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Horan strike fires Kerry to clean sweep in Munster

Kerry 3-11 Cork 0-14

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Kerry manager Jack O’Connor with Man of the Match Stefan Okunbor. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor with Man of the Match Stefan Okunbor. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor with Man of the Match Stefan Okunbor. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

the Kerry U-20 side completed the clean sweep of Munster titles in one week as they fought back to overpower a strong Cork side who at times threatened to spoil the Kerry party.

Munster titles at Senior, Junior and Minor grade were added to by this free-scoring U-20 side under manager Jack O'Connor who ensured Kerry would be the first county whose name would be engraved on the U-20 Trophy.

Cork made an explosive start to this game, scoring three points without reply in as many minutes from Colm O'Callaghan, Damien Gore and Colm Barrett, as the tall Mark Keane was causing the Kerry full-back line trouble on the edge of the square.

But Kerry soon settled and were level by the ninth minute thanks to points from Cormac Linnane, Fergus Clifford and David Shaw and then Kerry struck for a crucial goal, which was sublimely finished David Shaw to the bottom corner of the Cork net.

Stefan Okunbor was now getting to grips with Keane and with Mike Breen also helping out, the game was developing into a titanic battle. Cork then rattled off four points on the trot from Tadhg Corkery and three from Chris Óg Jones as Cork moved 0-8 to 1-3 in front by the 21st minute.

Kerry responded and levelled with points from Cormac Linnane and a Donal O'Sullivan free and both sides swapped points as they retired level at the interval (1-6 to 0-9).

Cork, thanks to a Chris Óg Jones, free were in front again within two minutes of the restart but Kerry took over with man of the match Okunbor curbing the dangerous Keane, while Graham O'Sullivan, Dan O'Brien and Mike Breen were also outstanding at the back for Kerry.

The crucial score of the half came in the 41st minute when Fiachra Clifford cut through and Eddie Horan, just on the pitch, drilled the ball to the Cork net. Jones kept Cork within striking distance but Kerry struck again in the 53rd minute when Donal O'Sullivan was hauled down for a penalty which Mark Ryan expertly slotted home and suddenly Kerry were six clear and two late Donal O'Sullivan scores ensured a six-point win and a place in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Scorers - Kerry: D O'Sullivan 0-4 (2fs); M Ryan (pen), D Shaw and E Horan 1-0 each; F Clifford, C Linnane and S O'Leary 0-2 each; G O'Sullivan 0-1. Cork: C Óg Jones 0-7 (3 fs); C O'Callaghan and M Keane 0-2 each; R Corkery, C Barrett, and D Gore 0-1 each.

Kerry - B Lonergan; D Naughton, S Okunbor, M Reidy; M Breen, G O'Sullivan, D O'Brien; M Ryan, D O'Connor; F Clifford, C Linnane, D Moynihan; D O'Sullivan, B Sweeney, D Shaw. Subs: B Friel for C Linnane (36), E Horan for D Shaw (40), S O'Leary for D Moynihan (43 BC), M Potts for F Clifford (51), M Foley for D O'Connor (56), C Gammell for D Naughton (62).

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Cork - I Giltinan; N Walsh, S Walsh, K O'Donovan; L O'Donovan, A Browne, T Linehan; C O'Callaghan, M Keane; M Shanley, T Corkery, C Maguire; C Barrett, C Óg Jones, D Gore. Subs: S O'Sullivan for C Maguire (h-t), K Myers Murray for M Shanley (36), M Cronin for D Gore (49), M Bradley for C Barrett (49), A McCarthy for K O'Donovan (BC 54), L Wall for N Walsh (59).

Ref - S Lonergan (Tipperary)


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