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moran steps up to deny rebels

munster sfc final replay

David Moran inspired Kerry to a third successive Munster football title and a 77th in all with a midfield tour de force in this Killarney replay.

Under challenging conditions Moran delivered a performance similar to last year's All-Ireland semi-final replay against Mayo.

With Anthony Maher on his shoulder, control at midfield was the key to Kerry improvement on the drawn game when Alan O'Connor had been so dominant.

But the collective effort of their defence was also crucial, especially against the wind in the second half when they restricted Cork to just two points.

Shane Enright had a great match on Brian Hurley while Paul Murphy and Jonathan Lyne also stood up and were counted.

They held Cork scoreless for the last 25 minutes as the Rebels failed to sustain their challenge.

Kerry largely overlooked the search for finesse and landed ball after ball into Kieran Donaghy in the first half.

Donaghy had his successes but Cork were able to put out enough fires too with Eoin Cadogan's pre-match replacement Jamie O'Sullivan managing to cope well before Kerry withdrew their captain on 44 minutes, sending in Colm Cooper with a clear change of emphasis.

Cooper brought calm to Kerry and was much more involved than he had been in his 28 minutes or so two weeks earlier.

Bryan Sheehan's free-taking in the first half was a stand-out feature but so too was Moran's influence which grew as the game progressed and the conditions worsened and consequently Alan O'Connor wasn't nearly as prominent.

Kerry looked to have built a solid platform, 0-7 to 0-4 by the 27th minute.

But a stray Aidan O'Mahony kick created the turnover for Cork to press through Kevin O'Driscoll and Donncha O'Connor with Colm O'Neill putting in Paul Kerrigan for a cracking 32nd minute goal.

A fifth Sheehan free after Moran was fouled just before the break gave Kerry a 0-8 to 1-4 interval lead.

For much of the third quarter Kerry looked there for the taking. O'Neill drew Cork level with a point off his right foot, Jonathan Lyne surged forward to put Kerry ahead again before Collins put in Kevin O'Driscoll again to energise Cork.

But just when they looked like taking a firm grip Kerry struck. A needless free conceded saw Cooper deliver quickly to Donnchadh Walsh whose shot was blocked by Cork goalkeeper Kevin O'Halloran.

But the break finished kindly for Paul Geaney and he found the net to give Kerry a 1-9 to 1-6 lead on 49 minutes. They controlled the game from then on, holding a Cork team rapidly running out of ideas scoreless.

Kerry now meet the winners of Westmeath and Fermanagh in an All-Ireland quarter-final, Cork have Kildare in a qualifier next weekend.

Scorers - Kerry: P Geaney 1-3 (0-1f), B Sheehan 0-5 (5fs), J O'Donoghue, D Walsh, J Lyne all 0-1 each.

Cork: P Kerrigan 1-0, C O'Neill 0-3 (0-1f, 0-1 45), K O'Driscoll, D O'Connor (f), Brian O'Driscoll all 0-1 each.

Kerry: B Kealy; S Enright, A O'Mahony, M O Se; J Lyne, P Murphy, K Young; D Moran, A Maher; D Walsh, B Sheehan, J Buckley; J O'Donoghue, K Donaghy, P Geaney. Subs: M Geaney for Buckley (29), C Cooper for Donaghy (44), S O'Brien for Sheehan (57), P Galvin for Walsh (66), P Crowley for Young (68).

Cork: K O'Halloran; M Shields, J O'Sullivan, J Loughrey; Brian O'Driscoll, S Cronin, M Collins, Barry O'Driscoll; A O'Connor, K O'Driscoll; P Kelly, D O'Connor, P Kerrigan; C O'Neill, B Hurley. Subs: F Goold for D O'Connor (47), C Dorman for K O'Driscoll (54), D Goulding for Kelly (59), BJ Keane for P Geaney (62), T Clancy for Barry O'Driscoll (66), J Hayes for Hurley (67).