Kerry’s championship quarter. Outscoring Cork 3-3 to no score in that period after half-time, their three goals coming in 12 minutes, their revenge came swift and striking.
What odds on David Clifford not scoring from play in a 22-point victory for his team? Seán Meehan did a stunning job against him and may have given future markers some ideas but a smarting Clifford heading to Croke Park is not a major complaint for Kerry.
All will feel right in Kerry after inflicting a defeat on Cork that will almost feel like two given the comprehensiveness of the result and the fate that befell them nine months ago.
Cork turned up for one quarter, two-thirds of their scores coming in that first 18 minutes. What followed was ever so chastening.
An injured Micheál Aodh Martin had to be replaced at half-time, confirmed Ronan McCarthy. Diarmuid O’Connor also made way early on having picked up a knock while Peter Keane added they are working to get Dara Moynihan fit for the All-Ireland semi-final.
Tenacity defined Cork’s defending in the opening quarter as they clogged the middle but Kerry began to exert their pressing force on the opposing kick-out in the second quarter. For all the criticism of their over-defensiveness last November, here they committed too many players forward early on.
Take your pick from two-thirds of the Kerry team. Paudie Clifford and Seán O’Shea were their best forwards, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Mike Breen, and Gavin White their best backs, while David Moran was an authority in the middle. Seán Meehan’s individual display against David Clifford was noteworthy.
Barry Cassidy looked to develop the play throughout - we make it that he awarded six scoreable frees - although he should have sin-binned Jack Barry in the 11th minute. The red card for Ruairí Deane was warranted.
Kerry return to Croke Park for the first time in Championship in 23 months when they face Monaghan or Tyrone in an All-Ireland semi-final on August 14 or 15.
S. O’Shea (1-6, 0-3 frees); P. Geaney (2-1); B. Ó Beaglaoich (1-0); P. Clifford (0-3); T. O’Sullivan, J. Barry, K. Spillane (0-2 each); D. Moran, D. Clifford (free), S. O’Brien, T. Morley, M. Breen, T. Walsh (0-1 each).
B. Hurley (1-3, 0-1 free); M. Hurley (0-2); D. Dineen (mark), B. Harnett, L. Connolly, I. Maguire (0-1 each).
S. Ryan; B. Ó Beaglaoich, J. Foley, T. O’Sullivan; M. Breen, P. Murphy (c), G. White; D. Moran, D. O’Connor; J. Barry, S. O’Shea, S. O’Brien; D. Clifford, P. Geaney, P. Clifford.
K. Spillane for D. O’Connor (inj 18); T. Walsh for S. O’Brien (temp 45-57); G. O’Sullivan for B. Ó Beaglaoich (temp 53-58); M. Burns for D. Clifford (temp 55-58); A. Spillane for J. Barry (56); T. Walsh for P. Geaney (57); G. Crowley for T. O’Sullivan (64); T. Morley for G. White (66).
M.A. Martin; K. O’Donovan, K. Flahive, S. Meehan; C. Kiely, S. Powter, M. Taylor; I. Maguire (c), B. Hartnett; J. O’Rourke, L. Connolly, R. Deane; D. Dineen, B. Hurley, M. Hurley.
M. White for M.A. Martin (h-t); M. Collins for L. Connolly (41); C. O’Callaghan for D. Dineen (43); K. O’Driscoll for M. Hurley (47); K. Crowley for K. O’Donovan (51).
R. Deane (70+4, straight).
B. Cassidy (Derry).