KERRY completed their FAI Inter league Cup campaign on a losing note at Mounthawk Park on Saturday when they went down to Cork, who were already into the knock-out stages of the comeptition.
UMBRO FAI YOUTHS INTER LEAGUE
Kerry 1 Cork 4
There was nothing more than pride at stake for Kerry in this game as defeats by the Desmond League and Limerick District League meant they could not qualify for the knock-out stages of the competition. On the day Kerry were actually struggling to field a team as the management team were let down by so many players they had been depending on. Killarney Celtic players were conspicious by their absence and nine of the starting line up were from St Brendans' Park.
There are many players from clubs around the county who would love to play for the county team and if it was known that key players would not show up on Satruday they would gladly take their place. The management team made a huge effort putting the panel of players together and they were treated very poorly on Saturday with just a few players texting to say they would not be available.
It was very disappointing from a Kerry point of view that only seven of the panel of players from the previous game were available for this game. Kerry started using Colin Griffin a centre-half with no experience as a goalie and he turned out to be the man of the match making a series of great saves in the second half which kept his side in the game. Kerry faced a stiff wind in the first half and it was Cork that dictated affairs and it took good defending to keep them at bay in the opening minutes.
However, they took the lead in the 10th minute with John Kraw and Kieran Kavanagh linking up to put Greg Harte through on goals and he applied a tidy finsih to set the Leesiders on their way. They were denied a second goal after a superb tacke by Ryan Caroll deprived Len Sexton of a certain goal. However, the Kerry defence was cut open in the 20th minute after great work by John Kraw down wing and he fed Len Sexton who had plenty of time to pick his spot from 10 yards.
After being under pressure in the opening half hour Kerry began to get much more into the game and their first effort on goal came in the 32nd minute when Dean Cassidy and Adam O'Rourke linked up to give Ryan Caroll a chance to shoot at goal but his effort missed the target. Minutes later Caroll again got into a shooting position after good build up play but he could not force the Cork goalie to make a save.
With the wind at their backs Kerry started the second half very encouragingly and young Adam O'Rourke had a pop on goal but it lacked accuracy. Then Kerry can thank their goalie Colin Griffin for keeping them in the game as he made two great saves to deny John Kraw and Len Sexton. Kerry put a great move together but the shot on goal by Fionn Coakley was off target. Cork looked sure to score when Kieran Kavanagh was in one on one with Kerry goalie Colin Griffin, but the custodiian dived low to his left to make a fantastic save.
Eventually Kerry got the break their endeavour merited when Jesse O'Sullivan got in behind the Cork defence and he was taken down by the Cork goalie Stephen Hickey inside the box and referee Adrian Grimes pointed to the spot and yellow carded the offender. O'Sullivan made no mistake from the spot and now Kerry were right back into the game again. They continued to pose a threat but when it came close to goals they were unable to break down a very strong Cork rearguard.
Kerry goalie Colin Griffin came to the rescue again in the 70th minute when he denied Jack McGuire. However, all of Kerry's good work came undone in the 73rd minute when they conceded a goal of a soft nature. Cork got a free kick out on the wing which was drilled in low by sub Timmy Murphy and with the goalmouth packed it evaded everyone and went all the way to the net.
By now the result was beyond doubt and in the closing minute Cork added goal number four courtesy of Gary Harte. KERRY: Colin Griffin, Jay Murphy, Ryan Downey, Brian O'Connell, Fionn Coakley, Ryan Carroll, Sean Ryan, Dean Cassidy, Jesse O'Sullivan, Adam O'Rourke, Adam Barrett. Subs: Shane Flaherty for Brian O Connell CORK: Stephen Hickey, Cian Kelliher, Ben Mc Auliffe, Gary Long, Ryan Meaney, James Nagle, Kieran Kavanagh, Jack McGuire, Greg Harte, Len Sexton, John Kraw. Subs: Craig O'Donoghue for Len Sexton and Timmy Murphy for Ben Mc Aulliffe REFEREE: Adrian Grimes