Kerry retain McGrath Cup

Kerry 0-13 Clare 1-17

Kerry 0-13 Clare 1-17

Kerry lifted the McGrath Cup for the second successive year after posting a 0-13 to 1-7 victory over Clare in today's final in Killarney.

Marc O Se and Aidan O'Mahony returned to the Kingdom's defence and although Clare broke into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead, Jack O'Connor's men mostly controlled proceedings for the remainder.

Half-forwards Gary Sayers, Darran O'Sullivan and Donnacha Walsh were particularly lively as the hosts fought back to lead by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time.

David Moran (free) and Walsh sandwiched a single point from Alan Clohessy as the first half came to a close at Dr. Crokes GAA club.

Michael McDermott's Clare side would have been closer on the scoreboard, but for some poor finishing. Barry Duggan and Gordon Kelly stood out for the Banner men in defence.

O'Sullivan, Moran and cousins David and Paul Geaney all found the target as Kerry put a spurt on, as the second half resumed. Decisively, they moved 0-12 to 0-5 ahead.

The 22-year-old Cathal O'Connor responded for Clare with a well-taken goal, 10 minutes from time. But corner forward Paul Geaney wrapped up the win for O'Connor's charges with a point after an initial save from Clare stopper Joe Hayes.

Thoughts now turn to the start of the National Football League. On Sunday week, Kerry will open their Division 1 campaign against arch rivals Cork, while Clare are away to Leitrim in their Division 4 opener.

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