchanged points to leave Cork in front by 2-5 to 0-5 at the end of an opening half in which the Munster champions shot six wides.

Once Cork had the first three points of the second half from Hayes, O’Neill and Cousins they had the game wrapped up.

Michael Conway pointed a Kildare free which was negated by a superb point by Daniel Goulding to leave nine points between them.

Kildare had a great chance to close the gap but Ronan Sweeney’s penalty was saved by Cork goalkeeper Alan Quirke after 48 minutes.

Kildare squandered a goal chance seconds after Smyth had a point and John Doyle had his first point from play for Kildare after 54 minutes.

Kildare were awarded a late penalty when Earley was taken down and this time John Doyle scored a goal to leave only three points between them, but it was too little too late to save the Lillywhites.

Scorers: Cork, J hayes, 1-3, M Cousins, 1-2, D Goulding, 0-3 (1f), P O’Neill, 0-2, J Masters, 0-1.

Kildare: J Doyle, 1-5 (1 pen gl, 4f), A Smyth, 0-3, E Callaghan, D Earley, 0-1 each.

Cork: A Quirke, D Duggan, D Kavanagh, A Lynch; B O’Regan, G Spillane, K O’Connor; J Masters, A O’Connor; M Cousins, P O’Neill, S O’Brien; D Goulding, D O’Connors, J Hayes.

Subs, M Shields for Kavanagh, 46 mins, C Gould for D O’Connor, 52 mins, J Miskella for O’Regan, 52 mins, P Kelly for A O’Connor, 60 mins, N O’Leary for Duggan, 66 mins.

Kildare: E Murphy, M O’Flaherty, K O’Neill, A MacLochlainn; E Bolton, M Foley, M Scanlon; K Brennan, D Earley; J Kavanagh, P O’Neill, E Callaghan; A Smyth, K Donnelly, J Doyle.

Subs, G White for Scanlon, 17mins, D Flynn for Brennan, 17mins, M Conway for O’Neill, 23 mins, R Sweeney for Donnelly, 27 mins, A Rainbow for Callaghan, 65 mins.

Referee, P McAnaneny.

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