Kerry cruised into a fifth consecutive Munster minor football decider following this emphatic seven-point win over Clare this evening,.
Ahead by four at the break, Kerry slowly killed off the home challenge with a string of second-half points.
Sub David Shaw and David Clifford moved Peter Keane’s side 1-9 to 1-3 in front early in the second period and although a fine Padraig Kelly effort interrupted their momentum, albeit briefly, three on the bounce from Seán O’Shea (0-2) and Mike Breen ended this game a contest turning the bend for home.
Kerry’s position hadn’t been as comfortable at the interval, their lead having been eroded by a Joseph McGann goal on 25 minutes. A fine Padraig Kelly free in the subsequent action had left the scoreboard reading 1-5 to 1-3, scarcely believable in the context of Kerry’s dominance in the opening period.
The visitors had received the ideal start when Brian Friel capitalised on a mistake by Clare ‘keeper Mark Lillis to fist to the net after just three minutes. A David Clifford free thereafter and Kerry enjoyed a 1-2 to 0-0 cushion.
By the 17th minute, their lead stood at 1-5 to 0-1, Clifford and captain Seán O’ Shea causing headache after headache for the Clare rearguard.
At the other end, Clare full-forward Joseph McGann looked particularly lively each time he got onto possession, but the decision of the Banner management to employ a sweeper meant he often found himself outnumbered by four green shirts when fed the ball.
D Clifford (0-4, 0-2 frees); S O’Shea (0-4, 0-1 free); B Friel (1-0); D Shaw (0-2); M Breen, M Ryan, F O’Brien (0-1 each).
P Kelly (0-4, 0-3 frees); J McGann (1-0); C O’Donoghue, D Bohannon (0-1 each).
B Courtney (Dr Crokes); M Reidy (Ballymacelligott), N Collins (Listowel Emmets), M Potts (Dr Crokes); D Naughton (Dr Crokes), G O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh na Dromoda) M Foley (Ballydonoghue); M Breen (Beaufort), M Ryan (Rathmore); D Moynihan (Spa), S O’Shea (Kenmare), D O’Connor (Na Gaeil); B Friel (Rathmore), D Clifford (Fossa), F O’Brien (Austin Stacks).
B Sweeney (Listowel Emmets) for O’Connor (HT); D Shaw (Dr Crokes) for O’Brien (HT); C Teehan (Glenbeigh Glencar) for Naughton (49); T O’Connor (Ballymacelligott) for Ryan (56, inj); D Fitzgerald (Rathmore) for Friel (60); K Dwyer (St Pat’s Blennerville) for Reidy (60).
M Lillis (Cooraclare); P Collins (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), J Culligan (Ballyvaughan), D O’Loughlin (Corofin); R Danaher (St Breckans Lisdoonvarna), J Hannon (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), A Shannon (Kilmurry Ibrickane); D Bohannon (Shannon Gaels), P Kelly (St Breckans Lisdoonvarna); S Rouine (Ennistymon), D Coughlan (Kilmurry Ibrickane), R O’Doherty (Ennistymon); T Connellan (Éire Óg), J McGann (St Breckans Lisdoonvarna), C O’Donoghue (Cooracalre).
C Lynch (Clondegad) for O’Doherty (HT); T Hannon (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield) for Shannon (45 mins); D Griffin (Éire Óg) for Rouine (50); G Cooney (Éire Óg) for Coughlan (60, bc); C O’Loughlin (Corofin) for O’Donoghue (60).
J Ryan (Cork).