A David Clifford-less Kerry coasted to an 83rd Munster title with this emphatic victory over Limerick in Killarney this afternoon.
Leading by nine points at half-time, 0-12 to 0-3, the contest was over at an early juncture. The only goal of the game came in the 48th minute when Kerry worked a kick-out up the field and Paul Geaney found Adrian Spillane one-on-one with Limerick goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan.
In front of a 14,587 crowd in Fitzgerald Stadium, Stephen O’Brien was the final Kerry starting forward to score from play in the 42nd minute. Limerick rarely threatened Shane Ryan’s goal and this marked the 12th game this year that they avoided conceding a goal from play.
There was a pedestrian feel to the outset of the game, just two points scored in the opening 12 minutes, before Kerry hit the next three in the space of eight minutes. Tony Brosnan also spurned the first of two first-half goal opportunities in the 18th minute.
Iain Corbett brought Limerick to within two points a minute later but Kerry tagged on another three prior to Josh Ryan’s 30th minute free, Limerick’s last score of the half.
Kerry hit them for another burst of points towards the end and Brosnan had a ground effort put out for a 45 by Donal O’Sullivan, which Seán O’Shea converted.
S. O’Shea (0-6, 1 free, 1 45); K. Spillane (1-3); P. Geaney (0-4, 1 mark); T. Brosnan, T. O’Sullivan (0-3 each): B. Ó Beaglaoich, P. Clifford, M. Burns (0-2 each); G. White, S. O’Brien, A. Spillane (0-1 each).
C. Sheehan (0-3); J. Ryan (1 free, 1 45), I. Corbett (0-2 each); G. Brown (0-1).
S. Ryan; T. O’Sullivan, J. Foley, G. O’Sullivan; B. Ó Beaglaoich, T. Morley, G. White; D. O’Connor, J. Barry; P. Clifford, S. O’Shea (c), S. O’Brien; K. Spillane, P. Geaney, T. Brosnan.
D. Moran for D. O’Connor (temp 26-28); A. Spillane for S. O’Brien, D. Casey for J. Foley, D. Moran for D. O’Connor (all 51); M. Burns for K. Spillane (53); P. Murphy for T. Morley (56); G. Crowley for B. Ó Beaglaoich (temp 57-f-t).
D. O’Sullivan (j-c); M. Donovan, B. Fanning, S. O’Dea; C. Sheehan, I. Corbett (j-c), A. Enright; D. Treacy, C. Fahy; P. Maher, B. Donovan, J. Naughton; P. Nash, J. Ryan, H. Bourke.
R. Bourke for H. Bourke (h-t); G. Brown for P. Maher, T. Griffin for B. Enright, C. McSweeney for P. Nash (all 47); R. Childs for B. Fanning (61).
M. McNally (Monaghan).