IT IS now five titles on the trot for Kerry clubs in the Munster junior football championship after Kenmare Shamrock's impressive win over Limerick's Cappamore in Mallow last Sunday afternoon.
As the final whistle shrieked out in the cool winter Cork air, the scoreboard showed a six point gap between the sides – but in truth that scoreboard failed to adequately reflect the gap between the two protagonists as the victors were by far the better side and only rarely bothered to get out of third gear.
That lack of putting the pedal to the metal was in no way showing disrespect for the Limerick men, Kenmare just didn't really need to open the taps and go for it, they were comfortable from the off.
The Kingdom side looked sensational going forward with the full forward line of DJ Brennan, Paul O'Connor and Stephen O'Brien bagging a match winning tally of 17 points between them. O'Connor in particular was a real threat as he tormented the overworked Cappamore rearguard right through the 60 minutes.
With the trio showing no mercy up front the half forward line were obviously going to be a little quieter but Alan O'Leary, Mark Crowley and Kevin O'Sullivan all managed to add to the tally as the scoreboard kept relentlessly tipping over.
While the plaudits for this win will ultimately go to the attacking sextet the manner of this win could not have been secured without the input of the midfield pairing of Shane Dalton and Jimmy Wharton. The double act dominated the midfield zone with Wharton in particular giving a masterful display. Wharton was magnificent throughout the fixture as he not only plucked most of the high balls from the opposition kick outs but he also set a large percentage of the Shamrock's attacks on their way with impressive forward runs and a host of clinical passes.
When a side can rattle off 20 points and never peak in a game they have to be taken seriously and if any scouts from the other remaining side's in the competition were in Mallow on Sunday they would surely be reporting back that Shamrocks are a side to be wary of – but they would also have seen that there could be an Achilles heel.
The Kenmare Shamrock's rear guard were not really impressive on the day. They weren't bad, but they weren't great as a unit either. At times they looked to be struggling with a lively attacking outfit and at other times they looked to be all at sea. Cappamore were without doubt one of the least dangerous side's a Kerry team could hope to meet in a Munster final and they still managed a very impressive 2-08. The Limerick side were dogged, united and stuck to their plan and they have to be given credit for never throwing in the towel, but they should have been put away far earlier and far easier by Shamrock's.
For the vanquished side, they should take comfort from the fact that they are not the first and probably won't be the last side to be put to the sword by Kenmare.
The Limerick men's charge was led by right corner forward Andy Murphy and full forward John Ryan. The duo put it up to the Kerry defence and grabbed a goal apiece either side of the interval.
Others to show dogged resistance on the day were the trio of Sheehy's in the half back line (Brian, Diarmuid and Sean) with centre forward Tommy O'Donoghue also showing great heart.
Kenmare seem to be a side that believe they can outscore the opposition, any opposition, and in fairness to them they have proved very capable so far. Between the quarter and semi finals they conceded 1-11 and scored 3-38. They play a terrific brand of football. They move it fast, they are clinical, they are lively and their forwards all seem to posses blistering pace.
Will this be enough to get them to the All Ireland final? It very well may be enough but they will need to tighten up at the back or they may well shift a large score which they are not able to surpass. KENMARE: K Fitzgibbon; D Crowley, T O'Sullivan, C O'Sullivan; A O'Callaghan, S O'Leary, A Crowley; S Dalton, J Wharton; A O'Leary 0-1, M Crowley 0-1, K O'Sullivan 0-1; DJ Brennan 0-3, P O'Connor 0-10 (5f), S O'Brien 0-4. Subs: S Duncan (54), S Ryan
(56), R O'Sullivan (60). CAPPAMORE: B Leahy; D Keating, P Leahy, S Humphreys; B Sheehy, D Sheehy, S Sheehy; C Doherty, C Sheehan; D Deere, T O'Donoghue 0-1, M Tracey; A Murphy 1-5 (2f), J Ryan 1-1, J Campbell. Subs: B Creamer (24), E Gleeson (ht), J O'Donnell 0-1 (40), N Leahy (47), E O'Donoghue (55). REFEREE: M Condon (Waterford)