Friday 19 January 2018

Kerry defeat Cork to regain Munster crown

Colm Cooper celebrates after scoring his side's goal
Colm Cooper celebrates after scoring his side's goal

Cork's 18-year wait for a victory in Killarney goes on after Kerry toppled the reigning Munster champions by 1-16 to 0-17 to regain the provincial crown.

Kerry were totally dominant in the opening half and should have led by more than the seven point advantage they held at the break.

Conor Counihan responded by bringing in Alan O'Connor, Pearse O'Neill and Ciaran Sheehan and moved Aidan Walsh to the half-forward line and that acted as a catalyst for a second half fightback but it fell short.

Brendan Kealy denied Brian Hurley with a brilliant save in injury time that would have drawn matters level but it would have been an undeserved result given Kerry's dominance for most of the game.

Cork could have had a goal in the first 20 seconds as Brian Hurley came within a whisker of palming in Aidan Walsh's miscued but Brendan Kealy expertly saved.

The Gooch opened the scoring from a free having missed an early attempt but by the fifth minute Daniel Goulding had levelled matters.

The big talking point coming into the game was Eamonn Fitzmaurice's decision to replace Kieran Donaghy with Darran O'Sullivan but he started brightly and set up Declan O'Sullivan to push the Kingdom in front and James O'Donoghue doubled that advantage soon afterwards.

After a period of wayward shooting from both sides Goulding kicked his first from play.

Damien Cahalane was booked for a heavy tackle  and Johnny Buckley kicked the resultant free.

Buckley's midfield partner Anthony Maher was next on the scoresheet with Kerry's offensive approach much more effective than Cork's.

John O'Rourke kicked a fine point for the Rebels and that was followed up by a fisted point for Paul Kerrigan.

Paudi Kissane stole forward and could have scored a goal but lost his composure and slipped without getting a shot away. Kerry broke well after Kissane's miss and O'Donoghue kicked his second point.

The impressive Darran O'Sullivan fired over a point before James O'Donoghue shrugged off his man but kicked the ball wide of the post when one-on-one with O'Halloran.

Goulding scored a free for Cork after a foul on Hurley but Kerry hit back when the unselfish Declan O'Sullivan teed up Colm Cooper who coolly found the net and Kerry led by five.

Paul Galvin opened his account in the 31st minute and Declan O'Sullivan added to it with his second score.

Kerry's mifield dominance was a huge contributory factor to Kerry's first half dominance.

Both sides swapped frees before the break with Kerry heading to the dressingroom with a healthy 1-10 to 0-6 lead.

James O'Donohgue opened the scoring in the second half before James Loughrey got forward for a big Cork goal chance but he fired over.

Colm Cooper was penalised  wrongly for a tremendous tackle and Goulding slotted the free but Cooper responded with a brace of frees.

Cork were ponderous and lacking in intensity and Marc O'Se was the next on teh scoresheet for the Kingdom.

Goulding's free cut the deficit to eight points before Donncha O'Connor fired over from play in his last action of the game as he was replaced by Ciaran Sheehan who got the next point.

Another Goulding free was added to by Aidan Walsh for Cork's fifth unanswered point and suddenly the game was back on.

Kieran Donaghy was introduced but the ball into the full-forward line dried up for Kerry.

Brian Hurley was busy and put a goal between the sides with six minutes of normal time remianing.

Paul Galvin was fortunate that his punch on Noel O'Leary wasn't spotted by Marty Duffy was the tension in Killarney was ramped up.

Bryan Sheehan restored Kerry's four-point advantage with a huge point from distance but James Loughrey kept the pressure on with his second point of the half.

Brian Hurley was sharp under the breaking ball and Cork were back to within two with a minute of normal time remaining.

Kerry were under pressure but a fabulous Fionn Fitzgerald pass released Peter Crowley to score.

Cork attacked in injury time and Brian Hurley managed to orchestrate a half-yard of space before forcing Brendan Kealy into a huge save.

Goulding kicked the resultant 45 but it wasn't enough and Kerry were crowned Munster champions.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport