Second-half goal rush fires Kingdom into junior decider
Kerry 4-17 Lancashire 3-10
Kerry and Mayo will meet in a repeat of last year's junior decider after a ten-point win by Kerry over a gusty Lancashire a the Old Bedians Grounds in Manchester on Saturday.
Kerry turned on the gas in the second half to ruthlessly crush the best efforts of the Red Roses of Lancashire and set up a final against Mayo on August 6.
The opening half was nip and tuck and, if anything, Lancashire were playing the more composed football as they took the fight to their more renowned visitors.
Michael Higgins pointed for the home team before Kerry took a 0-3 to 0-1 lead as Sean Mici O Conchuir and Kieran Hurley pointed. Kerry native Darren Russell then collected a rebound off the upright to goal for Lancashire. Kerry replied through Niall O'Shea and David Foran to leave the sides tied at the interval, Lancashire 1-6 to Kerry's 0-9.
Kerry resumed a rejuvenated side after the break, helped by three substitutions, and they put Lancashire to the sword. The Kingdom scored 1-3 without reply, with the goal coming from Kevin O'Sullivan when he easily palmed into an empty net.
Gerry McCaughey replied with a major for the hosts; however Kerry rattled off the next six scores, three of them goals from Kieran Hurley, Robert Wharton and O'Shea.
Young players like Wharton, Andrew Barry, Patrick Clifford, Fionan Clifford, Cathal O Luing, Adrian Spillane and Jason Foley look likely to graduate to Kerry's senior ranks in the near future.
A late consolation goal by McCaughey was just reward for a valiant Lancashire effort.
Scorers - Kerry: K Hurley 1-4, S M O Conchuir 0-6 (2fs), N O Shea 1-2, R Wharton and K O'Sullivan 1-0 each, F Clifford 0-2, J C O'Connor, D Foran and D Roche 0-1 each. Lancashire: G McCaughley 2-0, D Russell 1-1, S Sands 0-3, C Harper 0-2 (1f), M Higgins, C Conway, P McGuirk, and D Meaney 0-1 each.
KERRY - D O'Shea; F Clifford, J Foley, C Ó Lúing; L Bastible, A Barry, R Wharton; A Spillane, M O'Donnell; B Ó Seanacháin, K O'Sullivan, D Foran; S Michéal Ó Conchúir, K Hurley, N O'Shea. Subs: J C O'Connor for M O'Donnell (h-t), P Clifford for L Bastible (h-t), L O'Donoghue for D Foran (h-t), P O'Donoghue for K O'Sullivan (50), D Roche for A Spillane (53), Dara O'Shea for R Wharton (55).
LANCASHIRE - M Donnelly; C Owens, D McTaggart, M Collins; M Higgins, P McGuirk, G Morris; S Sands, N Donnelly; M Comney, G McCaughley, C Mullen; D Russell; C Conway, C Harper. Subs: D O'Malley for G Morris (42), R Devlin for M Collins (43), D O'Neill for C Mullen (43), J O'Hagan for N Donnelly (48), P Murphy (Brendans) for C Conway (55), P Murphy (Mitchels) for D Russell ( 55).
Ref - N McKenna (Monaghan)