Cork 0-17 Kerry 0-12
Cork will meet Clare in the Munster SFC final for the first time since 1949 after they defeated Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in front of 23,184 earlier this afternoon.
Only briefly trailing once when Kerry led by 0-4 to 0-3, the hosts were the better side, with attackers Donncha O’Connor and Colm O’Neill accounting for 11 of their points while goalkeeper Alan Quirke made a number of fine saves.
Kerry struggled to ever really get going, bar a period early in the second half when they twice got to within one point of their opponents. A resurgent Cork pulled clear in the closing stages, however, as the introduction of Daniel Goulding, who scored two points, helped them greatly.
Good defensive work from the full-back line of Michael Shields, Ray Carey and Eoin Cadogan ensured that the Kerry attack never got into their stride. Kieran Donaghy was held scoreless and though sub James O’Donoghue scored two points after coming on at half-time, Declan O’Sullivan was the only other player apart from Colm Cooper to score more than once.
Cork began excellently, two good points from Donncha O’Connor and Ciarán Sheehan putting them into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside six minutes, but amazingly they would not score again for another 17.
In that time, Kerry managed three of their own, all from Cooper to lead for the only time, though a good Shields block was required to prevent the Kerry captain getting a 16th-minute goal.
Once Cork found their rhythm again, they outscored Kerry by four points to nil in the final 12 minutes, O’Neill with three, two frees, while Donncha O’Connor also scored, Quirke producing a fine save to deny Donaghy at the other end after a flowing move involving Peter Crowley, Cooper and Darran O’Sullivan.
That left it 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time but immediately upon the restart Kerry subs Johnny Buckley and O’Donoghue combined for the latter to score and then Declan O’Sullivan reduced the lead.
While two Donncha O’Connor frees cancelled those out, Kerry had the momentum as they dominated midfield, and O’Donoghue’s second point, a fine effort from the right, cut the gap to one again, 0-10 to 0-9, by the 50th minute.
Cork needed some inspiration and Donncha O’Connor provided that with a super point after a quick Kissane free and then Goulding struck, taking a pass from Nicholas Murphy after Murphy had been denied by a good Kealy save.
Scores by Cooper and Eoin Brosnan were answered each time by Donncha O’Connor and then Goulding opened up the biggest lead of the game as he profited from a Kerrigan interception.
On 65, Darran O’Sullivan almost got the goal that would have brought Kerry back into it but he blazed over after Tomás Ó Sé, Crowley and O’Donoghue had done well. At the other end, Colm O’Neill did likewise after being picked out by a super Alan O’Connor pass, but it was sufficient as an insurance score and just to be sure, he stroked over a free from the right in injury time to leave five points in it at the end.
Scorers for Cork: D O’Connor 0-6 (0-2f), C O’Neill 0-5 (0-3f), P Kerrigan, D Goulding 0-2 each, C Sheehan, P Kissane 0-1 each.
Kerry: C Cooper 0-5 (0-3f), Declan O’Sullivan, J O’Donoghue 0-2 each, P Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, E Brosnan 0-1 each.
CORK: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; N O’Leary, G Canty, P Kissane; A O’Connor, N Murphy; C Sheehan, P Kelly, P Kerrigan; C O’Neill, D O’Connor, A Walsh.
Subs: D Goulding for Sheehan (52), B O’Driscoll for Murphy (69), E Cotter for Kissane (70, injured), M Collins for Kerrigan (70).
KERRY: B Kealy; A O’Mahony, K Young, M Ó Sé; P Crowley, E Brosnan, T Ó Sé; A Maher, S Scanlon; Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, P Galvin; K Donaghy, C Cooper, K O’Leary.
Subs: J Buckley for Scanlon, J O’Donoghue for O’Leary (both half-time), P Curtin for Donaghy (63), BJ Keane for Galvin (66).
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).