Luckless Nathan Walsh’s injury woes continued Sunday in Tralee as Cork pummelled Kerry’s Under 20s in the McGrath Cup.
Kilmacabea’s Damien Gore helped himself to 3-5 as the impressive Rebels ran riot against John Sugrue’s fledgling Kerry outfit, but the 22-point win was marred by a serious looking hamstring injury to defender Walsh.
The Douglas man went down in the early minutes of the second half and was stretchered off with manager Ronan McCarthy admitting the injury ‘looks a bad one’.
“The initial signs aren’t good, Nathan has had no luck at all,” he added.
Other than the Walsh blow – his club colleague Kevin Flahive is out as well until the end of March – it was a productive afternoon for McCarthy and his new management team. After a keenly contested first 12 minutes, whern the sides shared eight points, Cork’s superiority around the pitch began to tell and they led 1-15 to 0-5 at the break.
Their All-Ireland U20 winning inside forwards, Gore and Cathal O’Mahony, sowed well alongside the experienced Ciaran Sheehan. It was Mitchelstown’s O’Mahony who bagged the first goal in the 20th minute, and though Kerry’s best player, Donal O’Sullivan, from Kilgarvan, claimed two points just after the break, Cork moved through the gears in the third quarter with Gore claiming a second half hat-trick. Sean Powter and debutant Shane Forde (Na Piarsaigh) added goals as the visitors racked up the scores.
Scorers for Cork: D Gore (3-5), C O’Mahony (1-4), S Forde, S Powter (1-0 each), S White, M Taylor, R Harkin (0-2 each), K Crowley, I Maguire, P. Walsh, C Sheehan (0-1 each)
Scorers for Kerry: S Quilter (1-2, 1 free), D O’Sullivan (0-3, 1 free), P Walsh (1-1), P. O’Shea (0-2), A Donoghue (0-1)
KERRY: B Lonergan (Ballymacelligott); ST Dillon (St Senan’s), J McCarthy (Kenmare), L Brosnan (Desmonds); D McCarthy (Kenmare), S O'Connell (Cordal), C Coffey (Kerins O’Rahillys); G Wharton (Kenmare), B Mahony (St Senan’s); R Buckley (Listry), P O'Shea (Kilcummin), A Donoghue (Desmonds); P Walsh (Brosna), D O'Sullivan (Kilgarvan), S Quilter (Austin Stacks).
Subs: T Sugrue (Tuosist) for Wharton (41), O Fitzgerald (Gneeveguilla) for Dillon 48), K Falvey (Annascaul) for Sugrue (58), S Og Moran for J McCarthy (62), D Rahilly (Rathmore) for D O'Sullivan (inj, 63).
CORK: A Casey (Kiskeam); M Shanley (Clonakilty), A Browne (Newmarket), N Walsh (Douglas); K Crowley (Millstreet), P Murphy (Bandon), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr's, captain), P Walsh (Kanturk); S Forde (Na Piarsaigh), S White (Clonakilty), R Harkin (Mallow); D Gore (Kilmacabea), C Sheehan (Eire Og), C O'Mahony (Mitchelstown).
Subs: P Ring (Aghabullogue) for Walsh (inj, 37), C Kiely (Ballincollig) for Taylor (50), S Powter (Douglas) for White (52), R Deane (Bantry) for Sheehan (54), B Hartnett (Douglas) for P Walsh (56).
Referee: D O'Mahony (Tipperary)