O'Donoghue delivers for Kerry's first title of season
Kerry 1-11 UCC 0-9
Kerry captured only their second McGrath Cup when they created too many scoring cases for a depleted UCC side in this entertaining final played at the Austin Stack Park, Tralee.
UCC fielded only five of the Sigerson Cup side which won last Wednesday and with NUIG up next this coming Wednesday, the pressure on their resources told.
Kerry were always on top and once again the Kerry defence, led by captain Killian Young, Tommy Griffin and Padraig Reidy, looked rock solid. They introduced 19-year- old James O'Donoghue for his first senior start and he did his future chances no harm, giving a man-of-the-match display and scoring 1-3, including a 10th-minute goal after a well-worked Kieran Donaghy assist.
Kerry led 1-6 to 0-4 at the interval with Mike Quirke and Alan O'Sullivan grabbing four marks between them and Paul Galvin, Donnacha Walsh and Declan O'Sullivan working very hard up front, but it was O'Donoghue who carved open the UCC defence time and again to keep the All-Ireland champions on top.
UCC rallied late on when Kerry were reduced to 13 players, with O'Donoghue retired injured (when all subs had been used), and Aidan O'Mahony sent to the line after receiving two yellows.
Kerry captain Young lifted the McGrath Cup as Kerry turn their thoughts to next Sunday and Dublin in the NFL.
Scorers -- Kerry: J O'Donoghue 1-3 (2f), Alan O'Sullivan 0-3, K Donaghy 0-2, Declan O'Sullivan, D Walsh, and Paul O'Connor 0-1 each. UCC: D O'Callaghan (2f), D Casey 0-2 each, D Gould (1f), D Kearney(1f), B Shanahan, M Griffin and R O'Hagen 0-1 each
Kerry: G Reidy; P Reidy, T Griffin, P Corridan; A Shine O'Sullivan, A O'Mahony, K Young, M Quirke, Alan O'Sullivan; P Galvin; Declan O'Sullivan, D Walsh; J O'Donoghue, K Donaghy, P O'Connor. Subs: Paudge O'Connor for P Reidy (h/t), B J Keane for Paul O'Connor (40), S Scanlon for M Quirke (45), K O'Leary for D O'Sullivan (50), B Looney for D Walsh (50)
UCC: K O'Halloran; L Jennings, D O'Donovan, S Enright; B Daly, A Greaney, P Crowley; B Shanahan, M Mennis; D Casey, M Griffin, D O'Callaghan; L Shorten, D Gould, C Daly. Subs: E Hegarty for S Enright (21), R O'Hagen for D Gould (h/t), S Kiely for M Mennis (50), B McPolin for K O'Halloran (57), R Buckley for D O'Callaghan (58)
Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford)