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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 15 September, 2019
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Cork defeat Kerry to claim McGrath Cup title with four-point victory

The sides faced off in Mallow this afternoon.

John Hayes scores the crucial goal for Cork.
John Hayes scores the crucial goal for Cork.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Cork 1-11
Kerry 0-10

CORK CLAIMED THE McGrath Cup title with a four-point victory over old rivals Kerry this afternoon in Mallow.

Substitute John Hayes showed brilliant composure to fire home a second-half goal in the 50th minute that proved the crucial score on the day for Brian Cuthbert’s side.

Cork trailed by 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval but improved greatly after half-time to fashion success that delivered early season silverware for new boss Cuthbert.

A large crowd flocked to the North Cork venue for a glimpse of the two teams in action on a cold January day. It was a closely-contested encounter that boiled over in the closing stages of the game with three black cards brandished to Kerry’s Aidan O’Mahony and Cork duo Fintan Goold and Michael Shields.

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Aidan O’Mahony is shown a black card
Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Ultimately Cork’s second-half form entitled them to the eventual honours. Kerry had dictated the opening period but their 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the break was not reflective of that. Paul Geaney and Donnchadh Walsh saw their close-range efforts for goal denied by excellent saves by Cork goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran.

Another chance presented itself to Barry John Keane but he palmed the ball over rather than under the bar. Keane did loft over a stylish point to close the half and send Kerry into a narrow lead.

Cork increased the tempo after the break with Mark Collins, Paul Kerrigan and Michael Shields notching points. Jonathan Lyne pulled a point back for Kerry before substitute Hayes grabbed that vital 50th minute goal.

He did well to break clear and then kept his cool to sidestep goalkeeper Brian Kelly and defender Jack Sherwood before planting the ball in the net. A pair of Daniel Goulding points stretched Cork’s advantage to six points – 1-9 to 0-6.

Kerry tried to fight back in the finale with Lyne and Bryan Sheehan on target. Yet Cork closed out the game with Andrew O’Sullivan launching over a terrific point while Donncha O’Connor sealed the victory with a late free.

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Cork boss Brian Cuthbert with Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice
Pic: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Scorers for Cork: Daniel Goulding 0-4 (0-2f), John Hayes 1-0, Paul Kerrigan 0-2, Andrew O’Sullivan, Aidan Walsh, Michael Shields, Donncha O’Connor (0-1f), Mark Collins (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kerry: Barry John Keane, Bryan Sheehan (0-2f, 0-1 ’45) 0-3 each, Jonathan Lyne 0-2, Shane O’Callaghan, Donnchadh Walsh 0-1 each.

CORK: Ken O’Halloran; Michael Shields, Eoin Cadogan, John McLoughlin; James Loughrey, Tomás Clancy, Kevin O’Driscoll; Aidan Walsh, Fintan Goold; Colm O’Driscoll, Mark Collins, Andrew O’Sullivan; Daniel Goulding, Paul Kerrigan, Barry O’Driscoll.

Subs: Donncha O’Connor for Colm O’Driscoll (40), John Hayes for Barry O’Driscoll (40), Mark Sugrue for Collins (50), Micheál Ó Laoire for Goold (bc) (67), Alan Sheehan for Shields (bc) (69).

KERRY: Brian Kelly; Paul Murphy, Mark Griffin, Shane Enright; Peter Crowley, Jack Sherwood, Mikey Geaney; Anthony Maher, David Moran; Jonathan Lyne, Bryan Sheehan, Donnchadh Walsh; Barry John Keane, Paul Geaney, Alan Fitzgerald.

Subs: Shane O’Callaghan for Fitzgerald (ht), Marcus Mangan for Maher (inj) (42), Paul Galvin for Sherwood (50), Aidan O’Mahony for Sheehan (50), Brian McGuire for Mikey Geaney (63), Brian Shanahan for O’Mahony (bc) (65).

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Fintan O'Toole

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