O'Brien spearheads Cork stroll to nine-in-a-row
Cork 4-12 Kerry 0-4
THIS victory was as emphatic as the scoreline suggests, with Cork winning the provincial title for the ninth year in a row at Direen, Killarney yesterday.
A comprehensive Cork victory was never in doubt, as they bagged three first-half goals, thanks to an Aaron O'Brien brace and a third from Gearoid Finn, to lead 3-9 to 0-2 at half-time.
With Cork's inside line of O'Brien, Stephen Casey and Finn bursting with scoring potential, the reigning champions just had too much class and guile for Kerry.
In the second half, Cork added a fourth goal through Rickard Cahalane before Kerry's Kealan Ó Dubhlainn missed two penalties in 60 seconds as the game petered out to an inevitable conclusion.
Kerry added two late points but it's Cork that advance to an All-Ireland semi-final against reigning champions Donegal in mid-February.
SCORERS -- Cork: A O'Brien 2-0, G Finn 1-2 (0-1f), R Cahalane 1-0, G Barry 0-2, D Canty, K Crowley, I Walsh, G Farrell, G O'Shea, D O'Connor, S Casey, K Histon 0-1 each. Kerry: P Herlihy (1f), D O Fuarain, D Collins, M O Horain 0-1 each.
CORK -- D Casey; K Dennehy, J Lynch, D Canty; K Crowley, M Murphy, D Nyhan; I Walsh, G Farrell; G Barry, G O'Shea, D O'Connor; A O'Brien, S Casey, G Finn. Subs: M Taylor for D Nyhan (h-t), R Cahalane for A O'Brien, J Leahy for G Finn (h-t), K Histon for I Walsh (43), E O'Sullivan for G Barry (48).
KERRY -- R O Mathuna; E McLoughlin, N MacGearailt; J Lyne; A Finn; D Collins, D Goulding; P Herlihy, D O'Connell; S O'Connor, J O'Connor, D O Fuarain; E Murphy, K Bowler, K O Dubhlainn. Subs: E O'Riordan for E McLoughlinn (h-t), M O Horain for K Bowler (h-t), D O Fionnagain for D Goulding (48), G MacCarthaigh for P Herlihy (49).
REF -- Michael Meade (Limerick).