Sunday 17 December 2017

Rebels run riot to register record rout

Cork 2-24
Kerry 0-8
Munster U-21 FC Final

Cork set a new record margin for a win in the final at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.

A close game had been expected, but the Rebels were far sharper and cohesive and the outcome was decided long before the end.

From the off Cork took the upper hand, two goals in the space of a minute setting them on their way. With the hosts two points to the good with just seven minutes gone, corner-back Alan Cronin got forward well after linking with Ciarán Sheehan and while his handpass couldn't find Barry O'Driscoll, the attacker managed to steer the loose ball home despite being surrounded by a phalanx of Kerry defenders.

Then, Paul Honohan set Donal Óg Hodnett away; although Brian Kelly in the visitors' goal kept out his initial shot, Hodnett stabbed the rebound in.

At the other end, Kerry could not get going, the impressive performances of Micheál Ó Laoire and Aidan Walsh in the Cork midfield doing much to prevent them making any headway.

Such was the hosts' dominance that Kerry had made two substitutions before the interval.

By that stage, Cork had extended their lead to 2-13 to 0-3.

Although Sheehan and Mark Collins got the first two points of the second half, Kerry did briefly threaten a revival as they scored four in a row, Daithí Casey and Paul Geaney on target. Barry John Walsh, one of the first-half subs, was unlucky to see his shot rattle back off the bar.

The tempo had dropped, but once Cork rediscovered their earlier rhythm, the early pattern of the game returned, with Kerry simply unable to live with their opponents.

Collins continued to slot over frees and was unlucky with a goal chance after a beautiful link-up with Hodnett; the latter sent over a lovely point from a tight angle and substitute Eoin Buckley, just on for O'Driscoll, got in on the act with a fine score.

Kerry did have a late chance to save some face when Geaney was fouled for a penalty, but the corner-forward put his shot wide.

Scorers -- Cork: B O'Driscoll 1-6 (0-2 '45', 1f), M Collins 0-7 (5f), D Óg Hodnett 1-4, C Sheehan 0-3, J Wall 0-2, M Ó Laoire, E Buckley 0-1 each. Kerry: J O'Donoghue 0-3 (2f), P Geaney 0-2, BJ Walsh, K Hurley, D Casey 0-1 each.

CORK -- S Mellett; L Jennings, D Cahalane, A Cronin; P Daly, T Clancy, J Wall; M Ó Laoire, A Walsh; C Sheehan, M Collins, J O'Rourke; B O'Driscoll, D Óg Hodnett, P Honohan. Subs: D O'Donovan for Cronin (40), E Buckley for O'Driscoll (49), S Beston for Honohan (52), B Coughlan for Sheehan (54), D Nation for Walsh (56).

KERRY -- B Kelly; P Crowley, M Griffin, D O'Leary; J Sherwood, B Shanahan, J Lyne; T Ladden, E Walsh; J O'Donoghue, BJ Keane, A Fitzgerald; S O'Brien, P Geaney, D Casey. Subs: J Walsh for Lyne (15-26), J Walsh for E Walsh (27), BJ Walsh for Fitzgerald (27), P Kilkenny for Shanahan (h-t), C Moriarty for Sherwood (50), K Hurley for O'Brien (34).

Ref -- D O'Mahony (Tipperary).

Irish Independent

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