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Cork and Kerry finish level after five-goal Munster football final thriller

Fitzgerald Stadium was the venue this afternoon.

Kerry's Marc Ó Sé and Cork's Colm O'Neill.
Kerry's Marc Ó Sé and Cork's Colm O'Neill.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kerry 2-15
Cork 3-12

Fintan O’Toole reports from Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

A LAST GASP Fionn Fitzgerald point rescued a draw for Kerry against Cork in a pulsating Munster senior football final in Killarney today.

Fitzgerald showed great nerve to smash over a long-range point in injury-time and save the All-Ireland champions.

It capped a thrilling game of football as Cork produced a superb second-half showing to come desperately close to ending their losing streak at Fitzgerald Stadium.

Kerry were in front 1-9 to 1-5 at the interval with Colm O’Neill and Kieran Donaghy trading goals.

The exceptional point-kicking of Bryan Sheehan and James O’Donoghue pushed Kerry into a strong position at the midway mark.

But Cork rallied in the second-half with Donncha O’Connor flicking delightfully to the net after the brilliant Barry O’Driscoll had set him up.

Cork moved 2-11 to 1-11 in front with 20 minutes left before Kerry bounced back as O’Donoghue slammed home a penalty after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Mark Collins.

Mark Collins of Cork reacts Mark Collins reacts to the concession of the penalty Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Entering the last ten minutes Kerry clung to a two-point lead but they were rocked in the 63rd minute when Barry O’Driscoll got in for Cork’s third goal after a surging run by Michael Shields split open the Kerry defence.

Cork couldn’t extend their lead and Kerry were indebted to Fitzgerald’s late intervention to set up a replay on Saturday 18 July at Fitzgerald Stadium.

After the cloud of doubt hanging over them since Dublin dismantled them in the league final, Cork started in fine fashion.

Stephen O'Brien, David Moran and Killian Young with Kevin O'Driscoll and Fintan Goold Cork and Kerry players clash for possession. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Their aspirations got an early fillip when O’Neill palmed the ball to the net after good combination play from Mark Collins and Donnchadh O’Connor prised apart the Kerry rearguard.

But the positive of that strike was offset by the concession of a Kerry goal that deflated them minutes later. Michael Shields was stripped of possession close to goal by Johnny Buckley with the ball breaking kindly for Donaghy who planted it in the net.

The teams were locked together at 1-4 apiece by the 27th minute before Kerry outscored Cork by 0-5 to 0-1 in the remainder of the opening period.

Cork started the second-half in blistering fashion though. O’Connor’s goal was the centrepiece of their scoring burst that saw them push clear at 2-11 to 1-11 by the 50th minute.

Donncha O'Connor scores their second goal of the game despite Fionn Fizgerald Donncha O'Connor nets Cork's second goal of the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

However then the game turned on a contentious penalty decision with Cork furious at the judgement by referee Padraig Hughes.

Kerry, having released their big guns from the bench, used that goal as the springboard to forge a 2-14 to 2-12 lead with ten minutes remaining.

Then the fun started as first defender Barry O’Driscoll looked to become Cork’s scoring hero yet it was Kerry’s Fitzgerald that proved their scoring saviour.

Barry O'Driscoll celebrates scoring Barry O'Driscoll celebrates scoring Cork's third goal Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: James O’Donoghue 1-2 (1-0 pen), Bryan Sheehan 0-4 (0-3f), Barry John Keane 0-3 (0-1f), Kieran Donaghy 1-0, Fionn Fitzgerald, Johnny Buckley, Donnchadh Walsh, Colm Cooper, Anthony Maher, Paul Geaney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 1-6 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Donncha O’Connor 1-3 (0-1f), Barry O’Driscoll 1-1, Kevin O’Driscoll 0-2.

Colm O'Neill celebrates scoring the first goal of the game Colm O'Neill celebrates scoring the first goal of the game. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kerry

1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)
2. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes)
3. Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

7. Killian Young (Renard)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
5. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)
9. Bryan Sheehan (St Mary’s)

10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)
11. Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)
12. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)

13. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys)
14. Kieran Donaghy (C) (Austin Stacks)
15. James O’Donoghue (Legion)

Subs
18. Anthony Maher (Duagh) for Moran (black card) (43)
17. Colm Cooper (Dr Crokes) for O’Brien (43)
23. Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) for Buckley (47)
19. Paul Geaney (Dingle) for Keane (51)
25. Jack Sherwood (Firies) for Sheehan (60)
26. Paul Murphy (Rathmore) for Crowley (64)

Cork

1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)

4. James Loughrey (Mallow)
3. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas)
7. Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)

6. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
2. Michael Shields (St. Finbarr’s) (Capt)
5. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers)

8. Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s)
12. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)

10. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
14. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
9. Fintan Goold (Macroom)

13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
11. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond)
15. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

Subs
22. Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig) for Kerrigan (black card) (23)
19. Conor Dorman (Bishopstown) for Cronin (58)
21. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues) for Goold (60)
25. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg) for Donncha O’Connor (61)
24. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Carthaigh) for Hurley (66)
17. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown) for Colm O’Driscoll (black card) (70)

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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