Late surge gives Rebels win against Kerry

Kerry 1-13 Cork 0-17

Kerry 1-13 Cork 0-17

Cork got their NFL Division 1 title defence off to a winning start thanks a late surge at Tralee this afternoon.

Substitute Paul Geaney's 62nd-minute goal had Kerry on course for victory, but late points from Donncha O'Connor and Daniel Goulding, who scored 0-13 between them, saw the visitors prevail.

Kerry led 0-11 to 0-10 after a free-flowing first half, during which league debutant David Geaney (0-04) led the scoring for the Kingdom.

Kerry forward Barry John Keane and Cork captain Noel O’Leary were both dismissed in the second half, before the defending champions squeezed home in injury-time.

A crowd of over 4,000 spectators watched the latest installment of the Cork-Kerry rivalry, which pitted the reigning NFL and All-Ireland champions against the Munster SFC and McGrath Cup holders.

Cork had ten of last year's Sam Maguire Cup winning side on board for today's game, while Kerry were still without the talismanic presence of Colm Cooper who was part of Dr Crokes' drive for provincial glory.

Corner forward David Geaney from Dingle knocked over the opening point after 25 seconds and David Moran followed with another in the second minute, as Kerry burst out of the traps.

They were 0-04 to 0-02 ahead by the fifth minute, with scores coming thick and fast at both ends of the pitch. The early spurt reflected the excellent shooting on show all afternoon, and the open nature of the game added to the entertainment value.

Geaney (free) and full-forward Kieran Donaghy, who pointed from a difficult angle, added to Kerry's tally, while Goulding and Fintan Goold replied for Cork from play.

Donaghy's sixth minute effort was the signal for Cork to up the tempo and they landed four points in quick succession - Goulding, with a free and a '45', Colm O'Neill and O'Connor, who kept his marker Padraig O'Connor busy, all found the target.

Barry John Walsh and Barry John Keane tied up the sides at 0-06 apiece, before Kerry nipped back ahead coming up to the half hour mark. All six of their starting forwards scored in the opening half, with five of them pointing from play.

O'Connor, who matched Goulding's four-point tally, kicked two injury-time efforts off his weaker left foot to leave just a point between these great rivals at the break.

O'Connor's levelling point, at the start of the second half, was cancelled out by Donnacha Walsh and as the pace slackened slightly, defender Conor O'Driscoll brought Cork back on terms at 0-12 apiece.

Both managers looked to their benches and Ciaran Sheehan and Nicholas Murphy were introduced to good effect by Rebels boss Conor Counihan.

A point from Paddy Kelly sent the visitors in front at 0-13 to 0-12 and after straight red cards for Keane and O'Leary for an off-the-ball incident, Kerry looked a little flatfooted when Goulding added two more to open up a decent gap for Cork.

But back came Jack O'Connor's men, with two of his substitutes making a real impact. Former captain Darran O'Sullivan raced through the heart of the Cork defence before passing for Paul Geaney, a cousin of David's, who slotted home the only goal of the game. He beat goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran with a neat finish to the bottom corner. That was quickly followed by a pointed free from substitute Kieran O'Leary which made it 1-13 to 0-15 to the hosts.

However, there was a final sting in the tail. O'Connor kicked a free to level matters and then Goulding's seventh point of the afternoon - a free from 45 metres out - snatched a dramatic win for the men in red.

Scorers - Kerry: D Geaney 0-04 (0-01f), P Geaney 1-00, K Donaghy, D Walsh 0-02 each, D Moran, BJ Walsh (0-01f), BJ Keane, Darran O'Sullivan, K O'Leary (0-01f) 0-01 each

Cork: D Goulding 0-07 (0-03 '45', 0-02f), D O'Connor 0-06 (0-04f), F Goold, C O'Neill, C O'Driscoll, P Kelly 0-01 each

KERRY: B Kealy; P Reidy, M Ó Sé, P O'Connor; A O'Mahony, T Ó Sé (capt), J Lyne; A Maher, D Moran; BJ Keane, Darran O'Sullivan, D Walsh; BJ Walsh, K Donaghy, D Geaney.

Subs used: K O'Leary for BJ Walsh, S Enright for O'Connor, P Crowley for O'Mahony, S Scanlon for Maher, P Geaney for D Geaney.

CORK: K O'Halloran; R Carey, J O'Sullivan, E Cadogan; C O'Driscoll, G Spillane, N O'Leary (capt); A Walsh, F Goold; P Kelly, P O'Neill, J Hayes; D Goulding, D O'Connor, C O'Neill.

Subs used: P O'Flynn for Spillane, C Sheehan for Hayes, N Murphy for Walsh, D Goold for C O'Neill.

Referee: Michael Duffy (Sligo)

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