Costello lauds minors' resolve after Kingdom stage late rally
Kerry 3-14 Cork 2-14
Kerry minor manager James Costello praised his team's character as they made it seven Munster MFC titles in a row on Saturday evening.
Like the senior game that followed at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Kerry were favourites going in but had to produce a good response after Cork drew level, with Emmet O'Shea, Jack O'Connor and Darragh Lynch getting late points for the Kingdom.
"I think it showed a lot of resolve and I think we needed it," Costello said.
"The wind was a lot stronger than people realised. We had to work hard and we scraped hard. We didn't play well in the first half, Cork opened us. But we scraped hard and so to get our noses in front was important.
"I'd have said at the start of the year that there'd be no more than a kick of the ball between Kerry and Cork."
Ahead Kerry had won by 3-19 to 1-9 in the round-robin stage and started well but Kelan Scannell's goal put Cork 1-1 to 0-3 ahead and they had a second green flag via an own goal.
They led by four points at one stage but Kerry were in front by half-time as Colin Crowley and Dylan Geaney struck for goals before the break.
A third goal, from Kevin Goulding, extended the lead on the resumption but Cork stayed in touch, with captain Conor Corbett impressive, and he had the equaliser to cap a run of four straight points in the closing stages. Kerry had the final say, though.
Scorers - Kerry: J O'Connor 0-5 (2 '45, 2f); D Geaney 1-2; K Goulding, C Crowley 1-1 each; G Hassett 0-2, D Lynch, S O'Brien, E O'Shea 0-1 each. Cork: R O'Donovan (3f), C Corbett 0-4 each; K Scannell 1-0; 1-0 own goal; M O'Neill 0-2; P Campbell (f), S Andrews, H Murphy, A Walsh-Murphy 0-1 each.
Kerry - D Burns; K O'Sullivan, A Dineen, L Chester; E O'Sullivan, A Curran, S O'Brien; J Linehan, R Collins; C Crowley, J O'Connor, D Lynch; D Geaney, G Hassett, K Goulding. Subs: E O'Shea for Goulding (46), D O'Callaghan for Crowley (47), J Kerins for O'Brien (49, inj), T Sparling for Dineen (BC, 59), T Ó hAiniféin for Lynch (60).
Cork - A O'Brien; S Andrews, D Linehan, J O'Shea; T O'Donoghue, N Lordan, D Peet; J Lawton, K Scannell; H Murphy, C Corbett, A Walsh-Murphy; R O'Donovan, P Campbell, J Cahalane. Subs: K O'Driscoll for Walsh-Murphy (24, inj), M O'Neill for O'Shea (h-t), A O'Hare for O'Donovan (49), S Aherne for Campbell (55), N Gough for Andrews (60).
Ref - S Lonergan (Tipperary)