Monday 20 November 2017

Game At A Glance

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

The Munster SFC Final - what happened

Man of the Match

James O'Donoghue (Kerry)

Anthony Maher was a strong contender at half-time but the manner in which O'Donoghue gave leadership in both halves was immense, taking his scoring to 1-8 this summer with another 0-3 from play.

Turning point

Cork's decision to change their midfield and push Aidan Walsh up to centre-forward changed the entire landscape of the game but Kerry's introduction of Fionn Fitzgerald, Kieran Donaghy and Bryan Sheehan proved equally vital to the Kingdom holding on.

Talking point

Why did it take Cork boss Conor Counihan so long to make the changes that wrestled the game their way? He said Ciaran Sheehan had an injury setback recently and Paddy Kelly was hit by a bug last week, but there was a feeling he picked the wrong starting 15.

Magic moment

There genuinely wasn't one. Kerry had a huge spread of scores and Cork bravely clawed their way back but there wasn't one bit of eye-catching 'champagne football', probably not helped by the sweatbox conditions at Fitzgerald Stadium.

Ref watch

A week after making two glaring errors in the Ulster semi-final, Marty Duffy made some borderline decisions that looked puzzling and infuriated Colm Cooper and Graham Canty on separate occasions, but neither manager complained.

What they said

Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Kerry manager):

"We should have pushed on but for some reason we didn't. We knew there would be a rally in Cork. We felt if we kept the scoreboard ticking over, we'd get over the line but it was too close for comfort."

Conor Counihan (Cork manager):

"We were unlucky at the end with the few chances that might have ended up with a goal."

Match statistics

Wides:

Kerry 13 (8 first half)

Cork 7(3)

Frees: Kerry 21 (10)

Cork 22 (6)

Yellow cards:

Kerry 1 (Darran O'Sullivan 63)

Cork 4 (P Kerrigan 10, G Canty 47, P Kissane 63, N O'Leary 67)

Red cards: 0

What's next?

Kerry progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals, Cork go into the fourth round of the qualifiers on July 27.

Irish Independent

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