Sunday 22 October 2017

Kingdom find an extra gear in thriller

Munster JFC final: Kerry 4-24 Cork 3-20

Tomás Ó Sé: scored 2-4 to help Kerry overcome Cork. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Tomás Ó Sé: scored 2-4 to help Kerry overcome Cork. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Kerry claimed a fourth successive crown as two goals in the first period of extra-time finally saw them ease clear of Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

With the sides having been level at 2-17 each at the end of 60 minutes plus stoppages, extra-time looked like following the same pattern as Liam Carey and Eoghan Buckley exchanged points, but Brendan O’Sullivan put Kerry ahead again and then Philip O’Connor and Tomás Ó Sé both netted in quick succession.

Trailing by eight at half-time, Cork were always going to find it difficult to overhaul that in the second period and though Ronan O’Toole did get his second goal near the end, it was just a consolation.

Regulation time had been full of drama. Kerry had led by 0-6 to 0-2 after the opening quarter as they threatened to live up to their pre-match billing as 1/10 favourites, but Ronan O’Toole’s goal helped Cork to get back into it. Then, six points in a row helped them to open up a four-point lead, 1-8 to 0-7. While Jeff O’Donoghue and Philip O’Connor ended Kerry’s drought, Anthony O’Connor had the final three points of the half to leave Cork ahead by 1-11 to 0-9 at half-time.

Eoghan Buckley added a second goal for the hosts within 27 seconds of the resumption and O’Connor’s eighth point put them nine ahead and seemingly safe. They wouldn’t score again until the 50th minute though, with Kerry adding an unanswered 2-5. After points from Conor Cox and Killian Spillane, Tomás Ó Sé netted following a nice one-two with Brendan O’Sullivan to cut the gap to four.

O’Donoghue’s ’45 was followed by a Philip O’Connor goal to level at 2-12 and Éanna Ó Conchúir and then Cox opened up a two-point lead.

Having been starved of possession, the Cork attack began to receive service again and O’Connor levelled with a free and then a boomer before Buckley put them in front once more. Kerry sub Liam Carey saw his leveller answered by Seán Terry O’Sullivan but Carey tied it up again and O’Connor looked to have won it only for Killian O’Hanlon to ensure extra-time.

Scorers - Kerry: T Ó Sé 2-4, P O'Connor 2-3, C Cox 0-5 (3f), L Carey 0-4, J O'Donoghue 0-3 (1f, 1 45), K Spillane, I Parker (2f) 0-2 each, B O'Sullivan 0-1 each. Cork: A O'Connor 0-11 (6f), R O'Toole 2-1, E Buckley 1-2, K O'Hanlon 0-3, D O'Regan, ST O'Sullivan, R O'Callaghan 0-1 each.

CORK - A Casey; K Histon, P Murphy, P Clancy; D O'Regan, B Daly, J Cronin; M Ó Laoire, R O'Toole; R Downey, K O'Hanlon, R Harkin; E Buckley, S Hickey, A O'Connor. Subs: S O'Sullivan for Downey (40), L O'Neill for O'Regan (51), R O'Callaghan for Hickey (67), M Bradley for O'Sullivan (70), D Colfer for Murphy (BC 77).

KERRY - T Mac an tSaoir; E Kiely, J McGuire, P Kilkenny; J Walsh, M Foley, D O'Brien; R Ó Sé, B O'Sullivan; P O'Connor, J O'Donoghue, É Ó Conchúir; T Ó Sé, C Cox, K Spillane. Subs: L Carey for O'Donoghue (41), I Parker for Cox (58), PJ Mac Láimh for Foley (59), B Barrett for Ó Conchúir (BC, 70), E Cronin for Spillane (h-t in extra time), DJ Murphy for Walsh (75), S O'Sullivan for Carey (78).

Ref - S Lonergan (Tipperary)

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