Clifford leads Kerry into decider
Munster MFC Semi-final: Kerry 1-13 Clare 1-6
Kerry were rarely stretched as they eased past Clare at Miltown-Malbay to book a final spot against the winners of tonight's Cork/Limerick semi-final on July 3.
Kerry, who led 1-7 to 1-3 at the break, opened the scoring just 20 seconds in, when corner-forward Ferdia O'Brien popped the ball over, following a Dara Moynihan pass.
The Kingdom followed that score with a rather fortuitous goal, when Clare goalie Mark Lillis fumbled and a quick-thinking Brian Friel punched to the net. David Clifford made it 1-2 to no score by the fifth minute.
Ciaran O'Donoghue opened Clare's account on eight minutes but by the mid-point of the half, the visitors led by 1-5 to 0-1.
Pádraig Kelly pulled one back before full-forward Joe McGann rattled the Kerry net in the 25th minute, hammering home a deflected ball by Dermot Coughlan on the edge of the square.
When Kelly added a further point moments later, it was now a two-point game. But an experienced Kerry tagged on two more points before the break to re-establish their dominance.
Kerry began to express themselves more on the resumption. Sub David Shaw and Clifford added to the lead and by the 52nd minute the scoreboard read 1-12 to 1-4, with nowhere to hide for Clare.
Scorers - Kerry: D Clifford (2fs), S O'Shea (1f) 0-4 each, B Friel 1-0, D Shaw 0-2, M Breen, M Ryan, F O'Brien 0-1 each. Clare: P Kelly 0-4 (3fs), J McGann 1-0, D Bohannon, C O'Donoghue 0-1 each.
Kerry - B Courtney; G O'Sullivan, N Collins, M Reidy; M Potts, D Naughton, M Foley; M Breen, M Ryan; D Moynihan, S O'Shea (capt), D O'Connor; B Friel, D Clifford, F O'Brien. Subs: B Sweeney for O'Connor (h/t), D Shaw for O'Brien (h/t), C Teahan for Naughton (49), T O'Connor for Ryan (55), D Fitzgerald for Friel (60), K Dwyer for Reidy (63).
Clare - M Lillis; P Collins, J Culligan, D O'Loughlin (capt); J Hannon, A Shannon, R Danaher; D Bohannon, P Kelly; R O'Doherty, C O'Donoghue, D Coughlan; S Rouine, J McGann, T Connellan. Subs: C Lynch for O'Doherty (h/t), T Hannon for Shannon |(44), D Griffin for Rouine (49), G Cooney for Coughlan (BC, 56), C O'Loughlin for O'Donoghue (63).
Ref - J Ryan (Cork)