KERRY were banished to the back-door by an more efficient Cork team in Pairc Ui Chaoimh today.
The Rebels look in control for most of the game and reeled off four successive points to take a 0-7 to 0-4 lead in at the break and kept the struggling Kingdom at arms’ length for the remainder of the game with Conor Counihan’s side booking a place in the Munster SFC final on Sunday July 8.
The opening exchanges were littered with some heavy hits, with old foes Eoin Cadogan and Paul Galvin coming face to face once more.
But when the game settled down, it was the long kicking passing of Cork that reaped more rewards than Kerry’s more patient build up.
Nicholas Murphy was used to good effect on the edge of the Cork square while Kerry’s target man, Kieran Donaghy, spent much of the opening half operating further out the field.
Colm O’Neill and Donncha O’Connor were to the fore for the Rebels in this period though Kerry did fashion two genuine goal chances in the opening period. Cooper was crowded out by a scrambling Cork defence while Alan Quirke made an excellent save at the feet of Kieran Donaghy.
Kingdom boss Jack O’Connor made a double substitution at half time with Johnny Buckley and James O’Donoghue coming in at the break and those changes seemed to have the desired effect as Kerry reeled off two quick scores to cut the gap to the minimum.
But Kerry couldn’t get level with the Rebels and as the game wore on, the expected Kingdom onslaught never materialised with Quirke making another good stop, this time from Declan O’Sullivan.
At the other end, Colm O’Neill and sub Daniel Goulding kept the score board ticking over as the Rebels secured a deserved victory.
Scorers: Cork: D O’Connor 0-06 (2f), C O’Neill 0-05 (3f), P Kerrigan, D Goulding 0-2 each, C Sheehan, P Kissane 0-1 each
Kerry: C Cooper 0-5 (3f), Declan O’Sullivan, J O’Donoghue 0-02 each, P Galvin, E Brosnan, Darran O’Sullivan 0-01 each
CORK: A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cadogan; P Kissane, G Canty (capt), N O'Leary; A O'Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, D O’Connor, P Kelly; C O'Neill, N Murphy, P Kerrigan.
Subs used: D Goulding for Sheehan (52 mins), B O’Driscoll for Murphy (70), E Cotter for Kissane, M Collins for Kerrigan (both 70+3).
KERRY: B Kealy; M O Se, A O'Mahony, K Young; T O Se, E Brosnan, P Crowley; A Maher, S Scanlon; P Galvin, D O'Sullivan, D O'Sullivan; C Cooper, K Donaghy, K O'Leary.
Subs used: J O’Donoghue for O’Leary, J Buckley for Scanlon (both h-t), P Curtin for Donaghy (63 mins), BJ Keane for Galvin (66).
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath)