Thursday 18 January 2018

Kerry and Cork must do it all again after dramatic Munster Football Final

Kerry 2-15 Cork 3-12

James O'Donoghue, Kerry, scores his side's second goal from a penalty
James O'Donoghue, Kerry, scores his side's second goal from a penalty
Peter Crowley, Kerry, in action against Brian Hurley, Cork
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

A dramatic injury-time equaliser by defender Fionn Fitzgerald spared Kerry blushes as they preserved their 20-year record of avoiding defeat to Cork in Killarney.

An epic Munster final was heading Cork's way after Barry O'Driscoll's 64th minute goal pushed them in front by 3-12 to 2-14.

But they failed to capitalise on a fine piece of innovation from the impressive Cork half-back and last year's All-Ireland winning captain stepped up to take responsibility with time virtually elapsed.

Cork benefited early on through a Colm O'Neill goal to take a 1-1 to 0-0 lead but it was quickly cancelled out when Kieran Donaghy pounced at the other end after Johnny Buckley stripped possession from Michael Shields.

Colm ONeill, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal
Colm ONeill, Cork, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal

Kerry got to the break 1-9 to 1-5 ahead and looked comfortable as Barry John Keane and James O'Donoghue found their stride.

But with O'Driscoll always probing, Kevin O'Driscoll growing in prominence and Alan O'Connor making his presence felt Cork kept in touch with Donncha O'Connor beating Brendan Kealy after Barry O'Driscoll's patient approach work on 38 minutes.

Cork got on top in the middle after David Moran was black-carded in the 42nd minute and Paddy Kelly, a replacement for the black-carded Paul Kerrigan, grew more influential.

Two O'Neill points, one from a free, and further scores from Kevin and Barry O'Driscoll edged Cork three points clear, 2-10 to 1-10, before Kerry gave more sustained chase.

The key score was James O'Donoghue's 53rd minute penalty after Mark Collins had hauled him down.

Paul Geaney and substitute Anthony Maher put Kerry two points clear, 2-14 to 2-12 but there was more Cork with Shields allowed to cut through the middle and set up Barry O'Driscoll for a third goal.

The replay will take place in Killarney on Saturday, July 18.

Scorers - Kerry: J O'Donoghue 1-2 (1-0 pen), B Sheehan 0-4 (3fs), K Donaghy 1-0, BJ Keane 0-3 (1f),F Fitzgerald, J Buckley, D Walsh, C Cooper, A Maher, P Geaney all 0-1 each.

Cork:  C O'Neill 1-6 (0-3fs, 0-1 45), D O'Connor 1-3 (0-2fs), Barry O'Driscoll 1-1, K O'Driscoll 0-2.

Kerry: B Kealy; S Enright, F Fitzgerald, M O Se; K Young, P Crowley, J Lyne; D Moran, B Sheehan; S O'Brien, J Buckley,D Walsh; BJ Keane, K Donaghy, J O'Donoghue. Subs: A Maher for Moran BC (43), C Cooper for O'Brien (43), D O'Sullivan for Buckley (47), P Geaney for Keane (50), J Sherwood for Sheehan (60), P Murphy for Crowley (66).

Cork: K O'Halloran; S Cronin, E Cadogan, J Loughrey; Brian O'Driscoll, M Shields, Barry O'Driscoll' A O'Connor, K O'Driscoll; P Kerrigan, M Collins, F Goold; C O'Neill, D O'Connor, B Hurley. Subs: P Kelly for Kerrigan (22), C Dorman for Cronin (59), R Deane for Goold (60), D Goulding for D O'Connor (61), C O'Driscoll for Hurley (66).

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)

Read more: Joe Brolly: 'Cork people ought to be very proud of their team tonight'

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