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Kerry end Munster U21 football title wait in style with emphatic 16-point win over Cork

It’s the Kingdom’s first provincial title win since 2008.

Kerry 2-16
Cork 0-6

Fintan O’Toole reports from Páirc Uí Rinn

IT MAY HAVE been a frustrating grade in recent years but Kerry returned to the winners enclosure in style tonight as they claimed the EirGrid Munster U21 football title.

Andrew Barry with Jerry O’Riordan

Jack O’Connor’s side produced a hugely impressive performance to see off Cork by 16 points in Páirc Uí Rinn and book an All-Ireland semi-final date with the winners of next Saturday’s Connacht decider between Galway and Sligo.

Goals in either half by Matthew O’Sullivan and Conor Geaney helped Kerry on the road to victory while there were sparkling point scoring displays from Sean O’Shea and Killian Spillane in attack as they hit 0-6 and 0-5 respectively.

Kerry celebrate with the trophy

Kerry were in front 1-6 to 0-3 at the break. They reeled off the opening four points of the match inside the opening seven minutes, evidence of their bright play from the start.

Cork did rally to hit three on the bounce to be within touching distance at the end of the first quarter and were unlucky to see a powerful strike by Michael Hurley cannon off the upright.

But that was as close as the home side and reigning champions got to their opponents. Kerry pulled clear before the break, O’Sullivan billowing the net in the 20th minute when he capped a fine team move.

Matthew O’Sullivan celebrates scoring a goal Matthew O'Sullivan fired Kerry's first-half goal. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

And Kerry produced a blistering start to the second half as well with seven points in the third quarter of the match, while they only conceded one at the other end.

Geaney came on to produce an impressive cameo off the bench, slamming home Kerry’s second goal in the 54th minute to emphatically seal their success.

Cork kept trying to the end with substitute Stephen Sherlock contributing two points while wing-back Jerry O’Riordan was unlucky to see his effort for goal cleared off the line.

But there was no questioning Kerry’s superiority on the night with man-of-the-match Andrew Barry a major influence at midfield and a towering defensive display from Brian Ó Beaglaoich as well. They will march on the All-Ireland series in confidence.

Cian Kiely dejected at the end of the game

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Killian Spillane 0-5 (0-2f), Conor Geaney 1-2 (0-1f), Matthew O’Sullivan 1-1, Tom O’Sullivan, Cathal Bambury 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Stephen Sherlock (0-2f), Brian Coakley (0-1f) 0-2 each, Sean O’Donoghue, Gary Murphy 0-1 (0-1f) each.

Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
2. Tom (Leo) O’Sullivan (Dingle)
4. Brian Sugrue (Renard – captain)

5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
6. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. Andrew Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Brian Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue)

10. Brandon Barrett (Ardfert)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Matthew Flaherty (Dingle)

13. Killian Spillane (Templenoe)
14. Matthew O’Sullivan (St Michael’s-Foilmore)
15. Cathal Bambury (Dingle)

Subs

18. Jack Morgan (Austin Stacks) for Sugrue (inj) (17)
19. Conor Geaney (Dingle) for Bambury (half-time)
23. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for Barrett (46)
17. Barry O’Sullivan (Dingle) for Flaherty (46)
20. Cormac Coffey (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Tom O’Sullivan (black card) (48)
22. Jordan Kiely (Dr Crokes) for Matthew O’Sullivan (52)

Cork

1. Ross Donovan (Nemo Rangers)

2. Sean Daly (Dohenys)
3. John Mullins (Eire Óg)
4. Sean Wilson (Douglas)

5. Jerry O’Riordan (Carbery Rangers)
6. Aidan Browne (Newmarket)
7. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig)

9. Eoin Lavers (Dohenys)
12. Sean O’Donoghue (Inniscarra – captain)

13. Gary Murphy (Castletownbere)
11. Sean Powter (Douglas)
19. Liam O’Donovan (Clonakilty)

10. Brian Coakley (Carrigaline)
24. Mick Dineen (Naomh Aban)
15. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven)

Subs

18. Daniel Meaney (St Michael’s) for Dineen (22)
14. Stephen Sherlock (St Finbarr’s) for Lavers (half-time)
21. Mark Buckley (Dohenys) for Murphy (42)
17. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers) for Browne (42)
22. Sean O’Donovan (Ilen Rovers) for Coakley (47)
20. Sean O’Leary (Bantry Blues) for Daly (56)

Referee: Alan Kissane (Waterford)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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