Cork 6-14 Kerry 2-11
Eamonn Ryan’s smile said it all in Rathmore on Saturday, after overseeing Cork’s 10th Munster senior title win in 11 years.
The 15-point victory over the reigning champions was a surprise to many, but four goals in five second-half minutes managed to completely kill-off Kerry’s comeback after half-time.
“I’m delighted, absolutely thrilled,” said Ryan as he watched captain Briege Corkery collect the Dairygold Cup.
“I know people talked of 10 titles but we just want to win every game. The girls work so hard and they don’t get anywhere near the credit they deserve.
“Even the blocking was unreal. It’s three things really, it’s boring, dangerous and you can look stupid, but they just buy into all the basics in training,” he said.
The reigning All-Ireland champions led for the majority of the game, with Emma Farmer getting Cork’s first goal in the 21st minute, following Patrice Dennehy’s goal on the fifth minute for the Kingdom. But that’s where it more or less stopped for William O’Sullivan’s side, who struggled all day to keep up with Cork’s intensity.
The Rebels led 2-8 to 1-5 at the turnaround, with Briege Corkery registering Cork’s second goal as the rain began to fall.
Kerry to their credit never gave up and a number of tactical changes at half-time looked to have worked, with the home side registering three points without reply upon the restart, with Louise Galvin, Louise Ní Mhuirceartaigh and Bernie Breen doing their best to keep the show on the road.
But, when Valerie Mulcahy latched onto the end of an assist by the impressive Grace Kearney, it opened the flood gates as Cork went on to score three more goals in five minutes through Emma Farmer (two) and Kearney (one).
A goal by Deirdre Corridon softened the scoreline, but with Ciara O’Sullivan, Angela Walsh and Geraldine O’Flynn on-form, they never really got going.
Kerry must now proceed to the qualifiers, where Monaghan and Mayo await.
In the intermediate showdown, Waterford were too strong for Limerick and collected their sixth consecutive title, 2-20 to 1-11.
At half-time the Déise had led 0-15 to 1-4, and when player of the match Elaine Power and Hannah Landers then raised green flags, there was no coming back for Andrew Meaney’s side.
Scorers for Cork: E Farmer 3-0, V Mulcahy 1-5 (0-2f), B Corkery 1-2, G O’Flynn 0-3 (3f), G Kearney 1-0, C O’Sullivan 0-2, B Stack and O Finn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: P Dennehy and D Corridon 1-1 each, M Quirke 0-3 (1 45), L Ní Mhuirceartaigh 0-3 (1f), L Galvin, B Breen, S Houlihan 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; R Phelan, Angela Walsh, B Stack; V Foley, D O’Reilly, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery; Annie Walsh, C O’Sullivan, O Farmer; G Kearney, V Mulcahy, E Farmer.
Subs: A Barrett for D O’Reilly and E Scally for E Farmer (46), O Finn for V Mulcahy and N Cleary for G Kearney (49).
KERRY: A Brosnan; A Leonard, G Crowley, A Lyons; C Kelly, C Lynch, D Hallissey; E Sherwood, B Breen; M Quirke, S Houlihan, L Galvin; P Dennehy, L Ní Mhuirceartaigh, M O’Connell.
Subs: D Corridon for C Lynch and
L Scanlon for M O’Connell (ht), A Desmond for M Quirke (40), C Buckley for S Houlihan (48) and J Brosnan for D Hallissey (49).
Referee: K Delahunty (Tipperary).
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