Buckley the inspiration for dominant Kingdom
KERRY gained sweet revenge for last year's heavy defeat at the hands of their old rivals Cork with a comprehensive victory at Austin Stack Park on Saturday.
This is the third year in a row that the provincial heavyweights have met in the first round at this grade but there was only going to be one winner this time with midfielder Johnny Buckley giving an inspirational display as Kerry dethroned the All-Ireland champions.
Except for a brief period in the opening half, between the fifth and eighth minutes when they kicked three points on the trot, Cork were never at the races on Saturday and even their goal was against the run of play.
Kerry had the wind in the opening half and some excellent point-taking by forward trio Barry John Keane, Barry John Walsh and Paul Geaney saw them ahead by 0-10 to 1-4 at half-time.
The Cork goal was a beautifully crafted effort with their best player, Ciaran Sheehan, starting the move in the 24th minute. Play was carried on by Eoin Keane and Mark Collins, who sent Barry O'Driscoll through and he blasted the ball past Kerry goalkeeper Tomas Mac an tSaoir to roof of the net.
But that was as good as it got for Cork. Any hopes of a second-half comeback were quickly dashed as Kerry assumed complete control after the break and further points from Paul Geaney, James O'Donoghue, Barry John Walsh and Barry John Keane stretched their lead to six points (0-14 to 1-5).
Such was Kerry's superiority that Cork only kicked one point in 30 minutes, though they did manage three consolation points in injury-time.
Kerry will now play Waterford in the semi-final on Saturday in Dungarvan.
Scorers -- Kerry: BJ Keane 0-7 (2f); BJ Walsh (1 '45, 2f), P Geaney (1f) 0-4 each; J O'Donoghue 0-3; P O'Donoghue 0-1. Cork: B O'Driscoll 1-2 (1f); C Sheehan 0-2; JP Murphy, E Keane, M Collins (f), J Sexton 0-1 each.
Kerry -- T Mac an tSaoir; P Crowley, K O'Connor, B McGuire; P O'Connor, B Shanahan, J Lyne; J Buckley, C Moriarty; J O'Donoghue, BJ Keane, M Geaney; D Casey, BJ Walsh, P Geaney. Subs: E Walsh for C Moriarty (26 mins), D McElligott for J Lyne (55), P O'Donoghue 0-1 for M Geaney (58).
Cork -- J Mellet; R O'Sullivan, R Buckley, I Jones; M Hickey, K O'Driscoll, JP Murphy; C O'Donovan, E Keane; M Collins, C Sheehan, P Honohan; B O'Driscoll, J Sexton, A Holland.
Subs: M Cahalane for Holland (40), L Jennings for R O'Sullivan (44), A Walsh for C O'Donovan (45), E Buckley for J Sexton (54), J Beston for K O'Driscoll (56).
Ref -- Rory Hickey (Clare)