Cork just about did enough to record a deserved victory over Kerry in this John Kerins Cup opener in Tralee this afternoon as the hosts very nearly salvaged an unlikely draw from a deficit of five points entering injury time. 1-1 from substitute Darragh Hayes appeared to be enough to ensure Cork’s win but a penalty from Paul Walsh followed by a Killian Falvey point nearly ensured the match ended on parity.
Kerry had to line out without star forward Donal O’Sullivan ( Down) who shone last week against Cork in the McGrath Cup before retiring late on with a hamstring.
Kerry had to rely on defensive interceptions from several of their defenders to prevent Cork from leading by more than 0-10 to 1-3 at the break despite Darragh Rahilly scoring Kerry’s goal in the 21 st minute and putting them ahead for the first and only time at 1-2 to 0-4. Conor Russell scored four of Cork’s total in the first period, but it was a Daniel O’Connell point after 26 minutes that was the highlight in taking a four-point interval advantage.
O’Connell had to go off injured shortly after the restart however as both sides traded scores up the three-quarter mark at 0-13 to 1-9 to the visitors. When Russell had to go off Fionn Herlihy stepped into the scoring breach for Cork, but the introduction of goalkeeper Brian Lonergan outfield nearly proved to be a masterstroke for Kerry. Killian Falvey’s goal in the 53rd minute made it 0-16 to 2-10 as Cork needed a third point from Herlihy and that 1-1 from Hayes (Conor Corbett the goal provider) to go 1-19 to 2-11 ahead as the clock hit 60 minutes.
Adam Curran found Lonergan with a brilliant high ball that led to the penalty for Walsh as when Falvey put over another point in the fourth additional minute. The final whistle rang to the resulting kick-out however as for the second week-in-a-row a Cork side defeated Kerry in Austin Stack Park.
D Hayes (1-2, 1f), C Russell (0-5, 3f), F Herlihy (0-3), A Ó Luasa, B Murphy (f) and E O’Hanlon (2f) (0-2 each), J Mullane, D O’Connell and C O’Sullivan (0-1 each)
P Walsh (1-5, 3f), D Rahilly and K Falvey (f) (1-1 each), D Geaney (0-4, 3f) and C Hayes (0-1)
M Kelliher (Glenflesk); S Óg Ó Morain (Dingle), A Dineen (Rathmore), J McCarthy (Kenmare Shamrocks); A Curran (Austin Stacks), S O’Connell (Cordal), S O’Brien (Beaufort); G Wharton (Kenmare Shamrocks), D Rahilly (Rathmore); D Hickey (Castleisland Desmonds), S Keane (Listowel Emmets), M O’Gara (Austin Stacks); D Geaney (Dingle), P Walsh (Brosna), C Hayes (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) Subs: K Falvey (Annascaul) for Keane and B O’Neill (Ballydonoghue) for Hickey (both 37), D Mangan (Laune Rangers) for McCarthy and B Lonergan (Ballymacelligott) for O’Gara (both 45),
J O’Keeffe (Newmarket); B Curtin (Kilshannig), D O’Mahony (Knocknagree), C Smith (Aghabullogue); J Mullane (Kilmurry), D Phelan (Aghada), S Desmond (Clondrohid); J Lawton (Argideen Rangers), D O’Connell (Kanturk); J Murphy (Éire Óg), A Ó Luasa (Naomh Aban), B Murphy (St Vincent’s); C Corbett (Clyda Rovers), F Herlihy (Dohenys), C Russell (Douglas) Subs: C O’Sullivan (Urhan) for Phelan (23), E O’Hanlon (Kilshannig) for O’Connell (32), D Hayes (Carbery Rangers) for Russell (35), E Lehane (Canovee) for Smith (45) and D Cashman (Millstreet) for Desmond (54)
C Maguire (Clare)